Friday, November 6, 2009

Camera Critters # 83

I took these photos in Monterey, California, a couple of weeks ago. We were on a walk from our hotel which took us past the aquarium and on towards Lover's Point, heading to an old restaurant frequented by us 27 years ago. Unfortunately it was closed due to renovations. Not too disappointed as we didn't even expect it to still be there, the consolation being that wonderful walk along the ocean for a couple of miles. It was hard to pick up a brisk pace because there was so much to see along the way, which included the seals where we stayed for at least half an hour observing them. It was incredible to be finally able to view these wonderful creatures in their own natural habitat. My heart was literally filled with joy at the sight of them.

I had actually been taking photos of a bird I had never seen before when another tourist and fellow photographer told me that there were seals only a short distance from where we were. Picking up our pace we reached Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station.

I couldn't help but put the speech bubble on this photo. There were several young seals swimming back to the beach looking for parents.

This little one and many more like him were truly adorable!

There were about two dozen seals snoozing in the sun. All my photos were taken by positioning the lens of my camera through the trellis. It just about fit.

An information marker was nearby. I read the following:

"The beach below is part of the Hopkins State Marine Reserve and is a frequent haul-out for resident harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).

Births take place during April and May. Newborn pups weigh about 20 pounds and nurse for 15 to 40 days before they are weaned.

Males start breeding at five years and weigh up to 200 pounds. Females breed at three to four years and weigh about 150 pounds.

Harbor seals feed primarily at night on fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans.

Average dive time is five to eight minutes, but can be as long as 35 minutes. They can dive as deep as 1,500 feet."

Camera Critters is a wonderful meme created by Misty Dawn. You can find other critter photos by clicking here.

30 comments:

  1. There are Hawaiian Monk Seals at the Waikiki Aquarium, and they have been trained to do tricks. I blogged about what I saw last year. Always awesome to watch them.

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  2. Greaet photos! Thanks for sharing the seals in action. They really are the cutest critters.

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  3. How spectacular !
    It looks like you had a wonderful holiday Denise, those pictures are so delightful, love the seals.
    Glad to see your back, and sharing your awesome pictures with us once again.

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  4. marvelous captures and interesting info too!

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  5. Wow!! How stunning to see these seals in their own natural environment.

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  6. Great post! I love Monterey AND seals.

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  7. It's always a privilege to see wild animals in their natural habitat. What a lovely discovery for you both.Great shots!

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  8. Love the picts. Monterey, CA is a lovely place. Looks like a wonderful visit.

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  9. I was wondering if this was the seal beach in California that was in the news recently about people wanting to have the beach for themselves and to get rid of the seals or something like that. These photos really show how the seals need to have their space, too.

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  10. Gorgeous animals and so lovely to see them in the wild. Great shots. I remember seeing them at Monterey back in 1970. It was a joy.

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  11. They are cool animals. It must have been fun to watch them all laying on the beach. Great photos.

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  12. I enjoyed looking at these truly lovely pictures,we do get seals on the coast ,but you can not get near enough to them to take photo's unless you have special camera equipment,which i do not have.
    The only sea mammal i have had close contact with was a beached whale,it was pitiful to see and hear,i would not have taken a picture even if i could ,because i was too upset.

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  13. Very nice photos. The seal looks cute.

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  14. Really great photos. Seals are amazing animals, especially when you compare how clumsy they look on land and how graceful in the water.

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  15. amazing critters. I could watch them for hours.

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  16. A lovely serie of shots of beautiful creatures :-)

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  17. Cute and wonderful post Denise.

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  18. Well you won't see seals on Paignton beach! Lovely pics thank you.
    JJ

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  19. Very nice photos. Baby seals are adorable. The one photo, the seals blend in well with their surroundings.
    I'm assuming you're still in California.

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  20. What a MARVELOUS photo series of these seals in action. Thanks so much for sharing ;-)
    Hugs and blessings,

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  21. Stunning photo's, they are so adorable!

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  22. Great photos and story, thanks for sharing.

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  23. how cute are the seals. i am fascinated looking at them. happy weekend.

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  24. those are cute photos Denise. I put a link back to your blog on my Monday post.

    Gill

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  25. What a wonderful thing to get to see! Such great photos of these seals..wow.

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  26. oh girl, you are so lucky! Wonderful and cute little friend!
    Cool post!
    Léia :)

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