Sunday, April 23, 2017

Assateague Island and Pony Information

I've been receiving a lot of comments and questions regarding my two favorite islands - and about how I can identify the ponies on both the northern, Maryland end of Assatague, and the ponies that are found on the southern, Virginia end of Assateague on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  If you are interested, read on...   If you're not interested, then today's blog is a bust for you (sorry).
   Assateague Island is a long, lean barrier island that (currently) runs from just south of Ocean City, Maryland to the southern tip of Chincoteague Island in Virginia.   Assateague's east side is faced by the Atlantic Ocean, and the west side has multiple named bays and channels, before you reach the southern hook.  Assateague originally was an outlying island, that in the recent past (200 years ago) ran from New Jersey to Virginia.  The ocean currents eat away, and build up, barrier islands.
   The entirety of Assateague  Island is designated a National Seashore.  The Maryland end has camping sites, a State Park, a Visitor's Center, wildlife galore, and an amazing beach.  One can find further information at the following URLs:
  Assateague  Island National Seashore Visitor Services

  Assateague Island National Seashore - United States Park Service

  Assateague Island National Seashore - National Park Foundation

If you are looking for fantastic photography of Assateague - landscapes, seascapes, wildlife, sunrises, or sunsets - or you want specific photos taken, I strongly suggest Beached Paws Photography, located in Berlin Maryland.  You can easily check out the website ( )  or look at the Facebook page....  Beautiful work and marvelous photos of all kinds!
  I also highly recommend Allen Sklar Photos - Allen specializes in commercial wildlife photography, birds, and every aspect of Assateague Island.  His website may be seen at:
   If you want to learn the names and designations (breeding numbers) of the ponies on the Maryland end of Assateague, I highly recommend visiting two different Facebook pages:  The Assateague Island Alliance and Assateague Island Ponies.

  If you are seeking the most up-to-date information regarding the ponies on the southern end of Assateague Island, in Virginia - the ones made famous in the book Misty of Chincoteague - then the best place for information is the website of Darcie and Steve Cole, who own and operate DSC Photography out of Greenbackville, Virginia.  They have multiple photos of each pony - and the groups are separated into stallions, fillies and mares, and herds.  They also start a new album each year of the new babies, listing dam and sire, sex, and when the baby was first seen.  Their website may be viewed at    and they also have a great Facebook page.
(And I have to admit that having worked with horses for more than 50 years, and having spent al of my summers on Chincoteague and Assateague, I can identify most of the ponies quite easily - some by the way they move, some by their conformation....)

I'll post Chincoteague information tomorrow....


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