perhaps one of the things the eastern shore of maryland is best known for is its wild horses located on the barrier island of assateague. knowledge of the ponies has entered popular culture mainly though the publication of the book “misty of chincoteague” and the follow up “stormy, misty’s foal”. i’m pretty certain they are required reading for girls between the age of 8 and 12 that are into horses. i’ve not read them, but i recall my sister reading them, and even making a pilgrimage to see misty’s preserved body.
i don’t really care about wild ponies, but i do always enjoy a trip to assateague. since it is a national park, it doesn’t have the built up quality of other beaches in maryland. assateague is where i would spend afternoons all though the summer playing in the surf, crabbing, claming and having a good time.
ma, my sister, and here girlfriend on the other hand were quite excited about ponies, and it was a good day for spotting them. once you have spotted a couple of them the novelty wears off quickly, they are pretty much just horses that stand around and eat, they just happen to be wild.
technically i think these are horses, but after reading a little about horses and ponies, it seems like it’s a pretty grey subject, and really not that important, at least to me. this guy on the left actually tried to stick his head in the car, thanks to my fathers quick reactions we were able to close the door in time and avoid having a pony in the car. seems that regardless of the recommendations of the park service, folks feed and pet the ponies. the ponies do bite and kick and more than a few folks have been hurt by these guys. i find myself rooting for the ponies to take a little nip at these tourists petting the ponies just to teach them a lesson. theses are the same folks that like to feed bears at yellowstone, and that could have much more deadly results.
we walked on the beach for about an hour and a half, collecting shells and chasing sand pipers. it was bright and sunny and magical and amazing, and i wanted the moment to never end. my sister and i pretended to talk on cell phones to each other made out of oyster shells.
after words we went on walks though the marsh, forests and dunes, all of which were short, and only one of which featured eastern europeans eating pringles.
it started to get cold and dark and we headed back home to sit by the fire and eat take out chinese.