Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Elephant Seals at Año Nuevo State Park

This year, we figured that Soren was old enough to manage the hike at Año Nuevo State Park, so we signed up for a guided walk. When you arrive, you first walk down on your own to the staging area.

Current seal count.

Our walk was led by a volunteer docent named Louie. Early on, we could hear an elephant seal barking off in the distance. Here's the first one that we saw.

But soon we made it to our first group.

There was also a lone male off by the water.

The main group was at Año Nuevo Point.

Lolling about.

This big guy was right below us.

Watching the watchers.

Inland from our vantage point, you could see a lone male or two, like this guy.

And from the high point in our spot, you could spy these juveniles. It's hard to tell from this pic, but the one in front was looking right at me.

On our way back, we saw this huge male.

When the rangers find interesting bones, they gather them along the path the docents take, so that visitors can check them out.

After our guided walk wrapped up, we stuck around for the sunset.

One last shot of the sunset before heading back to the car.

Walking back.

At the nature center, I took this pic while facing east. There's still enough light so that the sky is blue, but if you look at the windows you can see the reflection of the sunset.

On our way home, we stopped at Duarte's in Pescadero for dinner.

Here's the Christmas tree, made of broken bottle glass, on the wall.

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