The Beauty Around Us

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

Posts tagged ‘Horses’

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

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 5

On the morning of Day 5 of our vacation (Wednesday, April 10th) we rode our bicycles from Tranquil Shores (our vacation home) to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island, VA. It is approximately 2 miles from Tranquil Shores to the entrance booths. 

We followed the bicycle trail to Woodland Trail.  We rode the Woodland Trail, where we saw several wild horses in the marshland. 

Woodland Trail – Wild Ponies

Leaving Woodland Trail we took the Black Duck Trail to the Wildlife Loop.  We rode the Wildlife Loop. We saw egrets, birds and wild ponies. 

Wildlife Loop – Snowy Egret

Wildlife Loop – Red-Winged Blackbird

For the first time since 2011, when we first visited the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, we saw wild horses in the marsh, while on the Wildlife Loop. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

 

From the Wildlife Loop we returned to Tranquil Shores. 

Crossing bridge from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island (Beach Access Road)

We rode 11.69 bicycle miles in the morning.

We ate lunch at Metompkin Seafood Market in Bloxom VA, which was a 13-mile drive from Chincoteague. 

Metopkin Seafood Market

Metopkin Seafood Market
Food ordered here.

Metopkin Seafood Market
Fresh Seafood

Bob ordered a fish and scallop platter.  I ordered a fish platter.  We both had two generous pieces of fish with French fries, coleslaw and hush puppies.  Bob had scallops in addition to the fish.  There were three cats that were looking for handouts.  

A bold cat at Metopkin Seafood Market

 

On our way to Metompkin Seafood and on our way back to Chincoteague, U.S. Navy airplanes kept circling us.

U.S. Navy airplane

U.S. Navy airplane

I took these photographs from inside our car, through the windshield. We were traveling at about 55 MPH at the time. The airplanes were flying from NASA Wallops Flight Facility. It was awesome having the airplanes fly so close to us!

Before returning to our vacation home, we stopped for homemade ice cream at the Island Creamery.  

Island Creamery

Island Creamery
Ice Cream Selections

Bob ordered two scoops of coffee ice cream in a cup.  I ordered one scoop of Peanut Butter Cup and one scoop of Peanut Butter Chocolate, also in a cup.  Delicious!

We went for a drive around the Wildlife Loop in the evening.  The wild horses that we saw in the morning were still there.  The horses were even a little closer to the road than they were in the morning. 

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Ponies

Wildlife Loop – Wild Pony

For dinner we ate salad.  Bob had a Cobb salad; I had a chef salad.  Neither of us were very hungry after eating a big lunch and ice cream.

Later in the evening we watched a few episodes of NYPD Blue and then went to bed.

I hope that you are not getting tired of seeing photographs of wild ponies.  I will be sharing more wild pony photographs in my next blog post.  Those ponies were closer to us than all of our other encounters!

TO BE CONTINUED

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 4

Late in the morning we rode our bicycles in the neighborhood to Veteran’s Memorial Park. 

Veteran’s Memorial Park sits along the Assateague Channel

Our round trip ride was 5 miles.

We ate lunch at McDonald’s and then drove onto the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, stopping for photo opportunities along Beach Access Road.  We saw wild ponies in the marsh, closer than we have seen them in past years.  There were wild ponies in the pony corral, too, near the Woodland Trail.

According to a delmava now news story, published on April 1st, “Chincoteague pony stallion Riptide and his band were penned in the south corral on Assateague Island after visitors to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge disregarded warnings not to approach the wild ponies…The ponies will remain in the corral until the spring roundup April 12 and 13”.

We saw great blue herons, egrets and wood ducks.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Snowy Egret

Pair of Hooded Mergansers (Thanks EileeninMD for ID)

We spent a couple hours at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, before returning to our vacation home.  We relaxed for a couple hours.

We returned to the Wildlife Refuge around 4:30 pm.  We went for a drive around the Wildlife Loop.  We saw birds, a fox, Sika deer, egrets, turtles, snapping turtles and a muskrat.

Red-Wing Blackbird

Mama Fox

Mama Fox – What a face!

Mama Fox

Two Egrets

I love the reflections!

Two Egrets, a Great Egret taking flight

Three Egrets, a Snowy Egret in flight

Snowy Egret

 

Muskrat

Snapping Turtle

Painted Turtle

Two Snapping Turtles Mating

Leaving the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, after an approximately 45-minute visit, we drove to Food Lion and picked up dinners for three nights (through Thursday).  Our purchases included three ready-made salads and three Culinevo ready-made dinner entrees–lasagna, beef stew and beef and noodles.  All dinner entrees are microwaveable. We shared a Chef Salad and the beef stew for dinner.  For dessert we had cheesecake.

We watched a few more episodes of NYPD Blue and went to bed.

Chincoteague Vacation – Day 2: Annapolis, MD to Chincoteague, VA

On Sunday, April 7th, at 7:10 am we departed the Best Western Annapolis and continued our drive to Chincoteague, VA.

We crossed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge about 10 minutes later.

