The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Egrets’

Ohio Vacation Day 3 – Brandywine Falls (6/27/2021)

We attempted to go to Brandywine Falls late this morning, but the parking lot was full. A sign said to try again after 5:00 pm. We went to the Boston Mill Visitor Center instead and lunch afterward.

After lunch we returned to Brandywine Falls. The parking lot was open, earlier than the estimated 5:00 pm reopening. We walked down to the waterfall overlook, took a few pictures there and along the boardwalk trail, and climbed back up to the parking lot.

Boardwalk trail to Brandywine Falls
The boardwalk trail to Brandywine Falls
winds around these huge boulders.
Selfie Time
Brandywine Falls (long exposure)

From Brandywine Falls we returned to our rental Airbnb in Hudson OH, where we stayed for rest of the afternoon and evening. Our Airbnb hosts have three parrots, whom I shared photographs of in an earlier blog post. We visited with Mickey this afternoon on our deck.

This is Mickey

How cool that Mickey sat on our shoulders!

Mickey on my shoulder
Mickey on Bob’s shoulder
Great Egret in Airbnb Wetlands
A Beautiful Sunset at Airbnb to end the Day

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 4

I got up for the day at 6:00 am.  Bob was already up and in the midst of making an egg and cheese bagel sandwich.  Bob said he got up around 5:00 am.  My breakfast was instant oatmeal and a banana.

Around 9:00 am Bob and I decided to go to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  Bob walked to the refuge; I drove. 

Assateague Island National Seashore
It was a cloudy morning at the seashore, but so beautiful too.
Great Egret seen along Beach Rd, Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

I picked up Bob, as he neared the Toms Cove Visitor Center. When I picked up Bob, he had walked 3.85 miles. 

We were back at our AirBnB, Tranquil Shores, by 11:00 am. We ate lunch (leftover BBQ from the day before) and relaxed.

We returned to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge shortly after 3:00 pm.   We drove around the Wildlife Loop twice and then down to the Toms Cove Visitor Center, where we turned around. 

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Loop
One Great Blue Heron, Four Poses
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife Loop
Seven Turtles hanging out on a tuft of grass

Denise and Nic sure picked the right day to drive up here.  We saw lots of Chincoteague ponies yesterday.  We didn’t see any ponies today. 

We returned to our AirBnB, Tranquil Shores, around 4:30 pm.  Bob grilled two rib eye steaks for our Easter dinner.  The steaks were accompanied by fried potatoes, mixed vegetables and, for dessert, cheesecake.  We ate dinner on our screened-in porch.  

We watched a couple TV series on Hulu this evening–“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Lark Rise to Candleford”. The second TV series, “Lark Rise to Candleford”, was suggested to us by Bob’s brother’s wife. That series, in which a young girl moves to the local market town to begin an apprenticeship as a postmistress, is set in 19 century Oxfordshire. We are enjoying each episode. I enjoy the show so much that I am considering the purchase of a book of the same name.

Easter Vacation 2021 Day 3

Today, April 3rd, is the third day of our Easter vacation.

We had visitors today. Our friends, Denise and Nic, drove up from Virginia Beach this morning. They arrived around 10:00 am and left for home around 4:30 pm. The four of us had fun together sightseeing on Assateague Island at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and at the seashore. We went sightseeing in Chincoteague as well.

We walked the Lighthouse Trail at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. The Lighthouse Trail is a 0.25 mile loop that takes you through the woods to the historic Assateague Lighthouse.

Lighthouse Trail Informative Sign
Denise and Nic at the Assateague Lighthouse.
The lighthouse is 142 feet tall.

We walked the Woodland Trail as well. The Woodland Trail is a 1.6 mile loop that takes you through a beautiful pine forest.

We stopped at the overlook where Chincoteague ponies can sometimes be seen.

My recollection is that we saw one pony way off in the distance, too far away for a decent picture especially with a mobile phone camera.

From the Woodland Trail we drove to the Assateague Island National Seashore.

The four of us at the Assateague Island National Seashore

We visited two parks in Chincoteague–the Robert N Reed Waterfront Park and the Veterans Memorial Park.

The four of us at the Robert N Reed Waterfront Park

These four Adirondack chairs are 10 feet tall and weigh more than 500 pounds.  The chairs arrived in Chincoteague in the summer of 2014 and promote the state’s “Virginia is for Lovers” tourism slogan.  They had been located at Virginia’s Kiptopeke State Park since May 2012.  

