Morro Rock at Morro Bay, California

In the month of December 2012 I lost my mom to Pancreatic Cancer, and far away friend in a car accident and a friend to suicide. As soon as I could I went on a road trip. Mentally and medically I needed to take a break. My heart was broken and I needed to cry a lot on my own, so I did my crying in nature.

My road trip: San Francisco to Monterey to Morro bay to Santa Monica to Long Beach to Morro Bay and back to SF. Thats in short. I will write about random experiences and observations. Naturally I took along my cameras and photographic eye.

Random photographic experience #2(1st one will be in next post):

Had spent the night in Monterey at the hostel for two nights, and then drove down the coast. I stopped at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Then drove down to the Elephant Seal rookery. I will write about my whale watching tours in the next posts, and my stay in Monterey.
There are two locations, an official area where there are docents, and area further south about a 1/4 of a mile. I observed and would like to write about an experience at that location with those elephant seals. Standing around, scanning, camera on, ready, manual focus, 100 ISO set, watch and observe the elephant seals. You can learn their nuances, their purposes, their presence, their culture just by standing and observing them for hours. It was around 2pm, saw a strange rustling in the water, off the beach about 50 feet, heard seal crying, other seals making their signature sounds, it was loud, but still somehow a shark managed to swallow an elephant seal pup. The pup was in the shark’s mouth, but other seals distracted the shark and the shark spit out the elephant seal pup. Other elephant seals pulled the pup to shore, but it was deceased. More than one parent elephant seal was observed mourning the loss of that pup. Unfortunately the birds, like the vultures, the seagulls etc will ravage the pup’s body.
The reason I am writing about it is because when it was occurring I didn’t know what happened until the seal pup was pulled ashore by another seal. The shark hitting that seal pup was very covert and sly, but it is all apart of so-called cycle/circle of life. I’m only posting a few photos of my observation. This was the first time I witnessed the ugly side of photographing wildlife, but I needed to experience it. It was very sad though, and some of the other photogs were astonished and reacted similarly.

Parent Elephant Seal looking at deceased pup Deceased pup Parent Elephant Seal shedding tears? Parent Elephant Seal looking down on deceased pup Parent Elephant Seal Deceased Elephant Seal Pup