The gist of Christie's reply:
"It takes a bunch of New Yorkers, drops them at the Jersey shore and tries to make America feel like this is New Jersey."
I promise this is horse-related.
But Christie's right. The New Jersey shore is beautiful. Even Seaside Heights. Like most beaches on the East Coast, it is on a barrier island. Barrier islands are long, flat strips of land lying just off the coast - their openness and general lack of trees or hills makes for an unlimited landscape that meets the endless vista of the ocean and act as a respite from the urban Northeast corridor.
Barrier islands occur naturally, though the exact process seesm to be debated among geologists, and they help protect the mainland from the current and the weather. Although most are very close to
Which creates the phenomenon of the barrier island horses. Chincoteague, whose Pony Penning Day is this week, is the most famous, but there are herds of feral ponies and horses on barrier islands from
As with the mustang herds out west, barrier island horses have often run afoul of the government agencies charged with overseeing the public lands they typically inhabit. The National Park Service's priority is with the wildlife and the fairly fragile ecosystem of these islands, and argue that the well-being of the feral horses can come at the expense of both. Proponents for the horses say they can co-exist. The annual roundup at Chincoteague and Assateague are now a way to curb the population, as well as raise money.
And further north,
But enough of that. What about books? Well, the first one is obvious.
Marguerite Henry wrote four other books about Misty and Chincoteague Ponies: Sea Star, Orphan Of Chincoteague (1949); Stormy, Misty's Foal (1963), A Pictorial Life Story Of Misty (1976), and Misty's Twilight (1992).
Other books about that most famous of herds are:Hundred
Hundred Acre Welcome, about naturalist Rood's adventures bringing a Chincoteague pony home to his Vermont farm, is due to be reprinted this summer from Blue Mustang Press, which also publishes Kendy Allen's The Ponies Of Chincoteague series: Misty's Heart Of The Storm, Misty's Black Mist And The Christmas Parade, Chincoteague Cowboy, The Story Of A Chincoteague Pony Named Misty III, and Ember's Story: The Misty Miracle Pony.
There are several picture books, including one by a very nice illustrator, Susan Jeffers - My Chincoteague Pony (2008); also Once A Pony Time by Lynne Lockhart (1992).
And a romance novel!
One Of A Kind by Jo Calloway (1983)
The wild herds of the Carolinas
A children's book reviewed here last year, Stephen W. Meader's Wild Pony
Pit Pony by Joyce Barkhouse (1990) and Dixie Dobie: A Sable Island Pony by Margaret S. Johnson and Helen Losing Johnson (1945) both feature
Gateway to the Golden Isles
Chincoteague and AssateagueThe Misty of Chincoteague Foundation