|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Continuing the California theme, this post should appeal to TN's animal lovers, as well as to fans of abstract images. Nature presents us with delightful shapes in many forms, alive and not. This collection of sensuous curves is different than any I've seen in other abstract photos on TN.|
Halfway between San Francisco and Monterrey is a wonderful place called Aņo Nuevo State Natural Reserve. It contains a gorgeous chunk of coast, including rocks, dunes, and fine sandy beaches. But that lovely coastal geography is not what makes Aņo Nuevo so special.
Elephant seals are the prime attraction for most human visitors to Aņo Nuevo. When they return in late spring to molt, they spend much of their time just like in this image, sleeping on the beach, piled against each other like driftwood logs.
Here is a description of Aņo Nuevo from the California State Parks web site (http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=523):
Fifty-five miles south of San Francisco and the Golden Gate, a low, rocky, windswept point juts out into the Pacific Ocean. The Spanish maritime explorer Sebastian Vizcaino sailed by the point on January 3, 1603. His diarist and chaplain of the expedition, Father Antonio de la Ascension, named it Punta de Aņo Nuevo (New Year's Point) for the day on which they sighted it in 1603.
Today, the point remains much as Vizcaino saw it from his passing ship. Lonely, undeveloped, wild. Elephant seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals come ashore to rest, mate, and give birth in the sand dunes or on the beaches and offshore islands. It is a unique and unforgettable natural spectacle that hundreds of thousands of people come to witness each year.
Aņo Nuevo State Natural Reserve is the site of the largest mainland breeding colony in the world for the northern elephant seal, and the interpretive program has attracted increasing interest every winter for the past 19 years. People who hope to see the seals during the winter breeding season are urged to get their reservations early. The males battle for mates on the beaches and the females give birth to their pups on the dunes.
During the breeding season, December through March, daily access to the reserve is available via guided walks only. Most of the adult seals are gone by early March, leaving behind the weaned pups who remain through April. The elephant seals return to Aņo Nuevo's beaches during the spring and summer months to molt and can be observed during this time through a permit system.
Additional note- the web site listed above also has a link to streaming video from an elephant seal camera.
tech notes- slight rotation & cropping, one step sharpening, significant shadow/highlight adjustment and contrast boost, no color manipulation
nagraj, Mikolaj, NinaM, tuslaw, Heaven has marked this note useful
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