Sunday, April 30, 2006

A Lovely Day (think Bill Withers)

What a great day. I decided to drive over to Assateague Island which is maybe 20 minutes away. Lisa came with me and as I had dug out my old camera bag with all my Nikon equipment I gave her charge of the newest Nikon and I took the digital and my good old Nikon FM. Sweet. My plan was to do some of the nature trails they have and walk on the beach. It was extremely windy. We saw one of the wild ponies right away as we were driving in.

We start with the "Life of a Marsh" trail.

Low-tide. Not much going on.

We then moved on to "Life of a Forest" trail. Lots of Loblolly pines.

I do love a loblolly pine. I learned about them over and over on a field trip to another local park. All the children take this field trip in the 6th grade. I saw my first real Lady Slipper and learned about hognose snakes on that field trip also. Very informative. The hognose snake, if I remember correctly, isn't dangerous. If you come across one it will first make itself look like a cobra to scare you. (That part I know for a fact is true because we once had a huge one in front of the house. Michael was a little boy and was walking by it w/o seeing it. It immediately reared up and hissed and spread it neck out like a cobra. He came running in the house yelling "Cobra, cobra!" which of course we don't have around here.) If that doesn't work it will vomit (I guess to gross you out?) and if that doesn't work it will play dead.

Back to Assateague. We spotted some more ponies off in the marsh while walking through the "Life of a Forest" trail.

They were too far away to get a good picture with the digital although I think I got a good one w/the other camera. On our way out of the "Forest" the same ponies intersected our path. Delightful.

Lisa and I knew to keep a safe distance. Keyword: WILD. These ponies bite and kick people. The signs are posted everywhere. Yet each year the tourists come and walk right up to the WILD ponies and try to feed and pet. Well, they pay the price my friend. But Lisa and I obey the rules. This did hold us up a little especially when they stopped to get some water.

Whitey didn't want any so he smiled for the camera...

Then Whitey and Brownie had to wait for Spotty... he comes. Git along. Not exactly the angle we were hoping for.

Next up...oceanside. We saw these backpackers laying in the parking lot. All I could figure was the wind, which was blowing sand everywhere, drove them out of the backcountry camping. If you have ever been on a windy beach for any extended amount of time then you could imagine the appeal of a parking lot.

Sure enough the beach was deserted. (My favorite kind of beach.) The wind was blowing so strong I could barely stand still to take a photo.

Scenes like these give me a great sense of calm and inspire me...

I had come to Assateague looking for that calm that comes over me and looking for inspiration and I got both. This painting I did a while back was inspired by Assateague and it's wide-open sea and sky and sand.

And now the money shot...

HE was perfectly posed on the other side of the dune when I came over. Okay one more.


Blogger cream said...

Marie, what a perfect day! I love your photos especially the one of the deserted beach and fence! My kind of beach too!

5/01/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger handfulofearth said...

You take astounding photos!! You know, for all my get-me-home-to-the-city, your photos make me glad I live where I do - I LOVE seeing those ponies!! And that Assateague/Chesapeake sky - that blue only exisits here.

I'd love to have prints of some of these shots - how much for the money shot & a beach shot?

You are such a talent at everything you do & so motivated to be outside walking the trails. Inspiring. From now on, I'm trying to be just like Mary.


5/01/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Cream The fence one is my favorite too.

Andie- You are gonna make me throw-up. Thanks for all the compliments. I'll get you copies of those shots.

5/01/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Thank you for showing me things I might never have been able to see. :)

5/02/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

Like 10 years ago I was an annoying tourist out to see the ponies and...I touched them. It was like Sept or Oct and no one was there. But I swear the ponies were coming up to me not the other way around. One of them stuck its head right in the car window.
I loved it!

5/02/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Shame on you Carla! Of course they came to you. They are getting used to tourists feeding them. Lucky you were in the car.
This is from the Assateague website.

"Then are they dangerous?" Any wild animal can be dangerous and the ponies are no exception. They appear tame and gentle but may become aggressive very quickly. Each year several visitors are bitten or kicked by "tame" horses. Feeding the horses and any other wildlife is unhealthy for the animals, dangerous for the visitors and strictly prohibited. Some wild horses become "beggars" with prolonged feeding and at least one each year is killed by a car while seeking a handout. Enjoy the horses from a distance.

Sorry Carla. Don't mean to sound mean. Just educating. I know you meant well as I am sure all the people do.

5/03/2006 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Cinthia said...

I visited Assateague with my boyfriend for the first time last year and was mesmerized by the beauty of the scenery.

You're so lucky to be living only 20 minutes from there! Looks like you caught a lot of ponies. I don't recall seeing so many when I went! Your post brought back good memories of my trip, thank you for sharing!

5/03/2006 02:06:00 PM  

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