Elephant seals don’t eat when they’re on shore, but I made up for their abstemious habits today, picking up a whole aged sheep cheese and almost five pounds of feta from Rebecca King at the Westside farmers market, and then 20 lbs of freshly ground flour and 10 lbs of soft wheat berries from Pie Ranch. I saw several lizards and a bunny at Año Nuevo, but the only thing I got a photo of was a praying mantis.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in the wild, and here it was, sitting in the middle of the trail.

The juvenile seals were frisky and vocal this afternoon, then we three docents and the last of the guests watched as a researcher from Sonoma State looked for a particular animal on the beach (out of maybe 100 seals) from markings she’d left on it several weeks before, then tranquilized it, kept it from charging back into the water (not a good idea under sedation) and took a blood sample. Ah, graduate school.