Happy Holler Holidays to you! Frohlice Weihnachten~ Feliz Navidad~ Crăciun Fericit~ Joyeux Noel~ 季節のご挨拶 हैप्पी छुट्टियाँ! Cheers & Seasons Greetings!
(Photos at the Ojai Valley Inn & Four Seasons Santa Barbara are intermixed)
What, you didn’t know California had wild Zebras? Well, don’t feel bad, neither did I, until I saw them grazing with the cows on the side of the road in Big Sur and nearly ran off the road!
Apparently William Randolph Hearst imported them long ago from Africa to roam around his castle with his cows.
It must have been good to be William Randolph Hearst.
These are definitely California elephant seal kids. They stole someone’s boogie board and there is no way they are giving it back! Probably ripped it off from some Southern California kid and boogied north on it. What, you didn’t know elephant seals boogie boarded? Don’t feel bad, neither did I.
Like many California kids, all they want to do is surf and sleep, and hang out at the beach.
This is exactly what I did when I was a California kid.
It’s good to be a Ellie kid!
Thank you for your patience with my elephant seal photos, this is the last of them! Cheers to you from Caly’s Zebras & Ellie Kids~
Well, there can be some irritability.
This is what she is normally like.
But mood issues are not unexpected when she’s expecting.
She needs a break though, when she yells at the kids.
The guys don’t get they need to let her sleep.
She’s even testy with her female friends.
Jim was cautious with these hordes of attitudinal pregnant mamas.
I felt right at home. ;)
Cheers to you from the glorious, if occasionally moody, nothern elephant seals
It must be good to be an elephant seal bull…..
weigh 5000 pounds,
own beach front property,
and have a harem.
Then again, maybe not so good,
you can’t win every battle,
and losing looks too painful!
It must be tough to be a bull….
and sometimes quite discouraging….
Cheers to you from the extraordinary elephant seal bulls at Big Sur California~
Juvenile northern elephant seal Big Sur California. This little guy seemed happy to see me and vocalized and spun around, watched me and entertained the heck out me. Of course I fell head over heels for these guys.
Male northern elephant seal in full battle call. Their trumpeting battle calls can be heard from far away.
Heavy hunting reduced northern elephant seal populations to a worldwide low of less than fifty. Protection implemented by the US and Mexico have restored current populations to approximately 175,000. Although most northern elephant seals mate and give birth on offshore islands, 20,000 return annually to the Big Sur area on California’s coast.
In December mating season male’s battle violently for control of beaches and females, and gather harems.
Their battles definitely grab your attention and take place both on land and in the water.
Males weigh up to 5000 pounds and are up to 15 feet long.
The juveniles are adorable and curious little guys.
Mating agression is not the norm. Elephant seals are usually mellow creatures.
Please stay tuned for more photos of these remarkable colonies of fascinating animals that were nearly poached to extinction.
Cheers to you from the Caly’s magnificent ellies~
“with my favorite ally” up the central California coast. Lyrics: Anythony Kiedis
We are taking a short 4 day road trip to check out some of the few places where Northern elephant seals mate, fight and give birth in the US, on the central California coast about a 7 hour drive from The Holler.
On the way we stopped for the night in Ojai at a Hacienda Hotel built in the 1920’s.
It is a Wallace Neff paradise for people who enjoy Hacienda architecture.
The Christmas ligths make for an especially lovely scene.
We are now in Cambria California, on the southern edge of Big Sur.
Today we are searching elephant seals.
Gray whales are also migrating and sea otter live here.
Cheers to you during our elephant seal expedition in California’s Big Sur~
It is finally raining at The Holler even though we are still in the midst of the worst recorded drought in California history.
The rain isn’t nearly enough, but at least it will keep the hawks alive for awhile.
I am unable to adequately describe the hawks, I love them so.
Words fail, photos make due.
Hawks are my friends here.
So glad we moved to this iffy place, one of Southern California’s last remaining wild spaces.
The Holler is built on a mountain with an empty valley below. Hawks often fly at our eye level or below, allowing us to look down on them as they soar. Normally hawks fly high, above us all.
I suspect we all need to live this way, wild and free, and above it all.
Cheers to you from the indescribably free Holler Hawks~