Scientists in the Field
Spiral Notebook
News About Wild Horse Scientists
by Kay Frydenborg
July 25, 2012
 
News About Wild Horse Scientists
Click thumbnail for larger image

Early this summer, here in the Mid-Atlantic, we were in the grip of a sticky, sweltering heat wave. One day, as the afternoon steamed on, the thermometer outside my office window read 96 degrees, but with humid air sitting over everything like a damp sponge, the heat index was well over 100. I had ridden Remy early, but there was no beating the heat, even at 8 a.m. Both of us, I and my wonderful horse, sweated and puffed and were happy to be done by 9. Then he got a cold shower, some sweet hay, and a couple of horse cookies that he enjoyed under his fan which, though it only blew hot air around, at least kept the flies away. I got the air conditioner in my car, cranked up to full blast.

On Assateague Island, Maryland—some 200 miles to the south—I imagine the wild horses made their way to the ocean and stood up to their bellies in the surf during the hottest part of the day. Greenheads and other biting flies would be out on a day like this, along with clouds of mosquitoes, and this is one method these small feral horses have devised over hundreds of years to survive extremes of summer in their unnatural home.

When I first thought of writing about the wild horses of Assateague, it was their vulnerability and toughness that most impressed me. It still is. By the time my book, Wild Horse Scientists, is published on November 6 of this year by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, as part of the acclaimed “Scientists in the Field” series, the Atlantic hurricane season of 2012 will be nearing an end. I hope it will have been kind to humans and other animals alike. Now, when summer storms or winter blizzards hit this part of the world, I always think of the island horses who manage to survive whatever nature throws at them without any of the comforts or protections my pampered domestic horse enjoys. The brilliant Diane Ackerman wrote about this very thing last month in the New York Times; you can read her article here.

Torn Paper
Stay Informed!
You can receive email notifications when a new Adventure Note is posted to the site. Click here to sign up.
About Kay Frydenborg

Kay Frydenborg fell in love with horses at an early age, and now she often writes about them. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three dogs, and rides her beloved horse, Remy, almost every day.  The Wild Horse Scientists is her first book for Houghton Mifflin. Visit her website at www.kayfrydenborg.com.

 

Recent Notes:
Is It Tornado Season Where You Live?
Ultima Journey Update
Fall 2018 Osprey Update!
All Hands on Deck to Support the Southern Residents
Ospreys in Missoula: Spring 2018 Update
SLJ Interview Gives Readers a Behind the Scenes Look
Crows Aren’t the Only Smart Birds in Town
Big News for Scientist in the Field Scott Dowd
NEW RESOURCE FOR STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
2017 Osprey Update

Common Tags:
HMH logoPrivacy Policy | Trademark Information | Terms and Conditions | Log In
Copyright 2019 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.