No Ponies & My Winter Guest

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This past Saturday was the first day I have had off from both jobs since mid October. I made plans with a good friend to meet and we headed to Assateague Island. For December 15 it was sunny and fairly warm. It is about an hour and a half drive from my home. It was a lovely drive. My friend and I chatted, caught up on things, laughed, joked, discussed and just enjoyed hanging out. My friend remarked how long it was taking to get to the ocean and I said it seems longer as last time we went in the fog. We stopped at Assateague’s visitor center and enjoyed looking in the aquariums they had set up of life in the surrounding bays and in the ocean. We both loved watching the seahorse move around. It was mesmerizing. We then headed back to the car to cross the bridge to the island. In the parking lot someone had a life-size Santa sitting in the front passenger seat of their car. It was a bit odd. As we crossed the bridge and headed onto the island I was surprised at the speed some cars were traveling on the roads. The island and surrounding communities are quite empty this time of year which is why I love going now but some people were driving about the island as if they were late for an important meeting. It is a lovely peaceful bit of nature with hardly any cars around. Scrub grass, marsh grass, sand dunes and the ocean are all around and these people were missing it. My friend and I drove all over the paved road of the island as we did not have a beach pass nor a vehicle suited for beach driving. We settled on parking in the state park portion of the park. We got out and headed towards the sound of the ocean. As we passed by a rangers station we were surprised to see a sign of what to do if we found ammunition, grenades, cannonballs or the such. Every so often you hear of them finding unexploded ordinance on the beaches down here. Thankfully we did not find any. We headed up the dunes and arrived on the other side where I had hoped to see the wild horses of Assateague but instead found about thirty miles of empty beach. It was breathtaking after I got over my disappointment of not seeing the horses. I had never been on that much of empty land before except once in the Midwest when I stood on the edge of a corn field and could see Chicago seventy miles away with nothing in between. This was amazing to the left and right empty beach for miles and right in front ocean with no land until Europe. My friend said he felt small standing next to the ocean. I started walking towards the waterline and picking up shells. The shells are different here than where I grew up in New England. I picked up some neat clam and oyster shells. My friend said he had never walked the beach and just picked up shells. To me it was as natural as breathing. I have been doing it since I was about three. Sand dollars, rocks and razor clams in New England, clam, oyster shells and other shells down here. My favorite thing to see besides the miles of beach and ocean was a piping plover chasing the waves eating it’s dinner.

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It was a beautiful time on the island even though I wasn’t able to see any ponies. I was filled with awe and connection with nature and the universe. I am so glad I made time to go down there with my friend.

As Monty Python would say “and now for something completely different” Abby is back to live with me for the winter. My mom and step dad dropped her off today as they head to their winter home tomorrow. Abby is acting as if she never left me eight months ago. I have to admit I did miss her and it was nice to come home to someone tonight. Boy did she meow at me for fifteen minutes after I got home from work.

Hope you can still find wonders and marvels in your life-be it with family, friends, strangers, pets, animals, nature or just being..it is my wish for you.

Happy Wednesday!

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jan
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 14:35:27

    Hi Becca – To use an overused term, your posts are a breath of fresh air! I share your appreciation for nature, for wild things like wild ponies, wild plants, for open spaces, for the stars, planets and meteor-watching. I too take care of friends’ animals when they go away and pick up shells and stones on the beach – can’t help myself. I watch birds and deer outside my window and feel the soothing aura that animals and trees give us. Thanks for caring enough to write. – Jan

    Reply

  2. Kim
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 14:39:55

    Loved this post — thank you. We had a vacation home near Rehoboth Beach and I used to love to go down to Assateague in the off season. The wild ponies are such a beautiful sight, as is the entire island. Cheers and Merry Christmas!

    Reply

  3. Penni
    Dec 19, 2012 @ 19:10:10

    Even though I have a house full of seashells, same as you, walking along the beach and collecting more is just something I have to do! Thanks for making me smile over that thought! I do miss the ocean! When we are back East next year, it is a priority to at least just see the ocean! We will be driving from Virginia to Pennsylvania and are plotting the trip to bring us close to the ocean too! I would love to see those horses. I’ve seen wild horses in Arizona, just a glimpse, but have never forgotten it!
    Enjoy your day too!

    Reply

    • becca's event horizon
      Dec 22, 2012 @ 18:26:34

      That sounds like some trip you are planning next year. When I visited my Mom in Arizona I looked for the wild horses but did not see them. I did enjoy all the birds though. I love seeing the ponies on Assateague but I only see them about a quarter of my visits which makes seeing them special for me. Right before my friend and I drove across the bridge a bald eagle flew over which was nice to see. I never tire of seeing them. Where I live on the Eastern Shore we have the largest population of bald eagles on the east coast outside of Florida so I see them almost every day but I still stop and watch them. Hope you have a great holiday and happy new year. Always good to hear from you.

      Reply

      • Penni
        Dec 23, 2012 @ 03:50:35

        Thanks, Becca! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!
        Love seeing those eagles too, have only seen one this winter so far, but have seen our great horned owl a few times and a coyote in a field by our house! Keep watching!

  4. Cheryl Ingraham
    Dec 21, 2012 @ 20:59:12

    Hi, Becca! Yes, seahorses are mighty interesting creatures. I love how they use their tails like we would an arm. I, too, am heartbroken about the tragedy in Connecticut. So very hard to understand why things like that happen. We finally got some nice cold weather down here along the Gulf Coast. We were having high 70s and now have nice cool 50-degree days with nights getting down into the 30s. Both my mixed terrier angels are so frisky with the cool temps. Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Keep up the lovely photos — they sure add a bright note to my days and are so artistic!

    Cheryl
    Pearl River, Louisiana

    Reply

  5. jane mcmillen
    Dec 22, 2012 @ 01:52:25

    I had never heard of Assateague and was fascinated. I told my daughter about seeing it on your blog and it turns out she has been planning a trip there with friends! Merry Christmas to you and a Happy and Healthy 2013! love, jane

    Reply

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