I took the day off and drove down to San Simeon to the Elephant Seal rookery. They are at the breeding bit of their winter cycle. I guess it goes: boys come up first, lots of fighting, girls come up, have babies, after 3-4 weeks of nursing ready for baby making again.
Look at the baby's face after mom told the big guy to shove off. Junior’s first swear word! Haha.
There is lots of noise and a fair amount of biting but surprisingly little violence considering the density of the population.
There were a handful of dead pups, likely from getting crushed. Keeping other seals from running over your kid is a full time job.
One that requires an exclamation point be added to the end of your conversation.
And, sometimes the beginning.
There was much more posturing than actual fighting between the males. I suppose at this point the lines have been drawn in the sand and everyone is a wee bit tired. They are in the enforcing stage, not the establishing stage. They all seem to go out of their way to not waste energy.
“Is this a good spot?”
“No? I was just leaving”
And the males.
Amazing how a creature can go from this scary, ugly thing…
To all cute and innocent looking with a slight change in head position. I would buy a car from that face!
Ellies in the mist
If the babies can keep from getting crushed, this is a pretty good time in life.
Eat, sleep, sun bathe.
The pups gain about 10 pounds per day eating the incredibly fat-rich milk. The milkfat is over 50%. For comparison, human's is about 4%.
Growing is hard work.
I’m not sure how normal this is, but this female on the left (that’s her pup in the middle) allowed the other (seems to be full grown) seal on the right to feed.
The pup moved right out of the way. The mother looked at the other adult and just put her head back down.
Although, I guess there is a lot of that going around.
And, just because, Pelicans.
And a bridge.
I need to figure out how to make my job Driving Around California Photographing Shit.
Or, maybe that’s just what makes days off special?