The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

Posts from the ‘USA’ category

Easter 2021 Vacation Day 9

Today, April 9th, is the 9th (and final) day of our Easter vacation.

The colors painted on the clouds at dawn, as seen from our AirBnB, Tranquil Shores, were very nice.

Red Sky in the Morning …

The car was packed, and we were on our way back home at 6:40 am.

It started raining, as we drove out of Chincoteague, VA.  

We stopped for breakfast at Denny’s in Fruitland, MD about an hour later.  Bob ordered a Western Omelette.  I ordered French Toast, scrambled eggs and bacon.

After drinking tea/coffee and orange juice during breakfast, it was only a matter of time before a bathroom break was necessary.   We stopped at the Bay Country Rest Area in Church Hill, MD. 

Pretty daffodils were in bloom all around the rest area.

We stopped to stretch at Caledonia State Park in Fayetteville, PA.  I photographed a small waterfall and the Caledonia furnace.

The waterfall was located alongside PA Route 233 N
near the US Route 30 and PA Route 233 N intersection.
Fayetteville, PA waterfall
Caledonia Furnace, an iron works that dates back to 1837

I began this post with a photograph of the clouds at dawn, with the caption “Red Sky in the Morning …” It rained off and on from Chincoteague to North East, MD.  It stayed cloudy, even though the rain had stopped.  We did see some sunshine for the last 2 hours or so of our drive. We returned home shortly before 6:30 pm. 

Easter 2021 Vacation Day 8

Today, April 8th, is Day 8 of our Easter vacation.

This afternoon we decided to make a return visit to the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland.  We saw a few ponies!

We stopped for dinner at Don’s Seafood and Chicken House near Pocomoke City, MD.   Our dinners were moderately expensive.  We were celebrating, though.  As of today, both Bob and I are fully vaccinated against COVID.  This was our first time to eat at Don’s.  Bob ordered crab dip for an appetizer.  Bob selected stuffed flounder, as his entree.  I chose southern fried chicken tenders.  Our meals were delicious, and service was excellent.

We had ice cream for dessert at Island Creamery in Chincoteague, VA.  Bob got a brownie sundae with Java jolt ice cream.  I got my usual, a scoop of chocolate ice cream and a scoop of peanut butter cup ice cream.

Easter 2021 Vacation Day 7 – Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

In my previous blog post I wrote that we returned to our rental AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, after lunch.

Around 3:00 pm we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove on the Wildlife Loop twice and took Beach Road to the Toms Cove Visitor Center, where we turned around. 

Wildlife Loop – 14 Turtles on tuft of grass
Wildlife Loop – Great Blue Heron and Glossy Ibis
Wildlife Loop – Sika Deer
Wildlife Loop – Sika Deer
Snowy Egret, seen along Beach Road near Toms Cove Visitor Center
Great Egret, seen along Beach Road near Toms Cove Visitor Center

Yes, we visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge several times during Chincoteague, VA vacations. Often we visit the refuge more than one time a day. The refuge is one of the main reasons we go to Chincoteague year after year.

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 7 – Cape Charles, VA Day Trip

Today, April 7th, is the 7th day of our Easter vacation.

We have awakened each morning of our vacation in time to watch the sun rise. Each sunrise that we have witnessed has been beautiful. This morning’s sunset, though, was more than beautiful; it was splendid.

Sunrise, as seen from the upper porch of Tranquil Shores
Sunrise, as seen from the upper porch of Tranquil Shores

We visited downtown Chincoteague this morning. We went window shopping along Main Street.  The shops that interested me were closed until later in the day.

We walked back to our car the scenic way.

Robert N Reed Waterfront Park

During our walk, we decided to drive to Cape Charles, VA–a place we had never been. Cape Charles is located about 66 miles south of Chincoteague. 

A popular mode of transportation at Cape Charles appears to be golf carts.

We saw this golf cart and its passenger from our car.
Golf Carts provide transportation along the seashore.

We went for a walk alongside the beach and on the fishing pier. 

It felt like summer, especially so when we saw people in swimsuits on the beach and in the water.  The temperature was 75 degrees at noon!
The LOVEwork is located near the public fishing pier. It reflects the history and community by incorporating materials that represent what Cape Charles is all about. The “L” is made of sea glass and seashells to represent the bayside community. The “O” is a tractor tire to represent agriculture. The “V” is made of kayaks to represent outdoor adventure activities and the “E” is made of crab pots to represent aquaculture.
The “L”
Cape Charles Public Fishing Pier
Bob and I on the Cape Charles Public Fishing Pier

Leaving Cape Charles, we drove to Metopkin Seafood for lunch. Metopkin Seafood is located in Mappsville, VA about 50 miles north of Cape Charles. We were disappointed to find that Metopkin Seafood was still closed for the season.  Metopkin Seafood is a favorite place for us to get a seafood platter.

