Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's Pupping Season at Casa Beach!

It's pupping season at Casa Beach, aka Children's Pool! I got an email from Seal Conservancy over the weekend that said the first pups had been born at the La Jolla seal rookery. The first, born on Saturday (2/4), was feared abandoned but was later seen with her mom. Two more were born on Sunday (2/5). Naturally, we're always drawn to this time of year, and since the beach closure during pupping season has been upheld (for now), and it's been a little on the colder side, it's been pretty nice to spend some time on the sea wall and the new lifeguard tower watching them. Being on a tighter budget, this is one of the most amazing free things to do in San Diego, I guess all you really need is a tank of gas and the time to go by.

We stopped by Tuesday night before the Dashboard Confessional show at Che Cafe, and then made a point to go on Thursday after Nova was out of school. The fog was thick and heavy where it felt like a drizzle, so taking photos was reminiscent of shooting the XX through their fog machines, but I think you can get the idea even with my subpar skill.

I want to be very, very clear here. I respect these animals. I deeply love them and think they're an important part of what makes San Diego so amazing. So as much as I enjoy watching them, I also usually spend half the time cringing at how close people get to them, how they don't read the literal signs or the very obvious body language of the animals. I was on the open side of the beach as they swam in shallow pools created by low tide, but as the tide rose, it was clear Mama was ready to beach herself and her pup, and a clueless woman, with her toddlers, just wouldn't step away. I always wrestle with whether or not to *scream* at people, but eventually she'd taken her fill of selfies and moved along. Don't be one of those people. I know my zoom can be a little deceptive, but at no time was I imposing on their turf.

A final thought...the fight over the seals and sea lions isn't over. While the seals are protected for now, the La Jolla Town Council is fighting fiercely to force the sea lions (who generally hang out at La Jolla Cove) to move the colony. They're calling it "Crisis at the Cove" and are stopping at nothing to fight the City of San Diego. On top of that, the current federal administration is demonstrating a complete and utter lack of concern for animal welfare, habitat loss, climate change, pollution, and science in general, so it's up to us to protect and preserve this treasure, whether that's financially, offereing time, or just spreading the word and showing up when this inevitably goes back to the California Coastal Commission over and over and over again. Join the Seal Conservancy here.

More photos after the jump.

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