I recently had the opportunity to road trip along the Mid-Atlantic coast of the U.S. in the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. The highlight was a visit to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, on Assateague Island, which has stunning beaches, wildlife trails, and the famouswild Chincoteague ponies. These ponies and the annual Pony Penning Day are the subject of Marguerite Henry’s 1947 children’s book Misty of Chincoteague, which was made into the 1961 family film Misty, filmed on location. Legend has it that the feral ponies on Assateague are descendants of survivors of a Spanish galleon that sank on its way to Spain during a storm in 1750 off the east coast, but the likelihood is that they are actually descended from domesticated stock, brought to the island by Eastern Shore farmers in the 17th century to avoid fencing requirements and taxation.[
The area is stunningly beautiful, but the threats from the climate crisis and sea level rise are always present. I recently stumbled upon the haunting video below titled The Ballad of Holland Island House. The captivating animation chronicles the tragedy tell the true story of the last house standing on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay, the northern part of which is within Maryland, the southern portion within Virginia. Animator Lynn Tomlinson uses an intriguing animation technique using just a thin layer of oil-based clay.
The music is by Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle – a perfect companion to the animation which produces a soulful and haunting view of the impact of sea-level rise. The words are told from the perspective of the house.