Our first stop at 9:00 am was at the Salisbury Zoological Park in Salisbury, MD.  We arrived just as the zoo was opening.  

Salisbury Zoo – East Gate Entrance

We spent a couple hours walking around this wonderful, free zoo.  I created this slideshow to share with you some of the birds and animals that we saw, while at the zoo.

This was Bob’s first time at the Salisbury Zoo; it was my second visit.  My first visit was more than 30 years ago in August 1982.

Our second stop was for lunch at Subway at the intersection of Routes 13 and175.

After lunch, we crossed Route 13 and took Route 175 to Chincoteague Island, VA.

Our third stop was at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, located on Assateague Island, VA. 

Located on the East Coast along the Atlantic Ocean in Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island is the largest, natural barrier island ecosystem in the Middle Atlantic states region that remains predominantly unaffected by human development. The Virginia portion of the island is designated as the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with the exception of 448 acres in the refuge’s Toms Cove area maintained by the National Park Service.  These 448 acres are part of the Assateague Island National Seashore.  The Assateague State Park and the Assateague Island National Seashore are located on Assateague Island, MD.  This year marks our fifth visit to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore, located on Assateague Island, VA.

Admission to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is $20.00, which is good for multiple days.  We didn’t have to pay the admission fee, as I purchased a National Park Service senior pass in February 2018, when I turned 62 years old.

We rode our bicycles on the Woodland Trail.   The Woodland Trail, which takes you through a pine forest, is 1.6 miles round trip, paved and wheelchair accessible.  The trail is open to both walkers and cyclists.  A couple years ago many of the pine trees were damaged by a southern pine beetle infestation. 

We went for a bicycle ride on the Woodland Trail. This boardwalk leads to an observation platform from which you may see wild ponies.

We looked for wild ponies from this observation platform. We didn’t see any ponies.

Leaving the Woodland Trail, we rode our bicycles on the Beach Access Road to the Assateague Island National Seashore and back to the Woodland Trail parking lot.

 

We saw two horses and riders at the beach.

 

Egrets are popular at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.

We watched one egret, as it was hunting, standing immobile or wading through wetlands, to when it suddenly took flight.

Great Egret Hunting

Great Egret, Lift Off

Great Egret in Flight

Great Egret in Flight

We watched another egret standing in a tree.

Great Egret in a Tree

We rode our bicycles a total of 4.16 miles on Woodland Trail and to and from the beach.

We arrived at Tranquil Shores, our Airbnb rental, at approximately 3:00 pm–1 hour before check-in time. Tranquil Shores is located on Chincoteague Island, VA.  I telephoned our host shortly before we checked in to see if an early check in was possible (and it was).  Tranquil Shores was our home away from home for 5 nights.  I will publish a separate blog post pertaining to Tranquil Shores in the near future.

An hour later the car was unpacked.  At 4:40 pm we left to pick up some groceries.  We shopped at Food Lion at the intersection of Routes 13 and 175.  We picked up dinner, breakfast foods, snacks and beer. 

Tonight’s dinner was rotisserie chicken, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and, for dessert, cheesecake.  We purchased a sampler cheesecake platter, which lasted us through four dinners.

We watched a couple episodes of NYPD Blue and then went to bed. As a side note, we started watching NYPD Blue on Amazon Prime in early February this year.  NYPD Blue is an American police drama set in New York City, exploring the struggles of the fictional 15th Precinct detective squad in Manhattan.  The series was originally broadcast on the ABC network, debuted on September 21, 1993‚ and aired its final episode on March 1, 2005.  Bob says this was one of his favorite TV shows.  We both saw the series, when it aired.   We may or may not have seen each episode, though.  I certainly do not remember each episode’s story line.  There are 12 seasons, 261 episodes.  We watched Season 9 episodes, while on vacation.

Please check back soon for more blog posts about our Chincoteague vacation.

Easter Vacation in Virginia – Day 3: The Afternoon Hours

Our friends, Kris and Bob, were supposed to meet us at our hotel at 11:00 am on Saturday, April 4. The four of us planned to walk from the hotel to the Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant for lunch.  At 10:30 am Kris sent me a text saying that Bob got called into work very early in the morning, and he was still not home. Kris said she would send me a text when they were on their way. At 11:47 am, Bob still hadn’t come home from work (and Kris said it would take them 30 minutes to drive to Virginia Beach), so Bob and I went for a walk on the boardwalk to the King Neptune statue. It wasn’t a long walk.  Our hotel was located at 29th Street, and King Neptune was located at 31st Street.

Approaching the King Neptune statue

King Neptune is a 34-foot, cast bronze statue.
The statue was created by Virginia-based sculptor, Paul DiPasquale.

.

We returned to the hotel by way of the beach.

We saw the horses up close and personal. The horses wear poop bags. We had wondered who cleaned up the horses’ poop, as we observed them walking the beach from our hotel room balcony.

We live near an Amish community.  Bob said that the Amish in Sugar Grove, PA should be required to place poop bags on their horses!

 I really enjoyed seeing the horses on the beach!

