Where's Sandy? Scribbles from Sand Hill Trail

Not trying to be anthropomorphic, but "Sandy" seemed easier than "the otter that apparently has taken up residence in Sand Hill Cove and likes to haul out on the rock in the center and hang out with harbor seals."  Hope you agree.  And to "youse" who know me, yes indeed, I did have to look that up.

As I write this, it's mid-May, and I've hesitated blogging about Sandy, not wanting to jinx such an incredible display.  But having seen our furry friend hanging loose in the Cove since mid-February, it's probably time to risk it.  So ... want a top 10 highlight?  One that may change your perspective on the day, or maybe the whole year?

Then hurry, don't dawdle and miss this, to the Information Station Parking lot and then to Sand Hill Cove.  At the top of the stairs leading to South Shore Trail, focus a meaningful stare at the "island" in the middle of the Cove.  If the force is strong with you, you'll not only see harbor seals lazing atop the island, but another creature sharing their "bed-rock."  See him in the first picture above?  Oh, and a suggestion: bring binoculars or a scope any time you come to Point Lobos.  Or borrow some at the Information Station, any time between 9am and 5pm.  You miss so much, otherwise.

Over the years, we've not seen an over abundance of otters "hauling out" at Point Lobos.  We thought Sandy might be something really unique.  Thanks to SORAC (Sea Otter Research and Conservation) we've learned otters haul out all the time, typically in locations where they feel secure.  It's an important behavior as it provides relief from their high energy life in the cold, unforgiving Pacific.  Sandy must have heard about the Marine Protected status of Point Lobos and decided to give it a go.  Though we're still not sure how a 50 pound furball is safe from 300 pounds of seal blubber rollovers!  May he live long and prosper and continue to provide pure joy to everyone who pauses to give him a look.

"Wildness is an essential part of ourselves that our ordinary lives tempt us to forget, and by losing touch with that essential part of ourselves, we risk losing our souls."  William Cronon

Postscript: Check out the short video of Sandy in the Video section of "The Arts"  pull down menu.  Click on "Harbor Seals and Sea Otter". 

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