Carolina In My Mind #15216

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The Story

On a beautiful May day just after sunrise at Corolla, North Carolina, these wild horses have come down from the dunes to the morning ocean edge. The overnight fog is lifting in the distance, burning away in the new daylight of dawn. It’s a wet world, and the waves have left thin washes of water in tidal pools lying on the sand to reflect the blue sky.

Like these wild ponies, morning is the time for all creatures to rouse and go, even the local pelicans. They glide by in one long string just above the waves.

One can only imagine how many moons have gone by with this morning scene of wild horses on the beach repeated. They’ve been here a long time; it’s a recurring life cycle through time for these animals. It is thought the wild horses along the East Coast are descended from shipwrecked Spanish horses in the 1500s. They may also be descended from runaway farming horses, or both ways. Who knows? The question of where these “banker ponies” came from will likely never be resolved; it’s a mystery no one has the answer for.

Today, these wild horses are protected by the state of North Carolina and they live inside the Currituck Wildlife Refuge. They are fenced in at both ends of the reserve but the wild ponies can roam freely within, even down the sand streets of Corolla.

Location: the morning ocean edge near Corolla, North Carolina, in the Outer Banks. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks

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