Snapshots (lots) & Whatnot: CHINCOTEAGUE!!

WHATNOT:

Today’s Snapshots highlight a recent visit to Chincoteague Island, located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. I know – confusing! Virginia (the blogger) lives in Virginia (the state of) located on the East Coast of the U.S.A.

Chincoteague is just a few hours from home, but it’s a cool trip getting there over the 23-mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (that includes two tunnels) and up the Eastern Shore, home to small farming & fishing communities along the way. Chincoteague Island is located at the tip of Virginia, just before the Maryland line.

What makes Chincoteague special? Lots of things, like proximity to rocket launches from NASA’s Wallops Island (as shared in my last post) but Chincoteague Island is also next to Assateague Island, which is home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge where all kinds of wildlife can be seen on nature trails and beaches.

Since my brother & I visited during a blustery cold November week, our beach wildlife was limited to birds (vs. the human summer variety), but the big draw of Chincoteague? WILD PONIES.Β  The last time we visited Chincoteague we saw them every day (during a June visit?) This time we searched (high & low) and didn’t see any for six days, until…

Check snapshots to find out – wild pony sightings??

SNAPSHOTS

The Marsh Loop, rainy day (pic taken juggling umbrella)

The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge hosts trails, walks & roads for ‘nature crawls’ – driving slowly so as not to miss any wildlife sightings, whereupon you jump out of your car (along with everyone else) to view wildlife through your binoculars or through gigantic cameras, which many visitors stalkingly set up on tripods to capture pics for posterity. (Note, my camera fits in my pocket – easier to tote around!)

Near Tom’s Cove & The Woodland Trail, a ‘nature crawl’ sighting

Even on the cloudy, cold days of our visit, we saw amazing sights like these egrets branching out. (Checking back the next day, they had branched off!)

Wildlife loop, blue heron

Walking the four mile Wildlife Loop, we had to look carefully for birdies hiding in the brush. Quiet, quietly, sometimes we were rewarded…

Wildlife Loop, Blue Heron in flight

Wildlife Loop, nature crawl blue heron sighting

Other times, it was fun watching them perch from inside our warm car. We saw many blue herons, but we also enjoyed the beauty of the white egrets. On the first morning at our house rental, I looked out the porch to see four egrets five feet away in the marsh. What a way to start the day!

Tranquil Shores Egrets

Blustery walk @ Swan Cove Beach

We also enjoyed walking along the beaches. On dreary days the clouds can be so interesting! But it’s always nice on sunny days.

Sunny day @ Tom’s Cove Beach

We didn’t last long there (can you see our shadows shaking?) It may have been sunny, but it was FREEZING! (Temps dropped into the 30s F/ 0 to -1 C)!

Dashing back to our car, we made a new friend…

Tom’s Cove, “what’s up with leaving so soon?”

After hiking the Woodland Trail and seeing a few ponies in (far far away) binocular distance, on the day of the ‘no launch launch’ when we had been up at 3:30AM & braved the cold at Wallops Island, we decided to do another nature crawl that afternoon…

Wild Pony nature crawl sighting (near Woodland Trail)

Wild Pony (outside the fence) sighting

As I jumped out of the car & my brother tried to find a spot to pull over (there was a reason a gazillion people had pulled over) I saw ELEVEN ponies. Trying to find my brother, I went back up the road to find him tracking along with this spotted pony who somehow slipped outside the fenced area. AMAZING!

Wild Pony munching lunch, Chincoteague

Wild pony sighting, Chincoteague

But, this wild pony stole my heart! What a blessing to see the ponies on our 6th day of traipsing about the trails, paths, and roads of Chincoteague National Wildlife Reserve. Each day after our many walks, hiking, and nature crawls we thoroughly enjoyed the Visitor Center.

Especially the rocking chairs!

Walking & nature crawling the trails, each time we saw beautiful birds, amazing trees, beautiful beaches & PONIES! A grand time all around on Chincoteague Island.

“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”Β  Victor Hugo

grace, peace & singing nature groupies

Virginia : )

p.s. forgot the grand finale…

Sunset over Chincoteague, a grand ending to our trip!

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16 Responses to Snapshots (lots) & Whatnot: CHINCOTEAGUE!!

  1. Garfield Hug says:

    Thank you so much for the tour! Wild ponies…so lovely and gee that Island is hard to pronounce. Beautiful wild land seeing nature and its inhabitants up close and personal. Lovely indeed and seems like you did quite a long trekπŸ‘πŸ‘β˜Ί

    • Virginia says:

      We really enjoyed our time there — altho it took until almost the last day to see the wild ponies (for which the island is famous.) Rockets & nature, our kind of holiday combo, I could sure use a few more treks to work off all the yummy eats we enjoyed! Hugs!! πŸ™‚

  2. TMH says:

    So, V, judging by the length of your shadows, I would think tons of people were there to photograph the 16 foot tall brother and sister. But that’s just me. The wild ponies…who knew? Well, the author of Misty of Chincoteague knew, but otherwise…
    As always, beautiful shots from your unobtrusive camera.

    • Virginia says:

      That shadow shot tickled my funny bone! And, yes, Misty of Chincoteague made those wild ponies famous the world over. They are pretty amazing, though! Thanks for the encouragement about my small camera. I formerly dragged a huge SLR around, but with misbehaving neck discs, the small one does the trick. Blessings, Tim!! πŸ™‚

  3. Carol-Jo says:

    Thank you for your writings, God’s nature is so grand..like the color on the trees…

    • Virginia says:

      Amen, Carol-Jo! God’s heavenly paint brushes are so busy, especially during fall with all the glorious tree colors — and painting beauteous things in YOU (& even at times, ME!) Something for which we give thanks. Blessings!! πŸ™‚

  4. sueterbay says:

    The pictures confirm your words and your words paint the pictures. Thank you for taking others onto this wonderful trip through God’s creation. I felt at peace.

    • Virginia says:

      Sue, so glad you could ‘join me’ on our trip where we experienced such beautiful peace through God’s heavenly paintbrushes busy in the nature around us. Truly an amazing time. Blessings & blogging hugs! πŸ™‚

  5. Debbie says:

    Virginia, these are stunning! Thank you for letting me tag along on your excursion. I’ve always had a fondness in my heart for painted ponies, and these little ones are amazing! As is your sunset — what a splendor!!

    • Virginia says:

      Debbie, that sunset on our last night knocked our socks off (God’s heavenly paintbrushes busy, busy!) I almost missed it, but my brother texted (from the room next door) to look out, then I took that pic from the balcony…& more as it just became more & more glorious. Blessings!! πŸ™‚

  6. Cindy Kranich says:

    GL,
    I echo all these wonderful comments… makes me want to hop in the car and head for the Eastern Shore! 🌊 🐦 🐴 πŸŒ…

    • Virginia says:

      Cin, you’ve got all of Wilmington’s amazing beaches, but I must say Chincoteague’s wild ponies were pretty spectacular (although it took until almost our last day to see them.) And then there were all the yummmmmy eats! Blessings & hugs!!! πŸ™‚

  7. Sparkyjen says:

    I loved taking this tour with you. Your images are lovely. I remember traveling over the CBB bridge with my father at the wheel, but we were always on our way to Norfolk,Virginia, his favorite place on the planet. I often wondered where we’d end up if we’d come from the other direction. Now I see that adventure would have been waiting. I don’t do chilly well, but with a little bundling up, I would enjoy the nature preserve I’m sure. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Virginia says:

      Sparky Jen, we love Norfolk, too. It’s where I was born (altho I grew up in Va. Beach) but my Mama was from Norfolk & we still have family there. The juxtaposition of busy big city Norfolk on one side of the CBB bridge & the farming/fishing communities on the other side is a bit surreal, but welcome (from both sides, methinks!) If you ever get a chance to visit Chincoteague (& Wallops Island for a dose of NASA rockets), there’s lots to enjoy. Blessings & if you’re ever near Norfolk, let me know (we’re only an hour away!) πŸ™‚

      • Sparkyjen says:

        Your hint at a possible meetup is much appreciated. I will keep this in mind if I’m ever your way again. You definitely have a flair for adventure!!!

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