Back in the 90s we spent Easter weekend on Chincoteague Island, home to the wild horses made famous in Marguerite Henry’s “Misty of Chincoteague” books.
There are actually two herds of horses, also known as Assateague horses, living on the island, one herd on the Maryland end of the island and one herd on the Virginia end. Each herd has about 150 horses.
The Maryland herd, or Assateague herd, is owned and managed by the National Park Service and, other than contraceptive and emergency medical treatment the Maryland herd is treated like other wildlife, with no special attention or treatment given to them. They’re one of the last free-ranging feral horse herds in America.
The Virginia, or Chincoteague herd, is owned and managed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. Through a special agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service the herd is allowed to live and graze in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
Each year the Chincoteague fire department holds a roundup and auction of the horses. The auction serves two purposes. First, it controls the size of the herd. Second, it helps finance the fire department’s operations. The auction draws as many as 50,000 people who watch the herd make its annual swim from Assateague across the channel to Chincoteague.
The horses are quite beautiful and seem oblivious to the tourists around them. We saw many of the horses around the island, usually from a distance, but we did have the opportunity to see several of the horses grazing along a bike path. While they may seem harmless, it’s important to remember that they’re wild animals and can easily run over a nearby person.
Here are a couple photos of the horses from our visit to the island.
I love to photograph lighthouses. When we travel, if there is a lighthouse nearby we’ll take a ride to visit the site. Here are a few we’ve visited over the years.
Bodie Island Lighthouse, Outer Banks, NC
The Hattaras Light is probably the most famous Outer Banks lighthouse but I think the Bodie Island Light is much prettier. The light was built in 1872 and stands 156 feet tall. It’s one of the few brick tower lighthouses and has an original first-order Fresnel lens.
Crooked River Lighthouse, Carrabelle, Florida
Also known as the Carrabelle Light, this cast iron skeleton lighthouse was built in 1895 to replace the Dog Island Light, which had been destroyed years before in a hurricane. The light stands 100 feet tall and housed a fourth order Fresnel lens. The light has been decommissioned and the Fresnel lens has been replaced with an acrylic replica.
St. Augustine Light, St. Augustine, Florida
This beautiful brick lighthouse was built in 1874 and stands 165 feet tall. It contains a first-order Fresnel lens. In 1980 The women of the Junior Service League of St. Augustine signed a 99-year lease on the house and grounds and began restoration. Shortly after they began the restoration the League signed a 30 year lease of the actual lighthouse and began restoration. At the end of the 1980s the League had the original Fresnel lens restored.
Colonial Williamsburg is one of our favorite places to visit. It’s an incredibly beautiful and interesting place. We love to stay in one of the taverns of colonial houses. A couple years ago we went to Williamsburg at the end of February and stayed at the Market Square Tavern, just off Market Square. The Market Square Tavern was home to Thomas Jefferson while he studied law with George Wythe. This was the second time we stayed at the tavern and this time we opted for the only room with a fireplace.
We had a light snow the first night but not enough to affect anything. The second night we got about six inches of snow and Williamsburg officially closed due to the winter weather. Despite the closure of all the exhibits we enjoyed the beauty of Williamsburg in the snow. Colonial Williamsburg was great during the closure. We were offered a room upgrade to Williamsburg Inn, which we declined. And that evening an employee stopped in to start the fire in the fireplace. Here’s a couple photos of Williamsburg in the snow.