Jake and I went to the beach last Monday. We were the only two people there. Yes, I say people because Jake is people in a dog suit.
The weather was a perfect 59′. The tide was out… far out, so we could hike a long ways.
Jake loved running down to the surf line and then running away from the incoming waves. He also found two excellent sticks to add to the other excellent stick we found on our previous visit so now we have an excellent stick collection. He refused to leave the beach without the sticks.
I found some pretty big pieces of carnelian and a couple shark teeth. Gotta love those shark teeth. This is the Red Triangle, after all.
So, ahem, when we arrived at this bare naked beach– which is my very favorite kind of beach– I spotted an enormous flock of brown pelicans flying overhead. They seemed to be circling over one particular area and there were quite a few pelicans floating in the surf beneath those up in the air.
Jake and I romped our way down the beach and I heard this frantic barking. There was a small group of California sea lions out just past the pelicans. They weren’t on a rock or an outcrop, they were in the water, close together, barking like crazy. They were being herded by three killer whales.
Two weeks ago Jake and I came across the half-eaten carcass of a California sea lion. It had washed up on the beach. The icky remains are still there.
Last month I watched three killer whales troll the beach area– swimming back and forth along the shoreline. I spotted them after I noticed a group of harbor seals huddled together in the shallows at the far end of the beach. I figured they must be huddled together in the shallows for a reason and sure ‘nuf, they were. Smart little shits, or as my kids like to call them, sea slugs. Seriously. They resemble slugs, albeit adorable huggable slugs.
Therefore I assume the three killer whales I saw this week are the same three killer whales I saw last month. Hey, if there’s easy pickins’ why would you bother to hunt anywhere else?
So back to the sea lions versus the killer whales. The tide was out far enough and the height of the beach high enough that Jake and I enjoyed sort of a beach-eye view of the sea lion buffet. We really could not see anything gross, just flapping fins, a few things tossed up into the air, and slick shiny black whale tails looking all happy. Happy tail slaps.
Hey, welcome to the natural world. Everybody’s gotta eat. Even the pelicans got in on it. They pigged out on the scraps.
I bet anything this is a group of young males off on their own for the first time. They’re having some fun, sowing their oats, hoping a female passes by. Probably waiting for the humpbacks to move north so they can check out the calves. The fact that killer whales prey upon humpback calves bothers me a little, but again, this is a fact of life.
Pretty much everything is food for something. A pacifist I ain’t.
Oh! How I wish you could join Jake and me on these beach excursions!