When I lived in Virginia, I spent many weekends in Maryland, which despite the urban sprawl of the east coast metro area still has a lot of wild areas.   The Maryland - Natural History photo gallery has several photographs of bird species photographed in Maryland as well as photos from the Ward Museum of Wildlife Art.  The Maryland, USA has a number of photographs taken in the state, including many from the C & O Canal.

Two occasions are especially memorable, although the details have been lost as various synapses have decayed.  In general, the story goes like this.  We took a trip to Assateague Island for an overnight camping trip on a winter’s weekend sometime around 1977.  The Island is divided at the state boundary.  To the south, in Virginia, is Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  To the north, in Maryland, is Assateague Island National Seashore where we could camp.  Both parts of the island have wild horses.  My daughter Erica had just started school and we were reading the “Misty of Chincoteague” series of books to her.  She was fascinated.  The idea that we would go to the place that Misty lived and camp - and see wild horses from Misty’s herd was just about more than a young lass could bear.  We hiked down the beach a couple of miles, sticking to the compact sand just below the high tide boundary.  Eventually we found a place just inside the dunes at the edge of the ocean and pitched our tent.  Sure enough, horses are curious and a young girl went away with wonderful memories - so did I.  When we awoke in the morning my wife noted that the tent seemed to have collapsed on us - the fog and sea mist had frozen solidly on the tent, it was much heavier to carry out than it had been to carry in.

On another trip we visited the Calvert Cliffs where we watched the annual mating of thousands of horseshoe crabs.  Incredible creatures in a wonderful setting.  But like most of nature, greatly diminished by human activity.

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