Tag Archives: seals

It doesn’t look like Earth

Out & About

One of the most beautiful areas of San Diego County is La Jolla at low tide.

There’s nothing quite like it with its natural beauty looking like something from Mars; its pelicans, cormorants, sea lions, and seals; and its opportunities for great sunsets.

Here’s a slide show to illustrate:

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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The Sea Lion Dance

Out & About

Photographic Art stamps based on pictures of the wildlife at La Jolla Cove this past Monday.

Seagulls at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Wading bird at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pelican at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Pelican at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Cormorants at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lion at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I love the little girl dancing for the sea lions in the last picture. I’ll call it the Sea Lion Dance.

I’ll end with another sunset picture from Monday’s trip to La Jolla:

Sunset at La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

La Jolla is a great place to visit at any time. The tide pools and beaches are more accessible during low tides, and the there seem to be more wildlife, probably due to the sea creatures stranded in the tide pools.

You can find tide schedules here: La Jolla tides.

The best place to see the tide pools is at Rocky Point, shown on the map below.

Parking throughout La Jolla, especially during Tourist Season (Memorial Day to Labor Day), is scarce so be prepared to drive around for a while looking for a parking spot or park the first place you see a spot and walk to Scripps Park. A walk through downtown La Jolla is a great experience all on its own!rocky point la jolla map

Go to Google Maps

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Mylar—Not in this century or the next

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My wise old grandmother was a nature lover before tree huggers hit the scene. She was also a conservationist before it was fashionable to be a conservationist. I remember her constant nagging about being kind to wildlife, enjoying the outdoors, conserving our natural resources….. On and on and on.

I didn’t pay much attention when I was living under her roof, but when I set out on my own, it was amazing just how much her teachings influenced what I did and even with whom I hung.

That’s why I’m a big fan of places like the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld. Have they made mistakes in the past? Sure. We all have. But without Zoos and Aquariums, 99% of the people would never get to see, and appreciate, a giraffe, an elephant, a whale, a dolphin, a tiger or lion…. There would also be many species that now would be extinct without the breeding services that zoos and aquariums offer. The California Condor comes immediately to mind, as does the Northern White Rhinoceros.

Whenever I’m out and about, I always try to visit Zoos and Aquariums to show my support, and I have an annual pass to the San Diego Zoo and SeaWorld San Diego. Along with their breeding and release programs, zoos and aquariums provide rescue services. The number of seals and sea lions rescued each year by SeaWorld is amazing. One could argue that if the mom is going to abandon her pup, there must be a good reason. Maybe there is, but I’ll go with SeaWorld on that one—rescue, rehabilitate, and release.

Without the programs of the Zoo and SeaWorld, I never would have had the privilege of seeing a Bald Eagle, a Golden Eagle, a Milky Eagle Owl, or an Orca Whale.

Bald eagle at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Golden eagle Ambassador at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Milky Eagle Owl

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Dining with Shamu at SeaWorld

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

In all my travels, I have never seen those four species outside of a Zoo or Aquarium. Of course, I know they exist in the wild, and I had an appreciation for them without seeing them because of how my wise old grandmother raised me. I don’t have to see something to know it, to understand it, to understand why it’s disappearing. Many people do, though. Every time I go to the Zoo or SeaWorld, I hear at least one person, often many many more, say in awe, “I had no idea they were so beautiful” or “I had no idea they were endangered because of us.” Those people, I hope, go home with a greater understanding of this world we live on and how we need to share it with the plants and animals around us.

As an example, recently I was up in Orange County traipsing around when I found the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

20612 Laguna Canyon Road
Laguna Beach, California

Location map

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is responsible for animals (mostly pinnipeds) stranded on beaches along the Orange County coast, extending north to Seal Beach and south to San Onofre. The majority of the pinnipeds rescued are severely malnourished, suffer from dehydration, and may have respiratory infections. They also treat animals that are affected by drift net entanglement, fishing lines and hooks, human inflicted injuries, shark bites, parasites, and various diseases.

The most common pinnipeds to Southern California are Northern Elephant Seals, Pacific Harbor Seals, and California Sea Lions. Occasionally, they treat Northern Fur Seals, and they are the only temporary holding facility for small whales and dolphins between Santa Barbara and San Diego.

California sea lion

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

California sea lion

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Invariably when I visit the Zoo, SeaWorld, or, in this case, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, I learn something new. For example, here is what I learned during my short visit to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center:

Mylar Bouquet Wall of Shame

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Mylar Bouquet Wall of Shame

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have always loved Mylar balloons, but no more.

They are off my LIKE  list and onto my NOT-IN-THIS-CENTURY-OR-THE-NEXT list.

I hope you will join me in my quest to celebrate special occasions with something other than Mylar balloons. A good meal, flowers, and toys come to mind. Maybe even just some quality time spent with those you love and are celebrating with.

Sunflower and clouds

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Seals and cormorants in La Jolla California

You stay on your side, we’ll stay on ours

Picture of the Moment

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Seals and cormorants in La Jolla California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That picture was taken in La Jolla, California, where my home inspection was earlier today. There are five seals on the left end of the island and lots of cormorants on the right side.

I have always wanted a panorama picture of that rock, and after my home inspection, I walked across the street to take four pictures which I then had Photoshop CS6 merge into a panorama. So easy…. So cool.

Now I have to look for a new theme that will let me have a wider blog. This 600 pixels width is for the, uh, birds, so to speak.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My first whale-in-the-wild pictures

Picture of the momentI have lived in San Diego since May 1993. Although I have been familiar with the whale migration that occurs along the San Diego coast, I had never been on a whale-watching cruise until last month.

Surprisingly, whale-watching cruises are quite affordable. For anywhere from $30 to $45, one can take a 3½-hour cruise out into the Pacific ocean to watch the whales on their great migration from Alaska to Baja California in the late fall and early winter to have their little ones, and then back to Alaska in the late winter and early Spring.

Although there is no guarantee that you’ll see whales on any specific cruise, most of the cruise companies will give you a ticket for another cruise if yours is whale-less. On the cruise that I went on, we saw dozens of whales in addition to many dolphins, seals, and sea lions.

The swales were six to eight feet and we were rockin’ and rollin’. I set the shutter speed on my Canon 550D to 1/500, thinking that should be adequate.

It wasn’t.

My first whale pictures are a little out of focus. All that means, though, is that I’ll simply have to go on another whale-watching cruise to get better pictures. Until then, here are my best three:

Whales migrating past San Diego

Whales migrating past San Diego

Whales migrating past San Diego

Find other posts in my Picture of the Moment series by clicking on the logo at the upper right.

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Location, location, location….

Picture of the momentLocation, location, location…

This is the first in my Picture of the Moment series. You’ll always be able to identify this series by the logo in the upper right corner. This series is more picture, less text.

 

Buoy with seagulls and seals

 

The seagulls have the view;
the seals are closer to the swimming pool.

 

x marks the spot

 

Pictures taken by Russel Ray on January 27, 2012, using a Canon 550D.
Post-processing done in Corel PaintShop Pro X4.

 

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat