There are chubby harbor seal pups everywhere now, 52 so far as a matter of fact. Sometimes the pups follow their moms out of the sea to rest & nurse, but at other times the mom has to quickly turn & pursue her pup back into the sea because the pup just wants to swim & play. Harbor seal moms tap their pup’s head with their flipper to tell the pup to settle down & nurse. Some of the pups, which have nursed for weeks now are little blimps. As the pups nurse, they close their eyes in bliss & then collapse into dreamy sleep like all babies do. The mothers smile & touch noses with their pups. It’s sweet to see the darling pups with their adoring moms. Yearling seals who were born last year now lay next to the infant pups. Another generation of seals has arrived. As the pups get closer to being weaned (after 12 weeks or so), they start to hang out together on the beach. There is a chorus of pups barking for their moms. A new “Pup Club” of almost weaned seals is forming, but right now each mother & pup savors their togetherness. Once the pups are weaned they will stop calling for their mother because it will be time for them to feed and take care of themselves. It will be time for the harbor seal mothers to begin mating to produce next year’s pups. For right now though, I listen to the pup’s chorus, watch them rocket through the sea with their moms, nurse with great zeal & fall into the deep innocent sleep as all babies do. I marvel at this new life, which has been received with great joy by all the mothers of this harbor seal colony. It is such a privilege for me to observe and share the continuity and rebirth of life here. I carry this beauty in my heart.
AUTUMN IN SAN DIEGO – EL NINO ARRIVES BRINGING MUCH-NEEDED RAIN & THE HARBOR SEAL COLONY RETURNS. Pelicans huddle together on the bluff while high-tide waves crash & boom. Harbor seals snooze tiredly on the beach after long swims for fish. A pelican bathes at the edge of the sea. Storm clouds filling the sky make a stunning ray-filled light at sunset with pink puffy clouds silhouettes of palm trees in the east. There’s a definite chill in the air with 68 degrees in this San Diego Autumn by-the-sea.