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The Elephant Seals of San Simeon
Jocey, Little Dude and I took our Spring Break and went 140 miles from our doorstep in Fresno to the campground at San Simeon on the Central Coast of California. It was up on a hill with a pleasant view of the ocean about a half mile away. In spite of the wonderful views the stars of the trip were the Curiously Resplendent Elephant Seals. It's just at the end of the mating season for the portly but cute as hell dogs of the sea. At this time of the year they are out in force on many of the beaches in the area. Their faces kind of look like a dog to me, but, with that big, primitive fish-like tail they truly are a cross between a mammal and a fish. The way they scratch themselves, look around, grunt, bicker and spar, it's fun to watch. How anyone could kill one of these creatures is beyond me. Several of them reacted in fear as I got as close as twenty feet away at a non-official beach where 20 or 30 had landed.
The next day I went out onto the beach at the campgrounds and out there, with several people all around, a lone, immature Elephant Seal was resting and throwing sand upon himself. I wanted to make sure he wasn't hurt as it seemed odd he would be there all alone. But, he looked fine. I just kept my distance and left quickly. Both my cameras had run out of batteries by then so no pic of the closest I could get to this beautiful symbol of the Central California Coast.