January 9, 2010

Feliz A�o Nuevo!

On New Year's Day the Weidners did something chronologically appropriate (quite by accident), we went to Año Nuevo State Reserve, to see the Elephant Seals, which come ashore for a month or so for mating and giving birth to pups.

Here's a little bit of video I shot, of some males moving about. The way they move is utterly weird; galumphing along like giant caterpillars. The big males weigh about 2 tons! More than your car. And they can move fast, though mostly they just lay there semi-comatose. They aren't hostile to humans, but if you got in their way they would just squash you like a bug. So one proceeds carefully!

One of the oddities about them is that, aside for this brief time ashore, the males and females live in different worlds. The females will soon go west, as far as Hawaii. The males head north towards the Aleutians. And they will all travel alone—no packs or herds.

And the dying-motor sound you hear near the end, ka-leckh ka-leckh ka-leckh... that's their means of self-expression!

Posted by John Weidner at January 9, 2010 7:27 PM
Weblog by John Weidner