La Jolla Cove | 2019
I was returning from Los Angeles after an amazing visit to The Comedy Store the night before. It was later in the afternoon and I was headed to Temecula where I was staying. I must have been lost in thought, as I missed the exit by an embarrassing distance. In an effort to get back to the freeway, I came across an area I previously hadn't visited before.
Finding myself near the ocean, I wanted to have a look. It was then I saw something extraordinary — and thus solidified my position as most embarrassing tourist of the day.
I didn't know it then, but La Jolla Cove is one of the most popular spots in the county. And everyone else seems to know this. So you can imagine how ridiculous I must have looked to others wandering around with a camera-in-hand and a perma-grin.
But I didn't care. They don't have sights like these in Seattle. And it was the closest I had ever come to sea lions and seals lounging after a midday meal.
Now, it's never a good idea to approach wildlife. Especially after they've made a decision to lounge about. And ESPECIALLY when their offspring are present. All of these images were taken at a distance with a telephoto lens.
To reiterate: DO NOT APPROACH WILDLIFE :)
Many people did not read the numerous signs expressing this seemingly obvious fact. Fortunately for them, most of these gorgeous animals were quite used to homo sapiens as they had been previously tagged by the university's marine biologists.
But I'd like to see how cavalier they are on safari. Hyenas do not adhere to human codes of conduct...
Nevertheless, the local pinniped population welcomed my presence. And while the youngsters found me somewhat curious, I was careful not to set a precedent that might endanger them by engendering them to irresponsible people.
It's hard not to stand in awe of something so pure and so connected to who and what it has evolved to become. In many ways, theirs is a most enviable life. When they are hungry, they eat. When they are tired, they rest. When they want different scenery, they travel to it without question. And they've developed an equilibrium with their sympatric compatriots.
But one can only tolerate the smell of droppings for so long. And when I had enough, I packed up and made my way to the car, entirely contented by the serendipity I was generously afforded.
It was a very good day :)