A highlight of our August trip to MacKerricher State Park on the Mendocino coast was the harbor seals that hauled out on the rocks that were just offshore. This provided a great opportunity to observe them at relatively close range, and since there was water between the beach and their rocks, they were at ease when a group of onlookers stopped by.
We saw a handful of young pups in the group, some of which were playing in the water, and some like this one were hauled out on the rocks. Based on the struggles we saw of other pups trying to get out of the water, I'm not quite sure how this little guy made it all the way to the top. But kudos to him, and perhaps some encouraging pushes from his mother were in order.
I found the diversity of coloration and patterns on the seals to be quite interesting, and my personal favorite were those with the really dark colors like this mother. Perhaps her cute pup will one day grow up to look just like her!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Not to anthropomorphize too much here, but this frame really makes me smile since to me it looks like this harbor seal is hysterically laughing about something and even pounding its flipper as it laughs. Taken in MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Harbor seals resting on offshore rocks, well away from the crashing waves behind them. Taken at MacKerricher State Park, near Fort Bragg, CA.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
When looking at this seal lounging on the rocks, I can't help but see a big, contented smile on its face. Taken from an overlook along the trail at Point Lobos State Reserve in the Monterey area.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
We had a great weekend trip camping in Salt Point State Park, which is a gem of a park on the Sonoma Coast. On our first morning there we headed down to an overlook that is frequented by harbor seals. The mid-morning light was really harsh and these pictures are cropped more than I prefer to do, but the interactions between a mother harbor seal and her pup were fantastic to witness!
In addition to watching the little one pester its mom to nurse, we also got to see them swimming around in the somewhat sheltered pools between the rocks. Just like a human kid, the pup seemed to just want to keep in constant motion, when it really looked like the mom wanted to take a break out of the water for a while.
More than once, they were hauled out on the rocks and the pup would wiggle away and into the water. The mother would watch it for a while, and you could almost see the exasperation on her face as the pup would get too far away and she'd have to head back into the water and corral the pup back to the rocks.
This is a different seal who was also hanging out there as well, occasionally stretching and trying to find that perfectly comfortable position.