Chincoteague

October 28, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Wild Ponies 1Wild Ponies 1Wild ponies and an egret at the Chinctoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, Virginia.

Recently, my family and I made a trip to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island in Virginia. The wildlife refuge is known for the wild ponies that live on the island and is made famous by the beloved novel Misty of Chincoteague, by Marguerite Henry. I enjoyed reading the book to my kids and it was fun for all of us to see the ponies in real life. I was also happy to get some great photos of the ponies, including a foal.

Wild Ponies 2Wild Ponies 2Wild ponies, including a mare and her foal, in the Chinctoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, Virginia.

Wild Ponies 3Wild Ponies 3Wild ponies, including a mare and her foal, in the Chinctoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, Virginia.

The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is also home to a lot of birds. I've never seen so many egrets all at once!

Flock of EgretsFlock of EgretsA flock of egrets takes flight in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, Virginia. A Pair of EgretsA Pair of EgretsTwo egrets enjoy some late afternoon sunshine on Assateague Island in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia.

The wildlife isn't the only draw to Assateague. The scenery is beautiful. The following is a series from a sunrise that I shot.

Blue Hour in ChincoteagueBlue Hour in ChincoteagueHigh tide and storm surge covers grassland at dawn on Chincoteague Island. Assateague Island is visible off in the distance. Golden Hour in ChincoteagueGolden Hour in ChincoteagueHigh tide and storm surge covers grassland at dawn on Chincoteague Island. Assateague Island is visible off in the distance. Golden Hour in ChincoteagueGolden Hour in ChincoteagueHigh tide and storm surge covers grassland at sunrise on Chincoteague Island. Assateague Island is visible off in the distance.

I took the sunrise shots from a stretch of grassland between Chincoteague Island and Assateague Island. This area normally wouldn't be so full of water, but at the time there was a storm further out to sea, so we were experiencing both high tide and storm surge at the same time. Here's a photo of the road between the two islands—it's completely under water.

High Tide and Storm Surge at Chincoteague Wildlife RefugeHigh Tide and Storm Surge at Chincoteague Wildlife RefugeStorm surge and high tide washing over the road between Chincoteague and Assateague Island. The Assateague Lighthouse is visible in the distance. Besides the water flowing over the road, you can see the Assateague Lighthouse off in the distance. It's a beautiful old structure that's still in use by the Coast Guard. Here are a couple more photos of the lighthouse:

Assateague Lighthouse and ForestAssateague Lighthouse and ForestThe Assateague Lighthouse and forest at dawn, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Assateague Island, Virginia.

Assateague LighthouseAssateague LighthouseAssateague Lighthouse

In case you were confused earlier when I mentioned Chincoteague Island: Chincoteague Island is located next to Assateague Island. The town of Chincoteague is located on Chincoteague Island and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the ponies are located on Assateague Island. I don't know why the wildlife refuge, which is located on Assateague is named after Chincoteague.

Anyway, since it's almost Halloween, here's a photo that I took while I was on Chincoteague of the October full moon (also known as a "Hunter's Moon" or "Blood Moon"). I think the cloud cover makes it look a bit creepy and thematically appropriate. Happy Halloween!

Hunter's MoonHunter's MoonClouds cover full moon in October. According to Moongiant.com, October’s full moon is commonly called the Hunter’s Moon, harkening back to European and Native American traditions where hunters would use the light of the full moon to track down their prey and stock up for the coming winter. Contrary to popular belief, the Hunter’s Moon isn’t actually bigger or brighter than usual. It simply rises earlier, soon after sunset, which would give hunters plenty of bright moonlight to hunt by during the early evenings. To Neo Pagans, however, the Hunter’s Moon is known by a far more morbid name - the Blood Moon.


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