Elephant Seals on the California Coast


Elephant Seals occupy the California coast throughout the year.

The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery is located four miles north of Hearst Castle and hosts 25,000 seals in the course of a year.

The Año Nuevo State Park in Pescadero and Point Reyes National Seashore are other great spots to see rookeries.

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

At Rest, Piedras Blancas

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

“I’m Molting!”

 

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

~David Attenborough

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

Bros, Point Reyes

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

“O Sole Mio!”

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

Life’s A Beach

 

“The environment is everything that isn’t me.”

~Albert Einstein

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

“You Don’t Say!”

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

“Please…let’s swim!”

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

“How’s My Breath?”

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

Piedras Blancas Beach Party

 

“Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.”

~Vincent Van Gogh

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

Swimsuit Edition, Año Nuevo

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

“Showoffs”

 

Elephant Seals, Nature, Photography, California, Environment, Preservation, Conservation,

Seaside View

 

Elephant Seal Links:

Año Nuevo State Park

Friends of the Elephant Seal

Point Reyes Elephant Seals

 

Here’s a video that shows just how big they are:

Categories: Animals, Nature, Photography, WildlifeTags: , , , , , , , , ,

116 comments

  1. I love seals

  2. Great shots, Jane, and your captions made me giggle!

  3. Having never been outside of Europe, when I think of California I (perhaps ignorantly) think of L.A., San Francisco and Yosemite. However of course it’s a vast and coastal state, evidently with much to offer on the side of wildlife and, more specifically, elephant seals! You learn something new every day. Thank you for sharing these great photos with us!

    • Hi GTG, It is amazing just how big California is and much of the coast is protected, uninhabited and gorgeous. I’m so glad you stopped by and learned a bit about what you will find… elephant seals are quite a sight. Thanks very much for your comment.

  4. I can never get enough of the elephant seals, and you have done a great job of satiating me here, Jane. Your photos are extraordinary, you did an excellent job of capturing the drama that goes with being on the beach with them. We are lucky to still have these incredible creatures on our planet. Loved the quotes too.

    • Hi Jet, I thought of you when I was posting this knowing that you’ve watched these creatures around CA. They are so unusual and fun to observe. Happy you enjoyed the photos–thank you so much! PS I just saw a bunch at Chimney Rock, too. 🙂

  5. Wow. That is a lot of seals. The first shot I didn’t realize what I was looking at – I thought it was rocks. Do you get close or do you hae a big lens (or both)?

  6. Incredible captures! I hope some day to make it to the West Coast (maybe next summer!) and see these in person. Truly amazing! ❤

  7. You can never have enough Seals (he writes smiling 🙂 )

  8. OMG absolutely fabulous…..I am just amazed over these wonderful creatures…they r gorgeous…fabulous captures….

  9. Love these. Need to get down there some time!

    On Mon, May 20, 2019 at 4:37 PM Jane Lurie Photography wrote:

    > Jane Lurie posted: “Elephant Seals occupy the California coast throughout > the year. The Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery is located four miles > north of Hearst Castle and hosts 25,000 seals in the course of a year. The > Año Nuevo State Park in Pescadero and Point Reyes ” >

  10. Great photos and video. It shows that animal preservation is not that difficult. Seals and sea elephants were once heavily hunted for oil. Now they are protected. End of story.

  11. Love the photos and witty captions.😃

  12. I love all your captions Jane … “Bro” “Swimsuit Edition” “How’s my Breath” are my favourites!

  13. Fun captions. I noticed a squirrel on “I’m molting”, almost as fat for a squirrel as those elephants are for seals. “How’s my breath” reminds me of a rookery I visited in Canada – their breath was awful. Amazing how big those elephant seals are. Nice set.

    • Thanks very much, Dave. I am so pleased you caught the squirrel– he made me smile. He must have loads to eat there. Happy you enjoyed the photos along with the reminder of the realities of their strong B.O. 😀

  14. “O sole mio” 😂😂😂. 👍👍👍

  15. Very nice captures of these seals. I echoed “thereluctantpoet” on “Loved your captions” too. They are funny and cute.

  16. I’ve seen those once in awhile! Great pictures! 🙂

  17. Great post! Loved your captions – especially “O Sole Mio” and “Life’s A Beach” Too funny! Great photos!
    xoxoxo

  18. Brilliant capture of the Elephant seals, brought back lovely memories of my visit to Point Reyes in 93. I can remember hearing the deep gurgling noise the seals made way before we reached the beach, two rangers were there watching them and told us all about the seals and the area.

  19. Jane, you captured the essence of these mammals so well. I didn’t realize how large they are! Great images and perspectives. I enjoyed your titles, too !!