We decided to eat lunch at Maria’s in Chincoteague, VA– our first time to eat there.  Bob ordered a crab cake sandwich with French fries.  I ordered a small pizza. 

Lunch at Maria’s Restaurant

I have leftover pizza for another meal. The food and service were good.  We returned to our rental AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, after lunch.

I have more to tell you about our 7th day of vacation, which I will share with you in a future blog post.

Easter 2021 Vacation Day 6

Today, April 6th, is Day 6 of our Easter vacation.

I started the day with an accident. The upstairs bedroom has low ceilings.  I ran into one of the ceiling edges this morning.  The ceiling edge hit along the upper, center part of my bang line.  I saw stars but did not pass out.  I have a small cut in my hairline.  That hit sure hurt!

[Note: This post is back dated. As of April 24th my head is completely healed.]

The highlight of our day was a day trip to Assateague Island, MD. We walked on the beach and collected a few sea shells. 

Assateague Island National Seashore
Tent Camping at Assateague Island National Seashore

We walked the Life of the Marsh boardwalk. 

Life of the Marsh Boardwalk

We saw several wild ponies.

Bob took this picture of me, with wild Ponies in the background.
Wild Ponies at Assateague Island National Seashore
Wild Ponies at Assateague Island National Seashore
Assateague Wild Ponies Strolling Down the Road
Assateague Wild Pony
Assateague Wild Ponies. Look! A Foal!
Assateague Wild Ponies – A Foal!
Assateague Wild Ponies
The Foal Approaching Its Mother
Hi Mama!
Do you see the foal’s tongue sticking out?
The Foal Wants Milk.

Those ponies are awesome, especially the foal!

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 5 – Back at Chincoteague

In my previous blog post I wrote about our morning visit to Oriole, MD on Day 5 (April 5th) of our Easter vacation.

We were back at our AirBnb, Tranquil Shores, by 12:15 pm.  We ate lunch and spent a few hours relaxing.

Around 3:00 pm we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove on the Wildlife Loop and took Beach Road to the Toms Cove Visitor Center, where we turned around. 

The highlight of our visit to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
was seeing an eagle sitting on its nest.
The eagle’s nest is seen from the wildlife loop.

We returned to Tranquil Shores. I prepared tuna casserole for dinner. For dessert we went to Island Creamery for ice cream — Chocolate and peanut butter cup for me; Java Jolt for Bob. 

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 5 – Oriole MD


This is our sixth vacation spent in Chincoteague, VA since 2015. Our main activities during vacation include photographing wild ponies and water birds at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia, photographing wild ponies at Assateague Island, MD, and visiting the Assateague Island National Seashore in both Virginia and Maryland. We have ridden our bicycles at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and walked trails in both the refuge and at Assateague Island, MD. Today we decided to spread our wings a bit and visit another nearby locale. This morning we drove to Oriole, MD in search of a historic landmark that I had read about on the Internet.

Located at the intersection of the Champ and Oriole roads is the St. James Methodist Episcopal Church. According to the Registration Form for National Register of Historic Places, the church “is one of eighteen historic African- American churches recorded on the Somerset County inventory, and it is architecturally important as one of the most original with relatively intact exterior and interior finishes. Unlike most of the other churches in this group, St. James has not been used since the mid 1960s, thereby freeing it from many of the modern alterations that have been made to other churches for comfort or low maintenance concerns. The building has not been altered to any significant degree since the turn of the twentieth century and it is a rare, relatively intact survivor of late nineteenth century religious architecture as embraced by rural black congregations in Somerset County.

The St. James Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1885. According to the African American Registry, “the church community was comprised of free Blacks, freed slaves and watermen … Over time, the congregation gradually disbanded and became too small to maintain the facility and, soon, the building was abandoned and eventually fell into poor condition.

This video was published on YouTube in May 2011, before St. James Methodist Episcopal Church was restored. There are many exterior and interior photographs contained within the video, along with personal recollections of the church.

The church is being restored through the efforts of the Oriole Historical Society.

St. James Methodist Episcopal Church, as it stands today.

Located across Champ Road is a nineteenth-century graveyard, with above grave markers.

St. James Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery

Because of the high water table, graves cannot be dug to the standard depth.

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