Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Chincoteague Ponies

We spent the latter part of last week staying on Chincoteague Island, Virginia and, most days, traveling over to Assateague to see the various wildlife on the reserve. The big tourist lure to the area is supposed to be the wild ponies that live on Assateague. The first day we were in the area, we did a walk that included an observation deck where if you’re lucky (we were, but folks who got there 5 minutes before us or after us wouldn’t have been) you can watch some of the 150 ponies grazing the dune and marsh grasses. The second day we did the hour and a half tour that the Reserve offers and, while I thoroughly enjoyed it for other reasons, the highlight for most of the other dozen people with us was seeing the ponies. We then went past them two or three more times on our way to and from the beach. Maybe it would be different if I’d read Misty as a child, but to me the whole Chincoteague pony thing seems like a real crock. These days they’re owned by the Chincoteague firefighters, are treated by vets regularly, and even have microchips implanted under their skin so that it’s easy to keep track of them. That’s sure not my idea of wild ponies.

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