Capitol Building, Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg at dusk is a magical place.  This photo was taken a few years ago after a day of snow.  The H-shaped building, one of the first buildings reconstructed during the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg during the 1930s, was home to the House of Burgesses from 1705 until it was destroyed by fire in 1747.  It’s well worth touring the Capitol Building during a visit to Williamsburg.  It’s a beautiful structure and you get a history lesson with the tour.

Capitol

Colonial Williamsburg in the snow

Sometimes karma rolls through and you find yourself in a once in a lifetime experience.  A few years ago, my wife and I spent an extended weekend at Colonial Williamsburg to celebrate our birthdays, which are two days apart.  Colonial Williamsburg is one of our favorite places to visit and we’ve been there several times.

This time, as we slept a winter storm rolled through and covered Williamsburg in a six-inch blanket of snow.  We woke up to a place that had been turned, overnight, into a winter wonderland.  Although everything was closed, we enjoyed wandering around the town, which was virtually abandoned, and enjoying the beauty of the snow.

This photo is one of my favorites from that day.  I love the colors of the buildings and the timelessness of the image.  You can imagine that you’re standing in the town before the invention of automobiles, the discovery of electricity, and they creation of all things electronic.  It was a peaceful day and one that we’ll always remember.

Kodak Camera 284

Cigar Store Indians

Cigar store Indians have an interesting history.  Because many people in the 17th and 18th centuries could neither read nor write, store owners used emblems or totems to advertise their wares.  A great example that still exists today is the striped pole seen outside many barber shops.  Because American Indians introduced tobacco to Europeans, the image of a Native American became the symbol of tobacconists.

Unfortunately, many of the artisans who created the statues had never actually seen a Native American.  The cigar store Indians, for the most part, looked nothing like a Native American.  Many have dark skin and features associated more with people of African or Asian descent.

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, in Williamsburg, Virginia, has a nice collection of these advertising icons.

Cigar Store Indians

Chimneys

As Winter quickly approaches, I want to share this photo I took at Williamsburg, Virginia several years ago.  During our visit a snow storm struck the east coast and left a six-inch blanket of snow covering Williamsburg.  While Colonial Williamsburg and most businesses in the town were closed, we made the best of the situation.  We spent a lot of time wandering through the historic district and taking many photos of a once in a lifetime experience.

I love how the red brick chimneys pop against the otherwise monochromatic scene.  I also love that, because the scene is from the backyards of the historic buildings, the snow is pristine, with footprints or other signs of man.  To me, it’s a peaceful and beautiful scene and provides a different view of a much photographed tourist destination.

Chimneys

Chincoteague Pony

Several years ago Ann Marie and I spent a three day weekend on Chincoteague Island, Virginia.  These days Chincoteague might not be as popular as Hogwarts, but kids have been reading about a pony named Misty of Chincoteague since 1947.  I was one of those kids.

The term “Chincoteague Pony” is actually a bit misleading. The ponies live on Assateague Island, an island in the states of Virginia and Maryland.  There are two herds of ponies, one living on the Maryland side of the island and one living on the Virginia side.

Also, Chincoteague ponies are more horse-like than pony-like.  Legend says that the ponies are descended from Spanish horses that swam ashore from shipwrecked Spanish ships.  The small size is probably due to the poor diet of the animals, which live on plants of the salt marsh covering much of the island.

Horse or pony, the feral equines of Assateague Island are quite beautiful.  Every July, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department holds a Pony Penning Day.  Healthy, older foals are auctioned to raise money for the fire department, and to keep the herds at a healthy level.  Not all the horses purchased during the auction leave the island.  Some bidders donate the money to the fire department and allow the horse to be released back into the herd.

Chincoteague Pony

Floral Arrangement, Louisa, Virginia, May 2018

Beauty can be found anywhere.  This floral arrangement was in our room at the wonderful Whistle Stop bed & breakfast in Louisa, Virginia.

Floral Arrangement

Bicycle, Louisa, Virginia, May 2018

This bicycle was outside a wonderful little bed & breakfast called the Whistle Stop in Louisa, Virginia.  I love the way the colors of the old rusted bike now blend with the greenery growing around and over it.  It’s as if the man made materials are becoming part of Nature.

Bicycle

Chincoteague Ponies

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.

Chincateague Stallion Color Efx Graduated Ektachrome 64p foliage

Grey Horse Chincatigue HDR Realistic