Yesterday my wife, Lynette, took her Leigh High School science club students to Ano Nuevo State Natural Reserve for a day trip to get up close and personal with the Northern Elephant Seals who congregate there. This is just one of many science related excursions she and the club go on each year. Due to my association with Lynette, I am a default chaperon and get to go along on many of these adventures and Ano Nuevo is on of my favorites, second only to the kayak trip they take in Monterey when the weather gets springier.It was too moist to sketch but, here is collection of snapshots of the trip. Now is a great time to visit, as the elephant seals are all back on the beach resting up, birthing pups, mating, and so forth before continuing on their long migration in the sea. Click on any image for a larger view.
Jacqueline looks pensive in the back of the truck on the way there.The coast zips past.
The hike out to the beach begins. Katie is 'go' for adventure
.The group and a Sharks fan.
This is just a cool gnarled coastal pine.
Compare this cast to the green push pin to get an idea of the size of the grizzlies that were out there once.
Melissa and Adam listen to the docent.
Natural sea carvings on the coast.
The view is beautiful, even in the rain.
The old light house at the point.
Adam, Jacqueline and Katie look forward to seeing the elephant seals
Ranger Gary gives direction.
A large Bull lays in the dunes.
A bellowing male.
A huge congregation
Adam and Daniel spectate.
Another bellowing bull elephant seal. the larger the fleshy nose bulb, the deeper the resonance and bigger the harem.
Another bull. You really do walk very close to these huge creatures, which weigh up to 5000 lbs.
A shore raptor perched.
A view from a dune.
Olivia and Melissa observe.
A pup suckles while a gull looks on.
The abandoned lighthouse
Hiking back to the visitor's center.
Sea lion skull
Elephant seal skull, again, compare the green push pin.
Jacqueline, Katie, Adam, Melissa, Olivia, and Daniel in the traditional 'old boat hull' picture.
At the all too familiar 'tail gate' lunch the group shows that, despite the rain, no spirits were dampened on this fun trip.