an enjoyable article in The New Yorker by Ian Frazier about seals and sea lions. I was amazed to read that people in New York will spend 24 bucks to go on a boat with the hope of catching a glimpse of a seal, and that 20 years ago there were no seals anywhere near New York City. Here in the bay area of California, one simply has to go to any harbor and look around. They are everywhere.
I remember visiting the Santa Cruz Wharf when I was young, and imitating the barking of the sea lions below the pier. For 50 cents you could buy a small paper plate of 'seal food', a few finger-sized mackerel, that you could toss to the seals in the water around the pier. I'm sure that's against the law these days.
We took the photos on this page in Monterey last summer. These California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are the same species that are trained for circus acts and marine live shows. Here, they had taken over the beach rocks all around the pier. They were also beaching themselves on private yachts and docks. And pooping everywhere. Cute critters, but somewhat messy and smelly, as well.