Tuesday, December 2, 2014
California Beach Beauties
Last week I visited my friend who lived in Santa Cruz and we took a walk one day along the beach at Capitola. As we were walking up to the boardwalk this step caught my eye and I marveled at what the ocean, sun, and wind can do to a piece of wood. It seems the ocean slowly reclaims everything. I love the way the boards of the boardwalk are gradually turning the same blue-green color of the water.
One of the highlights of the trip was visiting Año Nuevo State Park to see the elephant seals. I want to specially thank Steve (above) for taking me out in the cold, pouring rain even though he was feeling sick and for giving me a wonderful tour. (In the photo he is standing behind a whale vertebra.) It was raining so hard at times I couldn't keep the drops off my lens but it was totally worth it.
Seals have always held a special place in my heart. The word "cute" doesn't even come close to describing their fusiform, blubbery bodies with their huge, soulful eyes. The sleeping beauty above was a large male bull who returned to the area to mate. He was one of the first males to return and was apparently resting up before all the action began. We had an incredible view of him and were able to see (and hear) that he was snoring.
The seal below was probably a female, but could also have been a young male. I was able to watch it haul itself out of the ocean and make its way towards a large, sleepy group higher up on the beach. I think Steve thought I was crazy but I admitted to him that if I could, I would love to snuggle up to next to them and nuzzle and kiss those sweet cheeks. It reminded me of the dog on bugs bunny... " I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him...". I don't think I can quite say enough about how much I love these animals.
Below is a terrible little video I took with my phone, but it shows the incredibly cute undulating motion they use to propel themselves while on land.
I know I say this at the end of many of my posts, but truly if you ever get the chance to go to Año Nuevo it is an amazing experience, rain or shine.