Denise and Nic at Robert N Reed Waterfront Park with Misty of Chincoteague in the background
Bob and I at Robert N Reed Waterfront Park with Misty of Chincoteague in the background
Veterans Memorial Park Cross; Assateague Lighthouse in the background

From Veterans Memorial Park we returned to our AirBnb, Tranquil Shores. We enjoyed a BBQ lunch –cheeseburgers. potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, chips and salsa and, for dessert, cheesecake.

Bob grilling burgers for lunch

We ate lunch on our screened-in porch.

After lunch we returned to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and drove the wildlife loop. The 3.25 mile loop trail is open to walkers and bikers all day. Vehicles are permitted to drive the loop from 3:00 pm till dusk. 

We spotted an eagle nest, but we didn’t see the eagle.
Two Turtles hanging out on a tuft of grass

We drove back down Beach Rd and saw ponies, lots of ponies, in the marsh. We saw several egrets, too, both along Beach Rd and as we were driving the Wildlife Loop.

A Very Pregnant Chincoteague Pony
We saw the most ponies in one place during Denise and Nic’s visit.
One of several Great Egrets that we saw at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

We had a great visit with Denise and Nic. We are so glad they were able to make the drive up for the day.

Meanwhile, back at home …

Thanksgiving Week Vacation Day 4 – Back in Virginia

We relaxed at Tranquil Shores, our airbnb rental, for a couple hours upon our return from Maryland.

In the afternoon we drove to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, VA.  We followed the Beach Access Road to Toms Cove, where we turned around.  We had a few photo opportunities along the way.

a Great Egret and a Cormorant Sharing a Log

The Egret flew off, and the Cormorant was joined by a friend.

Two Cormorants

From the refuge we drove to the Island Nature Trail on Chincoteague Island.  We had not known about this trail during past visits to Chincoteague.  The Island Nature Trail is located along both sides of Hallie Whealton Smith Drive.  The land where the trail is located represents some of last large tracts of undeveloped land on Chincoteague Island.  The south side of Hallie Whealton Smith Drive has an accessible 0.7 mile long, paved loop path complete with benches and interpretive signs.  The north side of Hallie Whealton Smith Drive is a natural surface trail that loops approximately 0.45 miles through pine forest and glade.  We went for a walk on the 0.7 mile loop trail.

the Island Nature Trail

A Pine Siskin on the Island Nature Trail

There are three ponds that can be seen from the Island Nature Trail.

One of three ponds seen from Island Nature Trail

This bridge crosses over the third pond that we saw from the Island Nature Trail.

This is the pond over which the bridge crosses.

After our walk we returned to the wildlife refuge and drove around the Wildlife Loop, which opened up to vehicular traffic at 3:00 pm.  The highlight of our drive around the Wildlife Loop was the sighting of several tundra swans.  

Tundra Swan

On our way back to Tranquil Shores we stopped at Subway for take-out subs, which we ate at the house.

Chincoteague Vacation: “Tranquil Shores”

We spent 5 nights (April 7th through April 11th), at Chincoteague, Virginia in an Airbnb rental called “Tranquil Shores”.  Our host, Joseph, gave me permission to include details of his Airbnb in a blog post.  The complete listing for this AirBnB rental may be seen by clicking here.

Here is a Google Map picture of our Airbnb accommodation.

“Tranquil Shores”

“Tranquil Shores” is the right side of this duplex house.  We had use of that entire side of the duplex. The entrance to the home was via the wooden steps on the side of the house. We entered the door code, opened the door and we walked inside.  The entry door opens to the kitchen.

Eat-in Kitchen

The kitchen contains all the essentials of cooking and dining to include cookware, dinnerware, utensils, stove, oven, microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, spices, and so much more.  We didn’t use it, but there was coffee grounds in the freezer for the coffeemaker.  We brought the tea kettle that you see in this picture.  We boiled water for hot tea and coffee.  Bob used an Aeropress to make coffee.

The kitchen and living room form a Great Room.

Living Room

There is access to a Screened Porch from the Living Room.

Screened Porch

The living room was comfortable, and we made frequent use of the screened porch.

In addition to the kitchen and living room, this Airbnb rental has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.  Two of the bedrooms (queen bed and twin bed) and one bathroom are located downstairs.  A washer and dryer are located in the downstairs bathroom.  The master bedroom (king bed) and second bathroom are located on the second floor.  There is access to a balcony from the master bedroom.  We made use of only the master bedroom.  The bed was very comfortable and provided for a good night’s sleep. Bed linens and towels are not provided in the rental cost. They are available, however, for an added fee of $10.00 per bed.  We saved $10.00 by bringing our own towels and bed linens.

