Crazy Weekend at Ano Nuevo

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Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo (photo credit: Tom Mangan)

Oh boy! This weekend at Ano Nuevo State Park was super crazy. Yesterday I led two hikes and today I led two more. Each hike is four miles round trip. I hiked 16 miles over mostly sand and dunes. That is normal for me — I lead hikes (as a volunteer naturalist) at the park. This is Ano Nuevo’s busiest season: The adult elephant seals are ashore birthing, breeding and mating.

Who’s in Charge?

The elephant seals delighted us with their antics as they moved around, inadvertently penning us in. One group of hikers got trapped for a while atop what we call High Willow, a prime elephant seal viewing area. Oh, don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds. The park rangers gave the go ahead for the group before mine to enter the High Willow viewing area. Then when I arrived with my group about 15-minutes later, the elephant seals had blocked the path. Federal law mandates that we not be within 25 feet of the animals. I couldn’t, therefore, take my group up to High Willow and the group that was already there couldn’t get back down. The seals were in charge.25 feet back warning

Equal Access Boardwalk
Then there was the business with the equal access boardwalk that some of us slaved over this summer as we got it ready for this current season. Yesterday I was able to lead hikes out to that viewing spot. But today? Not at all. The rangers had to close off entry to the boardwalk because the animals had taken it over! I guess they’re saying to themselves, “Silly humans! It’s accessible to us but not to you!” I am sure happy to see the seals doing so well and taking charge of their habitat. Too bad though, that the wheelchair visitors couldn’t really get to see much of the seals’ carrying-ons.

If you are interested in learning more about the elephant seal hikes, click this link for a short overview: Ano Nuevo by Every Trail. I do not agree with the writer that the seals “aren’t pretty.” I say, I say, they are just as gorgeous as my sea cows that roamed the sea on the south coast of Jamaica. Soooo cute!

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Some previous posts on elephant seals and Ano Nuevo State Park are listed below:

https://wewerenothing.org/2013/01/06/ode-to-a-northern-elephant-seal/

https://wewerenothing.org/tag/elephant-seals/

Oh the Finds You Find!

Saturday, 5/25/2013

There were lots of yellow flowers along the Coast Road today – field mustard, wild radish and golden-yellow California poppies. And too, there was this yellow beauty, whose name I know not.

Ano Nuevo was beautiful. There were lots of surfers riding the waves but my iPod couldn’t capture them.

I found this red fish and two green diamonds on my way to the beach:

driftwood
Driftwood (If I painted something that looked this I’d call it, “Cat’s Head”)
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These cracks weren’t here a month ago (Two fault lines, splinters of the San Andreas fault, run through Ano Nuevo)

Above, crab (dead) in sand; and elephant seals resting atop mounds of  washed up kelp.

The land mass below looks like a cow drinking water. If this were my painting, I’d call it “Cow Drinking Water” (or “van Gogh Cow”):

For more on Ano Nuevo, see the following:

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Monday, 5/27/2013

Seen downtown today:

Across the street an old army jeep idled at the stop light. My son sees it and says, “Oh wow! A jeep from the Vietnam War! Must be a Vietnam Vet.” Then he continues, “But the metal looks too thin…” And I’m thinking, “It’s an actual WWII jeep and there is a real WWII Vet behind the wheel! That cap, that uniform? They are real!” Old guy with the proud smile on this foggy Bay Area Memorial Day, you survived that madness, that war. If you had been in combat, what must you have seen. What sad memories do you hold? Oh, old guy, you are alive and you rock!

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Flag in a drawer at antique store

I am no fan of war or aggression, but as you drove by and I got a full view of your WWII regalia, that lovely smile on your face that said, “I done good in this world,” your little flags flying on either side of your jeep, I wondered, “How old are you?” “You must be the last of your group. How many of you are left? Are there any left beside you?” “You fought the last war we had any business fighting.” So old guy, I salute you. I hope you make it to next Memorial Day.

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