Written by: Martin James Wood
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Sky: blue sky with very thin layer of stratocumulus clouds
Air: still, warm and humid
Precipitation: none but it rained the night before
Ground: dry, with some left over puddling
Sunshine: bright sunshine
Temperature: 79 degrees
Time out: mid-morning
My wife, my youngest son and myself are spending most of this week on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, off the coast of Virginia. We made this stop-off to fill the time in between some college visits and college basketball prospect camps my son had been invited to attend. I know this is a perfect opportunity for me to explore the natural surroundings and wildlife of the islands as I’ve spent time here in the past and I’ve learned of its natural beauty before,,, and I know well, of what it has to offer.
The temperatures this week are fairly moderate and pleasant for the coast. There had been some short bursts of storms with hard rainfall, but these have been very short and intermittent. It seems with all of the harsh news of the world, with refugees, BREXIT, ISIS, mothers doing horrible things to their children, fathers doing horrible things to their families, mentally unstable people shooting up night clubs and some of the irrational bickering of some government officials, there isn’t a place to find peace… Peace of mind.
But step away, and look into nature. Look deep into it…
It was later than usual this morning when I arose and looked out upon the bay and noted of the higher water level, which I’m sure is a direct result from the rainstorm we had the night before.
“Somehow even when it storms on the island, it seems to be relaxing to look out upon and appreciate the innate environment”, I think to myself as I continue to stare at the still water this morning with my coffee in hand, remembering last night’s storm. The accommodations of the cottage house of Easy Does It Vacations http://www.easydoesitvacations.com/, has allowed us to take in some of the Bay views in comfort during our visit here. The owner, John, has been very accommodating and pleasant to speak with as well.
I head out to Assateague Island National Seashore to take in some of the primitive beauty of the day. A trail leads me out to the marsh, and also runs alongside the ocean. I notice the sulfuric smell from the marsh’s salty air. In the high grass I watch a young rabbit, looking for its mother, I assume. The young rabbit appears frantic as it regards my company; also, he’s not able to locate his mother. A little later on, I can see her further down the trail, fully indulged with grazing, and savoring the grass before her. She seems to be completely unaware of both my presence and the younger rabbit’s panicked state.
Off of the trail, there are quite a lot of fallen trees lying among the tall marsh grasses, which are growing up and around the limbs. I’m sure this makes perfect cover for these rabbits. Dark brackish water lies between these little islands of cover, with high grass and remnants of felled Loblolly. The silky long appearance of the grasses, plush and soft to the eye, is a perfect contrast to the coarse and jagged bark of both the standing and prostrate piney timber that is intertwined and interwoven throughout this sandy coastal forest.
Approaching the tiny and now frantic rabbit, I crouch down, and examine him a little more closely. I lay on my belly and hold the camera out. The little rabbit, which is no bigger than my fist, seems calmer and begins to eat at the grass around him. It isn’t long before mom becomes aware of the photoshoot. I can see her notice the little one’s moving about, and I watch her as she becomes concerned, and then moves quickly toward us.
I move further along the trail. A pair of cardinals touches down beside me, as if spontaneously deciding to stop in for an informal visit. But, as quickly as the spontaneous calling had come, the couple departs, perhaps remembering an engagement of theirs, so it appears…
Soon after I come upon an entrance of where the marsh opens up to a vast expanse of sea green grass stretching almost as far as I can see. How beautiful are the colors of the grasses and the water in between, reflecting the sky. Standing amidst these colors is a perfectly white Great Egret. With my camera in hand, I study the long necked egret as it saunters through the water, in between the tall stems of grass. Eventually she decides to take flight as well, and leaves me staring out at the marsh wanting more, more of this peace…Peace of mind.
Step away, and look into nature. Look deep into it…
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