Winter comes to the Central Coast.

I had two goals in mind this weekend–try out my new ultra wide-angle lens, and see what the elephant seals were up to at the elephant seal rookery north of San Simeon.

Fall and early winter is when the elephant seals arrive at the rookery to fight, give birth, and mate (and in pretty much that order).  The adult males began arriving a few weeks ago, and the fighting has begun.  We saw several bulls who were bloodied and scarred, and the fighting was much more intense than the juvenile sparring I photographed earlier this summer.  When they crash chest into chest against each other, you can feel the percussive violence of each strike from the viewing stand.

There were several yearlings at the beach, too young to join in the action but apparently more than happy to stay away from it, as they remained on the edges of the beach.

Birthing begins around the third weekend in December, and we counted five pups (one, sadly, dead) on the beach today.  The one pictured here is no more than 24 hours old.

The seal pups weren’t the only babies at the beach today–this flock of barely fledged seagulls preened away in the middle of all the seals.

Last night, I got to try out my new ultra wide angle lens on the sunset just north of Cambria.  Fortunately, mother nature cooperated generously by lending a lot of color to the sunset.

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~ by Survivor of BPD Parent on December 20, 2009.

One Response to “Winter comes to the Central Coast.”

  1. These are absolutely stunning Robin. The sunset shots are breathtaking.

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