Sunday, January 25, 2009

My own "Wild Kingdom"

You know how it is when you live in a tourist area... Somehow I never seem to have time to soak in the wonderful sights around the area unless we have visitors. I've been trying to change that lately. I carry my camera around with me all the time. If I see a shot - a beautiful sunrise, the glassy back bay on my way to work - I've been making a point to actually stop an take the picture. Toward that end, on Saturday I took Ben, Danny and my mother-in-law up the coast to check out the elephant seals. I've only lived here 21 years and never seen them. Well, I did sort of see them a few years ago when my girlfriend from Maryland came to visit. But there were hardly any seals on the beach so I don't really think it counts.

This time, however, we hit the jackpot. There were hundreds of seals on the beach just south of Piedras Blancas lighthouse. It's an official Seal Rookery. I had no idea. Sheesh. What kind of tour guide would I make?

It's seal pup season. And boy are they adorable.

Normally, the females only have one pup at a time. But they are known to "adopt" or foster other pups if their mom's are gone. This poor little lady seems to have her flippers full.

Don't those pups look just as soft as velvet?

Of course, we saw lots of great "Wild Kingdom" moments in the 40 minutes or so we were there. Live birth, bull elephant fights, seal sex.

The bulls are ginormous!

This little tyke is about 2 minutes old here. He weighs about 75 lbs at birth and will grow to between 250-350 lbs within a month. Hard to believe, huh?

I thought this was going to be a G rated excursion! I didn't anticipate a sex talk with Ben! Big brute! The bulls are between 14-16 feet long and can weigh up to 2500 lbs. The females, however, weigh in at a svelte 1200-2000 lbs and are only 10-12 feet long.

These girls are my favorites, though...

Who needs Marlin Perkins?


Kathy from Washington state said...

Whoa! Very cool!


marybeth said...

Love this post!!

Karen said...

Wow - what a fabulous sight.

sarah said...

How very exotic seeming! Thanks for sharing!