God Has GOT to Have a Sense of Humor

Remember that trip we took?
The one on the winding road? Highway One?
You remember. I’m sure you do – 
the one with views like this one? 
Sun on the water, rocks and sand and surf?
 Well, take a closer look at those rocks. 
Especially that big one right in the middle of this picture.
Hey, wait a second!
That ain’t no rock.

In fact, it’s a seal.
A very particular kind of seal, 
that hauls out on a very particular beach 
called Piedras Blancas.
And you can park-and-view near this very particular beach.
And let me tell you, if you’ve ever wondered if there is 
weird wonderfulness in this world,
this is the viewpoint where every single suspicion is confirmed.

These are elephant seals.

The males can weigh up to 8,800 pounds 
and live for 20 years.
Their name comes from that strangely-shaped proboscis –
and their immense size.

 And they are amazing to watch.
 They spend 80% of their time in the water, diving deeply, eating a whole lot.
They haul out to breed,
to birth,
to rest.
And we get to watch it all.
 These mamas are very attentive – for about five months.
Then they waddle off to swim away and the pups are on their own. All of them that survive that first year find their back to their birthing beach again and again.
 And if the wrong mama gets near the pup?
Fuggedabout it.
The jig is up.
And sand will fly.
 (Actually, the sand flying is just a way to keep cool 
and moist as the sun beats down.)
 It’s an amazing sight.
a bit smelly,
and fascinating.
 Stop by sometime, especially if you ever get the chance to visit San Simeon, 
the Hearst castle on the hill. 
This beach is just below there.
 These are faces perhaps only a mother could love.
But to tell you the truth,
I think they’re kinda cute.
In a strangely alarming sort of way. 
And they pretty much convince me that God likes to smile.

Posting early, but will join with Laura’s Playdates with God 
and L.L’s On, In and Around Mondays early next week.
On In Around button

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  1. I enjoyed this so much. Thanks for the smile. I remember seeing a beach full of seals (don’t know if they were elephant seals) on a beach in La Jolla. You’re right–they are kind of smelly. But fun to watch. God makes some really cool stuff.

  2. California sea lions also haul out up and down the coast of CA, so that’s probably what you saw in La Jolla. These guys are pretty unique – about 5 times the size of regular seals and sea lions. I have some fun pictures of sea lions covering a long narrow pier near Watsonville in northern CA – I should put those up as a sort of contrast.

  3. Jerry and I just did that this summer. His childhood friend came to california for the first time and we drove from San Diego up to San Francisco. Stopping all along the way and this is one of the sights we stopped for. We truly have the most beautiful coastline!


  4. Love it! You’ve gotta wonder what God was thinking when he made the elephant seals.

  5. Nancy, Diana’s right…those are California sea lions that grace the beach at The Children’s Pool in La Jolla.

    There’s a periodic battle wherein someone decides the sea lions must be uprooted so the children can reclaim their little cove.

    In Newport Harbor, an hour or so up the freeway, the sea lions climb aboard boats in the marinas. Sometimes they sink them.

    Diana, thank you for this. I’ve never looked at seals quite like this! It’s a gift, the way your share your seeing.

  6. Incredible.

    Can I capitalize that?


    He’s made some pretty wild and wonderful stuff.

  7. Thank you… you made me smile as I scrolled down and remembered when I saw them a few years ago…Grateful that God has a sense of humor and that I read your post today : )

  8. What a fun blog post! Thank you for those great pics and that amazing visit with the elephant seals. I never knew… And yes, I’m sure God has a sense of humor!

  9. Diana! I am just…oh, good gravy, I must come visit! You have the bestest adventures and now this. What a treat this post is. I agree with Nancy–God makes some really cool stuff.

  10. Yes, Laura – please do come visit. There’s lots of great stuff to see and do in CA – and Santa Barbara could be a stop-over point. :>)