 

Tranquil Shores, as seen from Maddox Blvd.

This AirBnB rental is located at the end of a quiet road.

This is the view of the road on which “Tranquil Shores” sits. The house is at the end of this road.

The rental cost was approximately $55.00 less than the cost of a King Bed with Balcony hotel room at Best Western Chincoteague, where we have stayed in past visits.  “Tranquil Shores” was a much nicer accommodation than staying in a room in a hotel!  We had lots more space, and we were able to eat in or eat out, as desired.  We ate breakfast and either lunch or dinner at home, during our stay.  Our view at “Tranquil Shores” was much, much better than at Best Western Chincoteague too.  At Best Western Chincoteague, if you booked a balcony room, your view was the McDonald’s Restaurant across the street.  Compare that view with the view from the screened porch and balcony of our Airbnb rental.

When I took this picture, I was standing at the edge of the property. The water seen in this picture is Eel Creek.

We enjoyed daily sunrises, sunsets and wildlife viewings, while at Tranquil Shores.

Snowy Egret on Eel Creek

Osprey flying over “Tranquil Shores”

Sunset at “Tranquil Shores”, as seen from back porch

Canada Geese on Eel Creek

Sunrise at “Tranquil Shores”

Tern Gull Flying Over “Tranquil Shores”

Sunrise, on the morning of our departure

I highly recommend “Tranquil Shores” to individual travelers, couples, and families.  You will be within a couple miles of downtown Chincoteague and Assateague Island where you can enjoy Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore.  We brought our bicycles with us and enjoyed rides in the neighborhood, several rides at the wildlife refuge, as well as one ride from “Tranquil Shores” to the wildlife refuge.

Thank you, Joseph, for sharing your home with us.  We will return!

 

 

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 6

On Day 6 of our vacation (Thursday, April 11th), after eating breakfast, we went to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  We drove, rather than ride our bicycles.  It was a chilly and windy morning, with a temperature reading of 49 degrees.

We saw NINE wild horses in the lighthouse parking lot and watched as they walked down Beach Access Road to the Wildlife Loop. 

Wild Ponies in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Pony in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Ponies in the Lighthouse Parking Lot

Wild Ponies Walking Down the Beach Access Road Towards the Wildlife Loop

Wild Ponies Walking Along the Beach Access Road to the Wildlife Loop

There are 8 wild ponies in these two pictures; however, we saw a total of 9 ponies.

Wild Ponies Walking Toward the Wildlife Loop

One of 9 Wild Ponies Making its Way to the Wildlife Loop

This was the straggler, the 9th wild pony.

Seeing the horses was really cool.  We have always seen evidence that the horses have been on Beach Access Road, but had not seen them there before.

Before leaving the Wildlife Refuge, we visited the Assateague Lighthouse.

Assateauge Lighthouse

The Assateague Lighthouse stands 142 feet high.

After visiting the lighthouse, we returned to the warmth of our vacation home.  Bob turned on the heat for the first time since our arrival.  For the next few hours I washed, dried and folded two loads of laundry; we ate lunch (ready-made lasagna and cheesecake); and we relaxed, enjoying the peaceful setting of our Airbnb vacation home, Tranquil Shores.  

Around 3:00 pm we left for one more visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. We drove around the Wildlife Loop three times.

Wildlife Loop Snake

Wildlife Loop Great Blue Heron

Wildlife Loop Cattle Egret

Wildlife Loop Turtle

Turtle Crossing the Road at Wildlife Loop

Wildlife Loop Little Blue Heron (adult)

We drove also to the beach and back, along Beach Access Road.  We were saying so long, until next time, to a place that we have grown to love.

Leaving the Wildlife Refuge, we picked up a 12-inch sub at Subway to share for dinner and went to Island Creamery for ice cream.  Yes!  We ate dessert first.

Returning to our vacation home around 5:00 pm we discovered piles of dirt had been placed in the deep holes (craters in some instances LOL) on the road to Tranquil Shores.  Thankfully a resident pulled in after us.  We didn’t know if we should drive on the grassy area to the right of the dirt piles (to go around them).  She told us it was okay.  According to the resident, the piles of dirt will be graded the next day.  I passed this information to our host, as I thought he might be interested.  Our host replied: “I’m so glad we finally have it getting done. Last winter was so hard on the road!  Corralling all the neighbors to pitch in was a project in and of itself!”  

TO BE CONTINUED

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