Chincoteague and Pony Penning Revisited 2-13-2020

Related image

Tomorrow,  I will be visiting Chincoteague Island again. It amazes me how many people don’t know about Chincoteague and it’s ponies.  Then again, not everybody is horse-crazy. Still, it boggles my mind to think there are people who don’t know about the wild ponies, Pony Penning and have never dreamed about buying a pony at the auction.

Chincoteague Island is Barrier Island off the cost of Virginia. It snuggles up with

Image result for chincoteague island map

Assateague Island, shown in green. These islands have long been the home of bands of Chincoteague Ponies, most likely descents of Spanish horses stranded by shipwreaks. These ponies first came to fame in the fictionalized version of a true story, Misty of Chincoteague, written by Marguerite Henry. Subsequent books include, Stormy, Misty’s Foal,  Seastar, Orphan of Chincoteague and Misty’s Twilight.

Two separate herds roam Assateague, separated by a fence on the Virginia/Maryland border, totaling roughly 150 horses. The ponies are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. Every July, the fireman, called ‘Salt Water Cowboys,’ round up both herds and swim the ponies across to Chincoteague. During the annual Fireman’s Carnival, foals are auctioned off to raise money to fund the needs of the Fire Department. Pony Penning began in 1925 and has grown in popularity ever since. People from across the US flock to watch the Ponies swim the channel, then parade down Main street to the fairground on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July.

Foals used to sell for low prices, making owning a Chincoteague Pony the dream of thousands of little girls, and boys, across the country. Compare this with the 2015 sale, where the highest sale price was $25,000, a new record. The average price of a foal last year was $2779, also a new record, and 61 foals were sold. The lowest bid was $500.00. This isn’t some little Podunk auction anymore. The sale not only provides for the needs of the Fire Department, it also ensure the size of the herd remains around the 150 mark.

After the sale, the remaining adults and those foals too young to be separated from their mothers, swim back across the channel for another year of sea grass and sand dunes.

For those of you not besotted by horses, this may seem rather boring.  To those horse-lovers in the world, however, Pony Penning is something of a Holy Grail, at least it has been for me. Many a year, I begged my parents to take me to Pony Penning.  Wise souls they were, they always refused.  Now, I understand nothing good would have come from taking their daughter to the auction and not getting a pony.

During the year, the Ponies live on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  Along with swimming at the beach, hiking trails or going to the top of the Lighthouse constructed in 1833, visitors can learn about the myriad of wildlife that lives on, or migrates through, the islands. The most exciting adventure for horse lovers, however, is searching for that rare glimpse of wild ponies.

Image result for chincoteague island horses

 

 

Image result for misty of chincoteague

All photos are in the public domain.

 

 

 

 

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 8-27-2017

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Yarnspinnerr.

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Tuesday and runs to the following Monday evening.

3. Please credit photo to photographer.

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.

5. Pingback to the challenge post in your story’s post.

 

Chris and Jay leaned on the hotel railing, looking down at the bronze and gold fence and the estate beyond.

“Fancy enough,” Jay remarked, eyes drifting down to the line of what looked like tiny pots. “So what do think those are?”

Chris’ gaze followed Jay’s. His first thought was drums. It was not a serious thought, but his mind tended to see music before anything else. After a moment, he suggested:

“Incense burners?”

“Odd country this,” Jay mused, slight smile on his face.

It was the bands first time in India and the culture differences fascinated them all.

“Can you believe we’re actually here?”

“I always told you we’d be here,” Chris reminded him, breathing in the scent of a foreign land; a land he would come to explore and love in the years to come.

“Yes, Swami.”

They bumped shoulders.

“Life is good,” Chris said.

“Amen,” Jay responded.

And so it was.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Public Transportation

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge

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amtrak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt One Word Challenge – Suitcase

Suitcase

The suitcase lay on the grass, covered with stickers. Paris. Rome. London. Richmond. Bleme. Cairo. Hollywood. Dollywood. Bollywood. Cape Town. Addis Ababa. Canberra. Bendigo. Hobbiton. Gotham. Sunnydale. London Below. Okay, so the last few weren’t real cities, but the stickers were there, I promise.

