Tuesday, May 17, 2011
We stayed in Cambria one night. The view out the motel window was lovely. Walking on the beach was lovely. I saw several plants in habitat that I have propagated for sale: potentilla, erigeron, and eriophylum are pictured here. And then we drove up the road a bit to see the elephant seals. The wind was roaring, the ocean was roaring, and the animals were roaring. The animals were also all cuddled up molting. This time of year the females and juveniles molt. Later in the spring the sub-adult males molt. Then in summer the adult males molt. I don't know why they lose their fur all at once in a "catastrophic molt" or why they have to segregate themselves while they molt. They seem a bit weird. But I guess the weirdest thing is that they lay around on the beach so much. Easy hunting! In fact, they were hunted until no more could be found. But a few hid from humans on an island, and after some protective laws were passed, they expanded their distribution and numbers. So now there are lots of elephant seals in California.