Elephant Seals at Ano Nuevo State Park

I love field trips especially when I get to go. This month's field trip was at the Ano Nuevo State Park, just over an hour drive away from school and it was such a great experience. Our passionate docent led us on a beautiful hike, stopping and learning about the history, culture and ecosystem of this natural preserve. I had as much to learn as the children did. We walked through prairies, sand dunes and wet marshes, stopping for bathroom breaks and once for lunch. The highlight of the whole trip was of course to see the elephant seals. I want to say they are very cute but I don't know if that is a term one would use for such colossal pinnipeds (they weigh over two tons). 

It is mating season for them. The males exert their dominance and fight in the process sometimes hurting themselves badly. At one time, we had to take a slight detour because there were two of them fighting right there on the wooden pathway. 

What a treat to have one of the largest breeding colonies for elephant seals to be within driving distance from home. 

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