Something about the battered case fascinated me. I am so not a fan of old-fashion suitcases with broken latches, but I kept drifting back across the yard sale to study it again. Brown with scuffed, torn, corners, it looked like something right out of the Forties. It was held closed by a tattered strap.

“A bit old,” a voice said from beside me. “But that’s a good sturdy design.  Can’t get better.”

I looked over at the man hosting the sale. “Pretty much torn up.”

He shrugged. “True, but it’d clean up nice, I bet. Belonged to my grandfather once upon a time.  He died a few weeks ago. I found this when I was cleaning up the attic.”

“I’m sorry about your Grandfather.  Was this his house?”

The man nodded. “He lived here the last 50 years of his life. Spent most of his time travelling though so he was rarely here.  Not until his health started to fail when he was 85.”

“What’s inside?” I asked, surprising even myself.  I did not need some old suitcase cluttering up my small abode, yet I couldn’t walk away.  Imagined myself putting the old suitcase in my car and taking it home, sitting it in the center of my living room.

The man shrugged.  “Didn’t open it so your guess is as good as mine.”

Something flipped in my stomach. “How much?”

“Two bucks.  No charge for whatever is inside.”

I pulled out two dollars and handed the bills to the man.

“Thanks. Congratulations on your new suitcase.”

As I wrapped my hand around the handle, I felt a tingle in my fingers, warmth spreading up my arm in a rush.  My new suitcase.

Smiling, I headed to my car.

 

Chincoteague and Pony Penning

Related image

Last weekend I visited Chincoteague Island. It amazes me how many people don’t know about Chincoteague and it’s ponies.  Then again, not everybody is horse-crazy. Still, it boggles my mind to think there are people who don’t know about the wild ponies, Pony Penning and have never dreamed about buying a pony at the auction.

Chincoteague Island is Barrier Island off the cost of Virginia. It snuggles up with

Image result for chincoteague island map

Assateague Island, shown in green. These islands have long been the home of bands of Chincoteague Ponies, most likely descents of Spanish horses stranded by shipwreaks. These ponies first came to fame in the fictionalized version of a true story, Misty of Chincoteague, written by Marguerite Henry. Subsequent books include, Stormy, Misty’s Foal,  Seastar, Orphan of Chincoteague and Misty’s Twilight.

 

Two separate herds roam Assateague, separated by a fence on the Virginia/Maryland border, totaling roughly 150 horses. The ponies are owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. Every July, the fireman, called ‘Salt Water Cowboys,’ round up both herds and swim the ponies across to Chincoteague. During the annual Fireman’s Carnival, foals are auctioned off to raise money to fund the needs of the Fire Department. Pony Penning began in 1925 and has grown in popularity ever since. People from across the US flock to watch the Ponies swim the channel, then parade down Main street to the fairground on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July.

Foals used to sell for low prices, making owning a Chincoteague Pony the dream of thousands of little girls, and boys, across the country. Compare this with the 2015 sale, where the highest sale price was $25,000, a new record. The average price of a foal last year was $2779, also a new record, and 61 foals were sold. The lowest bid was $500.00. This isn’t some little Podunk auction anymore. The sale not only provides for the needs of the Fire Department, it also ensure the size of the herd remains around the 150 mark.

After the sale, the remaining adults and those foals too young to be separated from their mothers, swim back across the channel for another year of sea grass and sand dunes.

For those of you not besotted by horses, this may seem rather boring.  To those horse-lovers in the world, however, Pony Penning is something of a Holy Grail, at least it has been for me. Many a year, I begged my parents to take me to Pony Penning.  Wise souls they were, they always refused.  Now, I understand nothing good would have come from taking their daughter to the auction and not getting a pony.

During the year, the Ponies live on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  Along with swimming at the beach, hiking trails or going to the top of the Lighthouse constructed in 1833, visitors can learn about the myriad of wildlife that lives on, or migrates through, the islands. The most exciting adventure for horse lovers, however, is searching for that rare glimpse of wild ponies.

Image result for chincoteague island horses

 

 

Image result for misty of chincoteague

All photos are in the public domain.