Posted by: gdevi | July 9, 2011

Day 5

Two very nice trips today. One, the Assateague Wild Life Refuge tour. The tour guide was a walking encyclopedia of everything–history, flora, fauna, whatever. She confirmed that we are far enough south that magnolias and perennial hibiscus find this a natural environment for them. Saw many many many birds–ospreys, eagles, cormorants, killdeers, black winged skimmers, snowy egrets, blue herons. Then the northern herd of the Chincoteague ponies–many many wild ponies really close. I will post all the wonderful pictures later. Just a fantastic tour. If you are ever in Assateague, please make reservations for this wild life refuge tour.Thank you Theodore Roosevelt for starting the national parks and the wild life refuges.

Second wonderful trip was with Captain Ray (the business is called Captain Dan’s–Ray is Dan’s dad)  on a boat around the island. About 2.5 hours. Just a perfect evening and as it grew darker we even saw fireworks. Captain Ray knows a lot about these islands as well and is a very funny man! These islands were fishing islands and their main industry was the oysters. Apparently a parasite started infecting all the oysters and in the last twenty years or so, the oyster industry died out. They don’t know the epidemiology of how the parasite infects the oyster so the biologists have not been able to prevent the infection. Apparently, if you put the parasite and the oyster together in a tank, the oyster won’t get infected, but if they are in the sea, they do. Strange, isn’t it?

At the inn we met some very nice people today: a mother and a daughter from DC–the mother works for the World Bank and we discovered all kinds of unexpected Malawi-New Zealand-Kerala connections; a wonderful elderly couple from DC–the husband is a retired Math professor and the wife is a retired librarian–just the most wonderful people–we talked for a long long time. Years ago they had actually been to Lock Haven, it turns out and knew some folks in the Math department. The man is originally from Montana and he was telling us interesting stories about the river and the oil spill now, and generally about life in Montana.  Another young couple from Brooklyn with a five-month old baby; I got to hold the baby–D. is so big now!

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