Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sealed With A...............

Yesterday, after posting my elephant seal pictures, I received lots of cautionary emails that all went something like this:

ARE YOU CRAZY, WOMAN?! You shouldn't have been on the beach with elephant seals! Those things are DANGEROUS! And it's not good for THEM when you get so close, either!

Excellent points, guys. You're right -- nobody should get close to wild seals. And I'm glad that y'all were concerned for my safety. However....

Here's how this interesting photo shoot actually went.

John and I were meandering our way north on California Highway 1, enjoying the leisurely drive. Awhile after we passed the Hearst mansion, I noticed several cars in a parking lot next to the beach. I pointed this out to John and he obligingly pulled over as I dug around in all the junk piled on Goldie's back seat and grabbed my camera.

The beach area was fenced and lined with walking paths and informational signs.

Cool! It's an interpretive site for elephant seals! I exclaimed.

John and I walked along the path, reading the signs and peering over the fence hoping to see one or two seals.

 See? Safe behind the fence. And that's where I stayed, cross my heart and hope to die. 

I see one! I see one! I shouted, and zoomed in using the telephoto lens on my camera. Click click click click click..... Love that thing.

Awwww! He's so cuuuuuuttttteeeee! Wish there were more.....

John laughed and pointed to the southern edge of the beach. "Look over there, Babe."

What? All I see over there is lots of hunks of driftwood, I commented as I brought my camera up and zoomed in on what I thought was beach debris.....

....then gasped with surprise when I realized that the beach was strewn with zillions of blubbery SEALS.

Wowsers! I zoomed and snapped to my heart's content, thinking that I just couldn't wait to download these pictures and get a closer look at them. I spotted a cluster of five critters snuggled in against each other. What a cozy looking scene! How My heart melted. Awwwwwwwwww........ I zoomed and snapped some more.

Afterwards, we hopped into Goldie and made our way up the coast. Later that evening after we checked into our hotel, I grabbed the cables and eagerly downloaded that day's worth of photos. Look, John! Check these out! I grabbed John and pulled him over to my laptop, then clicked over to the pictures that I had expected to be the best of the bunch -- the ones of the snuggling stackful of seals. I frowned and examined the picture more closely.

Wait.....was that.....was that SEAL SNOT?! We burst into laughter. Because, after cropping the picture and zooming in even more.......

Oh, brother. 

......we determined that, yes. Yes, indeed. I had a fabulous picture of piles of snotty seals. Actually, I had oodles of pictures of this particular goobery gang.


It was a good thing that I took zillions of pictures of this....herd....or whatever you call an enormous group of seals. Because there were luckily several other photos of seals with much cleaner noses.

I think tidy seal schnozzles are much more attractive than snotty ones, wouldn't you agree?

 This little guy was my favorite. 

At some point, the mucous-y group must have somehow cleaned up their act, (and I think I really don't want to know how a seal blows his/her nose) because after anxiously scanning all bazillion of the photos, I did find this keeper:

So. To summarize: Julia -- safely behind the fence. Seals -- Snotty and on the other side of the fence.

And now you know the rest of the story.


annie said...

Julia, you are so fortunate to live along such a beautiful coastline full of nature's beauty and bounty. Thanks for sharing gorgeous pictures with us. BTW, did the earthquake affect your part of the state ?

Blogger Mama said...

That snot would be easy enough to "clean up" with Photoshop. :o)

Julia Oleinik said...

Hi annie - no, the earthquake didn't affect us, thank goodness.

Blogger Mama: I would LOVE Photoshop, but don't have it. I tried using the really simplistic feature on my iPhoto but it only made the thing look smeary. bleah.

Amy Junod said...

Oh what a fun post! Snot and all. Your pics make them look peaceful, comfy and content.