The colours came in nicely when the sun fell under the clouds before hiding behind the ocean horizon. The shoreline around La Jolla looked like someone had splashed paint across the wet rocks, swirling water as well as the dark clouds hanging above. This was a few minutes after the previous image I shared from the same sunset – interesting how the colours changed over that short period of time.
Lake Minnewanka has a beautiful shoreline on its southeastern edge. I have not spent much time along the rocks there but a few days ago I was there for about an hour in the morning and really liked the area. The ice coating the rocks where there were gaps in the snow worked in nice contrast to the stormy skies crowding over the ridges of Inglismaldie on the far side of the water.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal (Monachus schauinslandi) is one of two mammals native to the islands. They are endangered and seeing them sunning on a beach or resting along a flat stretch of rocky shoreline, is special. Around Kaua’i, there are an estimated 35 resident seals with some nomadic visitors from smaller islets further northwest along the Hawaiian chain (the animal’s total population is estimated to be around 1100). The Hawaiians call the seals ʻIlio-holo-i-ka-uaua which means “dog that runs in rough water”. Ke’e Beach is a frequent destination for a lone seal to visit and I just missed seeing a seal there on three separate visits. While photographing Red-footed boobies courting at the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the island’s northeast tip, I noticed a dark shape sliding across the rocks far below the viewing point on was photographing from.
It took a minute for me to put on as much lens as I had brought with me, a 300mm and a 1.4 extender for a total telephoto reach of 420mm, which turned the spot into a recognizable seal. I would have liked more reach but the airlines don’t make travelling with large lenses an easy proposition. Nevertheless I could watch the seal well through the lens and the upside was certainly that no one was disturbing the animal from that distance.