Ponies, turtles, and birds– OH MY!

Here at the Refuge Inn, our staff will tell you anything you want to know about Chincoteague and Assateague, but we rarely get out to enjoy it ourselves during the summer months. Now that things have quieted down, opportunities abound for us to enjoy our islands.
Tuesday, November 4th, was a particularly gorgeous day. With a predicted high of 72, a very light breeze, and not a cloud in the sky, we set off on the Wildlife Loop, camera in hand.

Cormorants gather at CNWR.

Cormorants gather at CNWR.

Loblolly Pines in the fall

Loblolly Pines in the fall

We saw several of these little guys crossing the road.

We saw several of these little guys crossing the road.

This 6" praying mantis was just hanging out in the middle of the path.  He eagerly climbed onto a stick and posed for a photo.

This 6″ praying mantis was just hanging out in the middle of the path. He eagerly climbed onto a stick and posed for a photo.

Obligatory shot of the ponies, for all the folks who weren't able to see them during their visit.  We saw 7 of them!

Obligatory shot of the ponies, for all the folks who weren’t able to see them during their visit. We saw 7 of them!

From afar, these mushrooms growing on a fallen tree looked just like dinosaur eggs!

From afar, these mushrooms growing on a fallen tree looked just like dinosaur eggs!

This huge GB Heron landed right next to us and started looking for prey.

This huge GB Heron landed right next to us and started looking for prey.

Big flock of ducks took off in front of us.  Resident waterfowl expert, 12-year-old Ayden, identified 3 greenwing teal, blackducks, and mallards.

Big flock of ducks took off in front of us. Resident waterfowl expert, 12-year-old Ayden, identified 3 greenwing teal, blackducks, and mallards.

3 Little Ruddy Ducks, swimming straight toward a huge snapping turtle!

3 Little Ruddy Ducks, swimming straight toward a huge snapping turtle!

This shell was more than 7" across.  Huge!

This shell was more than 7″ across. Huge!

This little sand crab was super hard to photograph! He was fast-moving and had perfect camouflage.

This little sand crab was super hard to photograph! He was fast-moving and had perfect camouflage.

This beautiful chunk of driftwood must've washed up in the recent Nor'Easter.  It's gorgeous!

This beautiful chunk of driftwood must’ve washed up in the recent Nor’Easter. It’s gorgeous!

A cute little scallop shell was washed ashore in the recent storm, too.  It was perfectly symmetrical.

A cute little scallop shell was washed ashore in the recent storm, too. It was perfectly symmetrical.

Here's a bonus shot of the common Brown-lumped PonyPlop.

Here’s a shot of the common Brown-lumped PonyPlop.