Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ponies visiting the neighbors

Ponies visiting the campsite next door on Sunday morning

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Boardwalk fun

Hours of fun ahead in the arcade. Or at least until the quarters run out. :-)

Ponies leaving camp

Pony Herders Patrol

We have the Cat Herders Patrol, and now...

Ponies in camp

Ponies checking out the Killer Bunnies' dinner. :-)

Ponies arrive for dinner

Five ponies coming to join us for dinner :-)

Assateague Ocean Swim

Instead of hiking after lunch the Scouts decided to go swimming. They have a swimming beach with life guards.

The Old Red Oak

All of the plants an animals have adapted to life on the island.

Instead of growing tall, the oaks stay short to avoid the heavy salt winds and spread out.

Our Scouts adapted to the tree on the trail for the pic. :-)

Hiking the Life of the Dunes Trail

T61 Scouts on an observation platform on one of the Nature Trails.

Assateague Visitor Center

In the morning we checked out the Visitor Center back on the mainland. Very nice place with all the prerequisite info stations. We watched a 20 minute movie about the Island and the wildlife. Mostly about the ponies.

There are two herds. In VA the Chincateague Volunteer Fire Dept owns the herd and they have the famous pony swim every year when they herd the horses off the island and sell the foals as a fundraiser. They also provide some care for them throughout the year.

In MD the herd is completely wild and therefore very different. The Park Service maintains the herd size by vaccinating the mares to prevent all but one pregnancy per mare.

Very interesting how different the two herds are.

More Ponies

Assateague Ponies

The ponies are all over the place when you're driving around. We learned that they live in groups called Harem Herds of 5-6 horses - one stallion, his mares and their offspring.

Assateague Wildlife

The ponies are the big attraction (obviously) but there is plenty of other wildlife here.

When we were setting up camp we had a deer hanging around. Not like a jersey deer, small Pygmy deer.