Posted by: reptilesalive | May 29, 2006

Pony Island Trip

The Reptiles Alive crew was invited to spend a few days at Assateague Island by park ranger friends. This is where the famous wild ponies wander the beaches. I was excited to try surf fishing for the first time. Caroline was up for some grilling and kicking back on the sand.

http://www.nps.gov/asis/

We lucked out on this trip right off the bat. Assateague is notorious for its blood sucking mosquitos in the summer. Our entire weekend turned out to be just breezy enough to keep the little vampires off of us. After introducing us to all of the nice people at the campsite, I wanted to hit the surf.

Our gracious hosts

Like my bathing suit? My good swimsuit ended up in the dryer, so I made due with shorts and a tank top. The water was freezing cold, but I thought it felt great. It had been a long time since I got to swim in the ocean. I just love those waves.

yeah surf fishing

Next, was to find out what sort of creatures swam around in those waves. We were staying on the national seashore instead of the park, so it was ok to go fishing. There was even a perfect little bait shop for all of your camping and fishing needs right on the other side of the bridge before driving on to the island. There we picked up poles that could hold up to the surf, blood worms, and fake blood worm stuff. I found out that I really liked the fake blood worms. They were little strips not unlike thin bubble gum. They did not wiggle, slime, or bleed. I believe that they did just fine. Caroline told me that we needed to get some small fish to catch some big stuff. Well, what do you know? The bait shop was equipped with a freezer full of them!

Check out the awesome creatures we caught and released!

That is Caroline holding what I believe is a dogfish.

That nifty looking thing on the right is a ray or skate. Go ray! Both of them went right back in to the ocean and swam away. We had hotdogs for the eating.

The weather was fantastic on the first day. We even got to build a nice campfire that night and drink some hot cocoa. (one of my all time favorite things for camping)

I slept so well that night in my nice cozy tent, that I was up before dawn, fishing of course! Check out this unbelievable sunrise!

beach sunrise

I caught several dogfish and released them before anyone was awake.

We had a wonderful breakfast. Then to some serious relaxing on the beach, followed by the most important part of a Reptiles Alive vacation. That is, looking for herps.

We walked along the gorgeous secondary dune trail and ran into a little bumpy slimer! I love the bumps on this guy. Nice color!

toadThat toad took a mighty fine picture. We had a wonderful hike along the dune trail before heading back to the car and back home.

Look at the lovely scenery along this trail!

second dunes

On our way out, I finally had my camera ready for a shot at the resident feral ponies. See you soon guys, we had a great time!

ponies

_jennifer

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