Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Full Pony Experience

Our first day out on Assateague, I had a close encounter with a pony in the parking lot. I was getting into the car to pull out my camera because I had seen a group of ponies on the other side of the lot. By the time I made it to the car, the ponies had made their way across the lot and one passed between my barely open car door and the car next to me. He never batted an eye!

Another day, we found traffic brought to a standstill by a pony clopping down the road at a very leisurely pace. A pony jam!

From the campground, we could see ponies grazing in the marshes on the bay side of the island at sunrise.

Now this pony, I felt sure was a pregnant female, because the horse had big, distended, lopsided belly. The pony was communicating deeply with the van, or else it was sleeping, because it held this position for quite a while. Later, we had very obvious confirmation that it was a male horse, so not pregnant! When we were packing up to leave the beach on our last day, we had to hurry, because this horse was slowly working his way down the parking lot, stopping and snoozing in front of each car. We wanted to get in and get going before he got to ours :)

As great as all these daylight run-ins with ponies were, I have no pictures of our hands-down coolest pony experience. We were woken up, in the tent, one night by the most curious set of sounds: chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, THUMP!, chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, THUMP!

In fact, I wear earplugs when I camp, so I was really just catching the THUMP part, by feeling the impact through the ground. I pulled my earplugs out to hear Justin say very softly, "I think there's a pony out there!" Sure enough, we could just barely make out the shadowy outline of a pony right in our campsite. The horse was browsing, hence the chomping, and stomping the ground about every fourth chomp, probably to dislodge attacking bugs, hence the thumping.

The pony worked its way around the campsite, eventually mowing the grass right in front of our tent. It came within 2 feet of the tent door, easily. I was slightly worried that it wouldn't see my flip-flops, which I'd left right outside the tent door, and munch those, too!

Later the pony worked its way further away, and also pushed its way through several large clumps of brush that separated the camp sites. I was also slightly worried that he'd work his way back through the clump of brush at the rear of our tent and stumble right into us in the dark. But no such luck, and pretty soon our night was pony-free, leaving us with awesome memories :)


Moi said...

:) you sure the one communicating with all the cars wasn;t asking you guys to "pony up!!!" :)

your posts neevr fail to make me smile :)

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Very unique images.

Next time you see Mom, get her to tell you about the experience she had with a Pony that seemed to be evil at Assateague. I just remembered her being very uncomfortable about the way one was looking at her ;)

Salty said...

A pregnant stallion! Now that would be a first Amy!!!

BTW I love the shot of the ponies in the marsh.

Mrs. Salty said...

I like the pony at the tent story; they are free to go anywhere!

In August 1990 we were vacationing on Assateague, VA, went to the beach parking lot one morning when a pony came up to me giving me the “evil eye”, when I moved away from him; continued to follow me! For some reason he only walked so far and stopped; much to my relief!