Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Chincoteague: One Fun Picture-Taking Day

On our full day in Chincoteague, we went to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge (CNWR) on Assateague Island. The Assateague stretches from Maryland to Virginia; the CNWR, located on the VA side of Assateague, was established in 1943 to provide habitat and protection for migrating birds. There are 6 trails in the Refuge and we walked 5 of them on one day (and the last one on the next). In total, we probably walked a little bit less than 10 miles and it took us 4 hours to do so, including breaks and pictures. The weather that day was breezy, perfect for walking, although our hair got pretty messy.

All pictures taken using our super zoom lens.

We started at the Wildlife trail (3¼ mile loop). Wildlife trail surrounds the Snow Goose Pool and we saw many exotic birds.

The Woodland trail (1½ mile loop) is where we saw ponies! Along with some pretty butterflies and cute squirrels. Oh, and the blood-sucking mosquitoes.

Walking into the deep dark forest...

Luke got a great shot of this cute squirrel.

But this one is cuter! All the squirrels we saw at the Refuge were fatter and bigger. The ones we normally see back home don't live as long I guess.

The butterfly is almost the same color as the leaves, but look closer and you will see it. This is one of my favorites from the day.

Then Luke stopped to take some macro shots and I took an artistic shot of that. :) Soon, we realized that the Woodland trail is swarmed with mosquitoes so we picked up our pace. Despite that we were sprayed with bug repellent, some mosquitoes poked through Luke's shirt and he got bitten a couple of times. Poor babes!

The CNWR has signs everywhere! It is impossible to get lost.

The ponies were quite far away, but with our lens, we were able to get some decent pictures. These ponies are actually owned by the Chincoteague Fire Department. Only the ponies on the MD side are wild.

Can you see the 2 little ponies? They were cute, chasing each other.

The Black Duck Marsh trail (1 mile) is fairly short, but here is actually where we found our souvenir to take home. I noticed pine cones all around us and randomly picked one up. Now it is sitting at home, along with other souvenirs we collected from our trips (a volcanic rock from Big Island, a green seashell from Margarita Island, a small jar of honey from the Paris hotel breakfast buffet, etc).

Our beautiful rings! It was my idea to take this shot.

I was looking at the birdhouse when Luke called my name.

We also saw some wildlife on this particular trail.

Taking a break from our walk!

The Swan Cove trail (1¼ mile) leads to the beach, to the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean was gray and the sky matched it. It was windy, definitely not beach weather.

Writing in the sand, as usual. Those are my footsteps.

Luke brought over a horseshoe crab.

And ta-day! Another photo opportunity.

A view of the beach.

We sat for a while to take in the atmosphere. While we were there, we only saw a handful of people.

On the way back, Luke saw a moving object ahead and wondered if it was a leaf blowing in the wind. When we got closer, we found it was a turtle, trying to find its way back to the marsh. Before letting him do that, Luke picked him up (after some struggling from the turtle) and I took a picture (the very first picture of the post). After Luke put him back down, the turtle ended up heading the wrong way so Luke picked him up again and helped him safely to the water. :)

On the Freshwater Marsh trail (1 mile loop) is where I took the funniest picture of Luke, but he won’t let me post it. In his own words, he said he looked like he had ran away from a hospital and someone had just found him in the swamps. So I am not going to share that particular picture, but here is a nice one that he took.

After roughly 4 hours of walking and picture taking, we drove to another location of the beach to dip our toes in the water. At that beach, we saw more people playing in the sand, but none were in the water because the water was pretty cold.

The CNWR is a beautiful place to just walk around. We enjoyed ourselves and excited about getting some good shots. We left the Refuge shortly after, went to get some food (highly recommend Great Wall 2 on Maddox), and took a LONG nap. We were beat!

Up next: more on Chincoteague Island,
tips and advice for YOUR visit, and our adventurous bike ride!

2 comments:

  1. I like water, so the beach part was my favorite, mainly the Swan Cove one where there is almost zero ppl. Even though we didn't swim or anything, I just like staring out over the vast ocean. Plus it was cool seeing the sand blow while Joyce walked and did her little message in the sand thing. The rest of the trails were pretty good too save for the Woodland one. That place was like a mosquito convention.

    Definitely lots of birds and turtles around. We saw a snake too but Joyce thinks they're yucky, so he didn't make the cut for her blog. But it's funny though, even with our bigger lens, we found stuff even further away that we wanted to take pictures of. Maybe we'll need to get an uber zoom lens in the future.

    Overall, Assateague was a great little spot to spend a weekend before heading back to the daily grind of work and school.

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  2. Those are really nice pictures! It looks like you two had a wonderful time.

    And your squirrel picture is exceptional! It's at least 2 or 3 levels better than any I've ever taken. So clear you can see each individual hair in it's fur. Very nice!

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