Our friends are keen bird watchers and expressed a desire to go to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.
The pink area is the town and the grey area is the refuge.
We are staying in a motel by the water and this is the view from the balcony. There were a few spots of rain so no bright blue skies.
The Welcome Center at the refuge. We used my National Parks Seniors Pass to get in free. It only cost $10 and is good for life. The woman guide inside was very helpful showing us where to go and what to see using their free map.
We drove around the refuge stopping occasionally to take photos.
Probably an Egret.
A Canada Goose.
Unlike most areas by the east coast in the US which are treeless, this area was covered with pine trees.
Something had obviously gnawed away at the trunk of this tree.
Plenty of pine cones.
Since this area is right by the coast, it gets very strong winds during passing hurricanes. There were many fallen trees. The ground is mostly sandy and the pine trees seem to have shallow root structures.
There is a light house but it is on the inland side of the island, not out by the ocean waves.
Pine leaves. Since the green of spring has not arrived, these were a welcome sight.
A clearing covered with pine needles.
This area has a special fox squirrel. I don't know if this is one of them, but there were a few of them around.
Eventually we got to the beach. With the cold biting wind coming off the water in the late afternoon, I can't say it was particularly inviting.
The water looked chundrous.
Our friend Kathryn with Marianne.
Chincoteague is famous for its ponies. We did not see any and we were wondering if we would miss out but finally one appeared.
Even on a miserable looking late afternoon, it still is magical looking out over the water.
As we were leaving, this woman was leading the pony away to somewhere. It did not seem to be bothered by our car.
Back at the motel as the sun was setting. At this time of year, the island has very few people so it was a great experience to visit the refuge. I'm not too sure about coming here in the summer however.