Sunday, December 15, 2013

Elephant Seal Take Over

 Oh haro.
Colleen and Steve have been very busy. In their absence we have arrived from our feeding grounds to take over their blog while we wait for the females to arrive at Año Nuevo State Park.

Between Steve's new job with a start up company in San Francisco, both of them moving to a new city, and Colleen training to safely guide a group of 20 adoring visitors through our breeding grounds, they haven't had much time for, well much.
  Seriously, you should see their house today. It's a disaster.

 You see, we are much more complicated than we appear and Colleen had to spend 50 hours in class, plus field work with her mentor to learn how she can share our fuzzy-blubbery-sausage glory with the public. I bet you didn't know, we are the 3rd deepest diving mammal and unlike those other two deep divers, we also are able to come on land so you can bask in our presence.

If you ask Colleen she'll be able to go on at length about how we swim the distance from San Francisco to New York four times in a year and hunt at depths so deep, sunlight can't reach it and the midnight black is only occasionally broken from the odd bioluminscent fish (have you seen those things? Freaky).

Anyway let's not forget that we help researchers map the bottom of the ocean since we don't suffer from the bends like people do when they dive that deep. You humans hold your breath underwater like chumps. It's much more efficient to just exhale, collapse your lungs and lower your heart rate entering a state of sleep apnea as you dive.

Sure you hit the bottom of the ocean sometimes because you are sleeping, but what, you'd rather eat on land like a savage?

Speaking of land, it's hard for us to admit, but there is so much more going on here at Año Nuevo than just us.

Colleen had classes in geology (faults, erosion, Monterrey chert), prehistoric timelines (mammoths!), cultural history (Quiroste tribe use the oldest form of continuous currency in human history!), colonial history (some silly person had cows here),  marine mammals (other than us), and wildlife (reptiles like the endangered San Francisco garter snake and mountain lions) in order to share it all with you.

But it was all worth it. You see she graduated from the program yesterday and got to spend the afternoon hanging out with our hot selves.

 And we are hot. Seriously. You try to wrap yourself in the equivalent of 7 sleeping bags then hang out on the beach all day. That's what it's like for us under all this blubber.

Well writing this blog was exhausting and we need to conserve our energy since it's breeding season and we don't eat or drink anything while we are on land. That's right, it's time for our 3-4 month fast. No time for eating, the ladies are arriving and in a month they'll be ready to mate. Wait, a month? We have to wait a month for a females to nurse her pup and be ready to mate?!?

We guess we'll go move further up into the dunes and periodically move on to the public's trail just so we can watch in glee as docents like Colleen panic because the route has changed.

 Hey, you can't move a guy who weighs as much as an SUV off the path, you have to move the path.

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