  20. Well, look what the tide brought in.😎

  21. Stunning photos of the elephant seals, Jane. Great timing with the shots too. Some of those seals looked very chatty that day…or maybe they were yawning to each other 😀

    • Hi Mabel, They are funny creatures…mostly sleeping but with sudden bursts of movement as they flop around. They are huge. I can’t help but put words in their mouths! They are yawning, barking, huffing and growling. Thanks very much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  22. Remarkable post… I learned a lot! New world to me..

  23. 🙂 Wow, amazing! So many of them lying peacefully in the sun.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  24. Oh my…how wonderful, truly spectacular. We MUST all do everything we can to preserve their habitat for ever and ever. Thank you for this insight into their lives.

    • Hi Paula, Aren’t they amazing? I couldn’t agree more…they were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century and thankfully made a healthy comeback. And you are right, we need to continue to protect and preserve. I’m so glad you enjoyed these photos. Thanks very much. 🙂

  25. Fine set; love your titles as well. 🙂

  26. Brilliant, love your witty captions when those fellows are actually beating seven shades out of each other!

  27. Such amazing photos, Jane!!

  28. Looking through this post was a great way to start my day, fabulous photos!

  29. Jane I love these images, as I have been at that place numeral times.

  30. Wonderful photographs and captions, had to smile. Also, great quote from Attenborough.
    Thanks, Jane!

  31. Aw, these creatures make me smile. Nice work, Jane!

  32. I would love to see elephant seals in the wild! Beautiful shots, Jane, and great captions too!

  33. Wow! This is amazing. Wonderful photos Jane, and I love your captions.
    Alison

  34. My most recent seal watching took place two years ago in New Zealand—a highly recommended place.

  35. Your captions for the wonderful images were hilarious! But then again, you had a fantastic subject there. We don’t see many elephant seals up this way. It’s mostly Harbor Seals (too cute for words) or Sea Lions (their barking can be heard for miles and miles…) Glad you had fun with these.

    • Hi Gunta, Haha! So glad you enjoyed them. 🙂 I didn’t realize there aren’t Elephant Seals up your way. Harbor Seals definitely win for cuteness! Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts- much appreciated.

  36. Having been to all of the major rookeries in California, I can attest to the excellence of your photographs and the magnificence of these creatures. Just don’t get too close to an angry male. Or a protective mama. And yes, there is a definite aroma.

  37. Great shots! Your captions made me laugh. I’ve seen them myself. I’m not quite sure exactly where. Might have been near Hearst Castle. I don’t remember any fighting but what struck me was the way they cuddled up against or even on top of each other. 🙂

    • Hi Peter, Glad you like these– I can’t help but think of things they might be saying with those huge mouths. 🙂 I bet you saw these which are right near Hearst– one of the more well known rookeries. Most of them are pretty lifeless with spurts of movement- preserving their energy while they molt. Happy these brought back some good memories! Thanks so much. 🙂

  38. Amazing pictures. Loved the captions as well.

  39. Beautiful images Jane 👍🏻 I love all your captions.

  40. Very cool Jane. Not sure I’d want to be that close to them tho 🤭🤭! Fun post

  41. Neat Photos 🙂 Must have been awesome to see ❗️ Kind of looks like ‘blacks beach’ on a Saturday afternoon in La Jolla except no volley ball 🙂

  42. So amazing and beautiful…cool video to hear them talk 🤓👍 wonderful post feels like I’m there Jane ☺️ smiles Hedy

  43. They’re certainly strange beings, aren’t they? There’s a dock that’s kept for them to haul out on in Newport, Oregon, and that’s where I had the pleasure of watching them, last April. But either there were no males, or the males there were much younger, and we didn’t see any fighting, nor any with the “crest.” Your captions are appropriately daft. 🙂 And the video was interesting.

    • Hi Lynn, The males are especially odd looking with that proboscis. Glad you enjoyed the photos and captions. Thank you! I’ll assume you meant “deft” not “daft”! 🤣🤣🤣

  44. Another subject I’ve never seen and, as with your recent Big Sur post, these images really give a good feel to what seeing a beach loaded of Elephant Seals would be like, sans the pungency of them. 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Steve. Happy that you’re traveling along and that you found these interesting. Important to know which way the wind is blowing when attempting these shots. 🙂

  45. Gosh, they are scary big! Those researchers are quite brave.
    Great photos, Jane, and I love your humorous captions. 🙂

  46. We missed the guys at Drake’s Beach this year so it’s nice to see your wonderful photos, Jane.
    Ω

  47. Great photos, and I really like the captions. Do they smell terrible? The sea lions in Alaska reek of salmon from miles away.

    • Hi Jeff, Thank you so much. I had fun with the captions… 😄 And yes, they smell pretty terrible. (Sorry, Seals, but that’s the truth.)
      Appreciate your response coming from your keen eye.

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