Saturday, July 01, 2006

La Jolla Seals - Natural Drama and Human Controversy

Someone called my attention to one of the younger seals who is off by himself and not moving. Over the next few days, I return for other ocean shots. This little one is in trouble. The only people who can rescue him have to have special licenses - and even so there are restrictions on what they can do. If he is still making efforts to get out to sea, they have to leave him alone. This pup probably won't make it.

I photographed one seal injury that I saw while I was shooting.

But when I scanned my shots back at the RV, I noted another injured seal. While this is a normal resting position for a seal (especially after bouncing up from the sea), this injury may be slowing him down. Whether a cut from hauling himself up over sharp rocks or an injury from another animal or hazards in the sea, he'll probably have to heal on his own. Just as life can be rough for humans and their situations, life is rough in the wild, also.

On one of my other visits I find that these seals are controversial. La Jolla Friends of the Seals stations people to help protect and provide information about the seals. Unfortunately, there are those who begrudge these animals their place in the sand. It turns out that the seawall was built in 1931 to provide a pool for children to play in. The wall encouraged the beach to grow, and was modified after a drowning occurred. The sand filled in the pool. It is my belief that the majority of people enjoy the close proximity of the seal rookery with its opportunity to watch both adults and baby seals. Certainly, the seals and other marine life at La Jolla Cove bring many tourists with their dollars to benefit the economy of this area. And there are other much larger beaches nearby for humans. It is sad to know that a few individuals come on a regular basis to harass the seals (a federal offense) in hopes of getting them to find another place to rest.

While sad about the seal issues, I enjoy each of my visits to this area. I am fortunate to come back two other evenings with a different camera set up to try to capture the ocean waves in an artistic fashion. While I have not had time to process very many of the shots, I am pleased with the results. Some will be entered in the major competitions I enter each year. I am hopeful.

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