Wild Ponies on Assateauge Island

assateauge island wild ponies
On our way into the park, the ponies were spotted off in the distance.

Spent a chilly weekend in Virginia. I think I’m bitter because yesterday and today was perfect beach weather, but the temperatures were much colder on Friday and Saturday while we were on our trip.

assateauge island wild ponies
By the time we left, the herd had moved a little closer to the road.

We did, however, go to the beach on Assateauge Island on Saturday with hopes of flying kites and seeing the wild ponies. Neither disappointed on that windy and pony-friendly day.

assateauge island wild ponies
The ponies grazing on a late afternoon snack.

We also saw the ponies during last year’s trip to the island. And, sadly, like last year, I didn’t find any blue crabs for dinner. This time, we were told that it’s a little too early in the season, but that they are expecting a good harvest. That’s better news than that of last year’s shortage. I’m hoping for a good half dozen next time we visit!

kite shaped like a bee
The bee kite was having a great time!

U is for Underwater Buddy

blue crayfish in pet store fish tank
Hey, little buddy!

Back at the pet store, I saw a few blue crayfish. There were no white ones this time, like I saw on my first trip. (I realized that I used the title Colorful Ocean Creatures and that crayfish are actually freshwater critters.)

It got me thinking about blue crabs and how delicious they are. I hope there isn’t another shortage like I discovered last year, and that crab cannibalism is being kept to a minimum in the Chesapeake Bay. I can’t believe it’s been more than a year since I’ve gotten my crab fix. I hope to fix that this summer.

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I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the month of April. The idea is to post every day, except Sundays, and end up with one post for each letter of the alphabet. It’s a good challenge to help me to blog every day.

Photo101: Motion

blue crab in aquarium
Well Hi there! Let me introduce you to your new friends corn on the cob and red potatoes. I bet you’ll get along swimmingly.

This blue crab at the Liberty Science Center began waving its arms and legs frantically when I walked up to the glass. I think it could tell that I was imagining about how tasty it would be steamed with a little Old Bay seasoning.

There was a shortage of blue crabs last year (in part due to them cannibalizing each other), so I’m hoping for the best for this season! If I get desperate, I know where to find at least one 😛

This was for the Photo101 assignment called Moment and Motion.

Assateague Island photos, cannibalistic crab stories

I visited Assateague Island, Virginia, yesterday afternoon. Thick clouds moved across the sky to create some interesting lighting effects.

The evening sky leaving Assateague Island
The evening sky leaving Assateague Island

I saw a few of the island’s wild ponies, but far off from the road. They were running and possibly playing. I only caught a glimpse, and not with my camera.

Picked up some scallops and hush puppies for dinner. The staff at the crab house had to constantly turn people away who were looking for blue crabs. This is the second consecutive bad year for the crab harvest. “No one on the island has blue crabs,” they said, “and it’s going to be this way all summer.” Prices have gone up almost 200% per bushel, according to the waitress.

Last year’s harvest was considered the worst in decades, but that comes after a record high year in 2012, says this article from Southern Maryland Online.

Increased water temperatures and high rates of cannibalism are said to be factors in last year’s low numbers. Cannibalism? Yes, apparently blue crabs don’t have any hang ups about that sort of thing. Even they know how delicious they are!

No ponies but a nice view on Assateague Island
No ponies, but a nice view on Assateague Island

It’s disappointing news (but kind of fascinating about the cannibalism). The beach season is basically getting started this weekend, and to know that there won’t be any blue crabs (or any that I can afford, probably) this year is a bummer. And to think the crabs are eating each other out there. Hey, save some for me! 

Apparently there's a lot of cannibalism happening out there.
Apparently there’s a lot of cannibalism happening in those waters.