Sunset Memories From Chincoteague
Photograph - Digitally Enhanced Photograph
Sunset Memories from Chincoteague
[Featured in the following Fine Art America groups: 6/1/2013 Comfortable Art; 6/1/2013 Sunrise and Sunset Seascapes; 6/2/2013 Photography and Textures Make Fine Art; 6/2/2013 3-A-Day Waiting Room Art; 6/2/2013 Photography and Artwork Beauty the USA; 6/4/2013 MOUSE; 6/4/2013 All Landscape and Scenery Photography; 6/6/2013 Landscape that Mesmerized You; 6/8/2013 Note Card Possibilities; 6/12/2013 The Light Painters; 6/29/2013 Your Best Work]
A pair of lovers watch the sun setting from the end of a jetty on the western shore of Chincoteague Island, Virginia.
This small island on the eastern shore of Virginia measures just seven miles long and a mile and a half in width. The local fishing community produces world renowned oysters and clams and has also become reliant on a burgeoning tourist industry, priding itself on its natural charm and offering visitors a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, bird-watching, hiking, cycling... and sunsets to die for! The island also acts as the gateway to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore, providing opportunities to enjoy nature at its best.
Like me, many of you may first have heard of the islands in Marguerite Henry�s wonderful children�s tale �Misty of Chincoteague� which she wrote while staying on the island in 1947. Rather sadly, the book�s romantic association of the legendary �Chincoteague ponies� of Assateague with a shipwrecked Spanish galleon is likely to be just that � a romantic tale with no basis in fact. Historians today believe that the ponies are descended from livestock grazed on Assateague Island to avoid fencing regulations and taxation in the 17th century. However the annual pony swim from Assateague to Chincoteague is factual, and continues to this day as a means of controlling the size of the pony population on the island, and as a fundraiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
�Saltwater cowboys� round up the two herds on the island in July and drive the ponies across the channel at slack tide � when there is no current running � to Chincoteague Carnival grounds for the �pony penning�. The first foal to set hoof on Chincoteague is named either King or Queen Neptune and will be given away at a raffle drawing later that day. All the other foals will be auctioned the following morning. Typically there are between 60 and 75 foals for sale. Of these, approximately 3 to 5 will be designated as �buy back� animals by the Fire Company. Buy backs are auctioned with the rest of the ponies, and often command the highest prices [the record goes to Prince, a palomino pinto born in 2007 who is currently in the southern herd and who sold for $17,500!], but will be returned to the island with the herd to live out their lives and replenish the herds. The winner of such a pony gets to choose the registered name for their pony before it returns, swimming back across the channel the day after the auction. This whole process takes a full week and is a highlight of the tourist industry on Chincoteague.
The original photo has been given a painterly feel using filters from Topaz labs (Clarity and Simplify) and texture layers from Ruth West have been employed to give the picture a more romantic feel.
June 1st, 2013
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