Wetlands

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In the winter, the sun sets directly behind the house, making for particularly beautiful sunsets.
In the summer the sun and moon move toward the right side of this picture.

It isn’t a pretty name, but the pond behind the house is part of Fowling Gut, a wetlands region that runs the length of Chincoteague Island. There is a lot of life in the pond — many song birds, shore birds, deer, raccoons, turtles, and we’ve even seen a bald eagle. We hear crabs can be caught, though we’ve never tried. We’ve even heard from a former owner that there are otters, though we haven’t seen them either.

One fear people have expressed is that the mosquitoes must be awful back there. I won’t deny that the mosquitoes can be bad in Chincoteague, but it hasn’t been our experience that they are worse at Utter East. Here’s an explanation from the Virginia Department of Health:

Do ponds and lakes breed mosquitoes?
If it is a permanent body of water (such as a lake or pond), it is much less likely to be a source of mosquitoes than if it were a temporary body of water such as a puddle.  A puddle three inches deep and three feet in diameter can easily produce 10 to 20 times as many mosquitoes as your average 1-acre farm pond.

Permanent bodies of water develop resident populations of predatory species (aquatic insects, fish, salamanders) that reduce or eliminate the mosquito larvae in that environment.  Most mosquito species would not even lay eggs in a permanent body of water. 
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-epidemiology/frequently-asked-questions-about-mosquitoes/

You can see shore birds in the pond all year round.
We’ve seen many snapping turtles. In fact, a couple dug nests in the yard.
During the peak mosquito season (July – September) it may not be practical to use the fire pit, but it is a great addition for the off-season.
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