 

At 1:25 pm Kris sent a text saying that Bob would not be leaving the office until 5:00 pm. Before coming home he had to drive to the UPS hub in Norfolk to get parts on a flight to the UK. The four of us would not be getting together after all. We were very disappointed, as we were looking forward to seeing Kris and Bob. Kris and Bob moved from Pennsylvania to Virginia 6+ years ago, and we haven’t seen each other since their move.

Bob and I ate lunch at the Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant, the restaurant at which we had planned to eat lunch with Bob and Kris.

Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant

The atmosphere at Abbey Road Pub was casual and cozy.  Service was a little slow.  Our lunches, though, were good. I ordered a Chef Salad, and Bob ordered Crab Cakes.

We returned to our hotel after lunch, spending more time on the balcony of our 8th floor hotel room.

I was setting up the camera to capture a self-portrait of Bob and me.  The photograph shown above was a test shot.  I just happened to take the picture just as a seagull passed by.

Bob and I on our balcony

I was supposed to be reading, while sitting on the balcony.  I didn’t get much reading done.  The seagulls kept pulling my attention away from the book that I was reading!

I will wrap up Day 3 of our Easter vacation in my next blog post.

 

An Unplanned Daycation

When I awakened the morning of Wednesday, October 1, I discovered that Bob had taken the day off work. Bob said that he didn’t feel like going into work, so he called his boss and asked would it would be okay if he took a vacation day.  I decided, also, to take off work (editing wedding pictures) so that I could spend the day with Bob. We went for a ride on the motorcycle.

Our first stop was for gas at Kwik Fill. Our second stop was at Tractor Supply, where Bob returned an item that he had purchased yesterday. Our third stop was at Wegmans in Jamestown, NY. While Bob was inside the store buying a couple bags of bean coffee, I was outside taking pictures of the pumpkins on display.

Pumpkins at Wegman’s

Pumpkins at Wegman’s

Pumpkins at Wegman’s

Our fourth stop was at Van Tuil Photo & Imaging in Erie PA, where I purchased a camera bag. I have purchased so many camera bags over the years.  I can’t seem to find that one perfect bag.  I hope that this new camera bag serves its purpose well for some time to come!

From Van Tuil’s we rode to Presque Isle State Park.

We ate a picnic lunch at the lagoon picnic area.

Lagoon

We have visited Presque Isle State Park numerous times in the 16 years that Bob and I have been married.  There are still many places that we have not explored on the peninsula.  The lagoon picnic area was one such place.  What a lovely spot for a picnic!

Lagoon Goose

After lunch, we rode rest of the way around Presque Isle State Park. We then began our way back home.

We made three  stops on our way back home. Our first stop was while en route Findley Lake, NY.

We pulled off the side of the road so that I could take a picture of this pastoral scene.

In Findley Lake, after a refreshing glass of iced coffee and a cookie for Bob and a glass of iced tea and a muffin for me, we took a very short walk along the main street.

Swartz Mill

At one time a horizontal water wheel furnished power for both a saw mill and a grist mill at this site.  This vertical waterwheel has been constructed near the site of the original. I believe the only purpose of the present waterwheel is that of a tourist attraction.

Findley Lake

Our last stop before returning home was at Chautauqua Institution, where we admired the color Autumn foliage across Chautauqua Lake.

Looking across Chautauqua Lake from Chautauqua Institution

It was a wonderful unplanned daycation for Bob and me.  Before too long we will be putting the motorcycle away for the Winter.  I am happy that we were able to take advantage of this beautiful day by sharing an activity that we both enjoy!

Horse Show

On Sunday, June 1, Bob and I attended the Grand Valley 12 and Younger Horse Show at the Grand Valley Show Ring located on Goodwill Hill Road in Grand Valley, Pennsylvania. A friend asked that I photograph her 5-year-old daughter and her 10-year-old friend, as they participated in the horse show.

Our friend’s 5-year-old daughter and friend

This was the first time either Bob or I attended a horse show. We saw horses of many sizes, colors and temperament. The boys and girls showed a wide berth of skill, some brand new to horse showing and others who have been showing for years.   We watched several classes of competition to include Grooming & Showmanship, Walk-Trot, Lead In, Egg & Spoon, Costume and Barrels.

Below is a slideshow that displays all photographs that I took during the Horse Show.

The Frog and PenguINN

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Bicycling the beauty around us

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Forester (Farster) Ancestry

The Ancestry of My Grandpap Roy Wilson "Pete" Forester (1915-1989)

The World according to Dina

Notes on Seeing, Reading & Writing, Living & Loving in The North

Skid and Sandy On The Road

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vivacioushoopster

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Brown About

The Motorhome Adventures of Joan and Stephen

My Mommy's Place

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Viewing nature with Eileen

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Deep Thoughts

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Rambling On

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Talk and Chatter

Reviews, talk, and fun

Senior Moments

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Pics & Pieces

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PHOTOJOURNAL OF CORKER2

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Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer

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MY QUALITY TIME

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Linda's Peaceful Place

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Life's Funny Like That

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JOYFUL REFLECTIONS

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I'll give you a piece of my mind

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Hospitality Lane

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