An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

January 20, 2011

Assateague Island in August

Let's leave this interminable cold we have been suffering, for the warm late summer air of Assateague Island. This has always been a special place for me and my family, and we would venture there often. In the summer the beach and swimming are the big draw, even with its chilly waters. We would also go in the winter to marvel at masses of snow geese, swans, brants and other waterfowl. Other than its mosquitoes, Assateague's most famous animals are its wild ponies which are usually very easy to spot, but they must have been camera shy that day, or perhaps it was way too early for them. I biked from Chincoteague Island over to Assateague and took advantage of some of the paved trails, and except for the birds and a few other early risers, I had the island to myself.
Snow Goose Pool

Snow Goose Pool 2

Egret Trees (2)

Conoclinium coelestinum (Hardy Ageratum)
Conoclinium coelestinum

Loblolly Moon

Assateague Lighthouse
Assateague Light

Morning Grass 2

Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia Saltmarsh Mallow)
Kosteletzkya virginica

Morning Grass

Assateague Channel

Assateague Beach (3)

Assateague Beach (7)

The southern half of Assateague is in Virginia and the rest is in Maryland. Fortunately the entire island is protected either federally or by the states and barring major sea level rise, should remain a special place for many years to come.


  1. Les,

    Really nice visit, looks so steamy. Never knew what the Hardy Ageratum was until now thanks. Did you enjoy the heat wave yesterday?

  2. Les, great light during your visit and you did a wonderful of capturing it. I love Assateague too, and need to get back there. I think it was 2008 for my last visit.

  3. How exquisite..every photo. There will be multiple viewings here.

  4. Your pictures are always a delight, Les.

  5. Well, Ive never heard of the place until now..but seemed a lovely place for holidays. Fantastic photo of the clear blue sky and the group of trees at the bottom, and the snow geese congregating at their pool looked so serene..

  6. Great pictures! We spent a weekend there a few years ago. It's always nice to see how other people capture images from the same place:)

  7. Les, Those are magical, wonderful photos. You really capture the atmospherics of a place so beautifully. Warm, mellow, full of life: a welcome tonic in midwinter.

  8. I can't think of something clever or witty to say, these are stunning as always. Great eye.

  9. Oh yay! I have wanted to go since I was a child reading the Stormy and Misty stories. Thank you. These images are beautiful, and I envy your solo time there to enjoy it.

  10. Beautiful series, Les; thanks for taking us along on your adventure. The marsh shots remind me of the Mackay Island Wildlife Refuge and Knott's Island.

  11. So beautiful that I had to go back to the top and go through again. Fond memories of my family's camping trip to the state park on Assateague, ponies and all. Don't tell me they have moved hardy ageratum out of Eupatorium. Have you ever gone to the NJ Plant Show in Edison. Could you leave me a message on Blotanical if you have and let me know if it's worth it since I missed MANTS. Thanks

  12. I love those misty sunrise colors in the first pictures and in the waves. Very, very beautiful.

  13. I read a book about the wild ponies of Assateague and ever since it seems such a magical place-though I've never visited. Lovely lovely photos. So tranquil and peaceful.

  14. Hiya Les,
    Scrumptious images; the water scenes especially. Such camera control ( she said, with a touch of envy :-)

  15. Stunning visuals, you bring out the nobility of the landscape.

  16. Had a nice catch-up reading session on your blog, Les, and wanted you to know how much I enjoyed it all. How you capture photographically these places you love always brings such pleasure -- and wonder, too, that such places really exist and are but a road trip away.

  17. Oh yes, take us to the beach. I love these names. Native American? Each of these pictures is art. How cold could the water possibly be? You do live in the south.

  18. i often look at your posts more than once because i enjoy the photos so much but these are especially well timed -- a really nice escape from winter with these. thanks.

  19. Such lovely images!! I especially like the shot with the moon because of the interesting proportion of blue sky to the landscape below. Too bad you missed seeing the wild ponies.

  20. Wonderful paradisaical location, I love the serene landscapes and nice colors!

  21. All right, 'fess up, Les - did you lift these images from National Geographic? So, so beautiful...

  22. Randy,
    Actually it was not as steamy as it had been, rather nice actually.

    It is a wonderful place.

    View as often as you would like.

    Thank You!

    It is one of the more special parts of our corner of the world.

    Then you know how beautiful it is.

    Tonic makes me automatically think of gin.

    Thank You!

    Yes it is a storied place.

    Simply Thanks!

    Yes there is a definie resemblance to Mackay.

    No I have not been the the show in NJ, so I can't say. Sorry they have if the name has been changed on you.

    I wish it was warm enough to swim now.

    You should visit. It's not too far from Annapolis, DC or Baltimore, but a world away.

    Thank you for the kind comments. It has taken some patience to learn to hold the camera, sounds simple, but not.

    Thank you for your kind comments.

    I really appreciate your comments.

    I am glad you enjoyed the trip, and yes to native American, and yes to being Southern.

    I am glad you could take some time away.

    I like the ponies, but only wanted their photographs for blogging purposes. Thanks for stopping by.

    Thank you for coming by.

    I afraid they are my own shots. Thanks for the compliment.


  23. It is so nice to see these summer images on a cold winter night. I loved the first batch you posted even more but these runner ups are stunning too. Thanks for reminding that summer isn't perfect. No mosquitoes in January!

  24. Assateague island, a magnificent place, and I haven't been there in many, many years. Les, your photos always capture the beauty.

  25. Sarah,
    After what I have been seeing on the news, I'll bet you are glad to catch a glimpse of summer.

    I am glad you have had a chance to see it for yourself.


  26. These landscapes and panoramas are so serene, nice! Great place to spend a nice relaxing day!