It Came From the Ocean

The Dogs of the Sea – Harbor Seals


He came over to see what we were doing.

Or, to fish or check out his tank.


This is actually a Grey Seal, I believe, if I’m reading my notes correctly.  The fatter speckled ones are the Harbor Seals, I think.


I wish I had video of this one.  He was hysterical.  He came out of his enclosure, barking, and waving his head back and forth like Stevie Wonder.  We think it may have been near the time they are fed.


This looks like it’s on its side, but it’s actually not – I was trying to get both of them in the same shot.  The one on the right seems to be the harbor seal, and the one on the left is the grey seal.

I love their whiskers!


One more of this show-off as he came over and came up out of the water for me.


These are the seals I grew up around – California sea lions.

So, I said yesterday I’d tell you a story about Pier 39.  When I was a kid, Pier 39 was a fun place to go.  It’s located on the bay in San Francisco, California, USA, and is literally the 39th pier along the wharf.  Filled with shops and eateries, it’s a good place to spend an afternoon.

Back then, the sea lions would come up along the shore under the wharf, which was a wooden structure along the coastline on top of which were built the shops and such.

And the tourists, predictably, would feed the seals.

A few years ago, there were reports of the now aggressive seals coming up onto the wharf and attacking tourists for food.  I’m not sure how exaggerated those reports were, but let’s face it: this is an animal weighing several hundred pounds.  It isn’t the most agile on dry land, but it can move along at startling velocity.

As much as I joke about wanting to pet the animals at the zoo, one must always remember that these are wild animals, and we are guests in their demesnes.  When researching some of my posts for the challenge, I happened to look up lions and human interactions, and came across several awful posts of recent deaths of photographers who, in their hubris, forgot this simple fact.

These are wild animals, not pets.

But I still wanna pet one.

Remember, A-Z fans, tomorrow has no post, being Sunday; check back on Monday when I reveal what the heck animal begins with the letter “I” – and it wasn’t easy!


Thank you for joining me for the A-Z Blog Challenge.  If you’re blogging in the challenge, please leave me a link so I can come visit you too.  If you have a moment, please check out these other fine blogs:

My theme on my Knoontime Knitting craft blog is Letterforms In Nature and the Built Environment.  I’ll be exploring my daily round, looking for shapes in the natural world and build environment.

The theme at Noon & Wilder is The A To Z of Chicago.  Since I live here in the city and we have our Chicagoland Shifters based here, I figured I’d share a window into the city, Noon & Wilder style.

The Nice Girls Writing Naughty have a new home, and we’re blogging in the challenge again this year.  Throughout the month you’ll be hearing from each of the Nice Girls, and during the RT Booklovers Convention from April 12th to the 17th, you’ll be getting live convention reports.  Join the conversation!

The Writer Zen Garden’s brand new website is up and running, and we’re bringing you posts from me, Noony; my partner in crime, Rachel Wilder (the Wilder half of Noon & Wilder); the talented Darla M. Sands – a blogger in her own right, see below; as well as Grace Kahlo, Evey Brown, and author Tina Holland.  Check it out!

My friends who are participating in the challenge (and if you’re not on this list, tell me and I’ll add you!):

Write on, and Happy Blogging!

13 Replies to “It Came From the Ocean”

  1. Seals are so fun to watch. As for i, I’m thinking of ibis, though I don’t know if your zoo has any. 🙂 I adored Pier 39 when my boyfriend at the time and I visited back in 1988. See you Monday!

  2. Yes, the one posing is a grey seal – more noble faces. We have those and common seals around the UK, of course the common is less common than they grey 🙂 I suspect they may be like your harbour seals, much rounder faces and appealing eyes 😉
    Jemima Pett

    1. Do they bark as much as the ones here? We stayed in Monterey (off the coast of California) once and in the evening, the seals would bark on the beach below the hotel. Very loud. I found it rather soothing, but not everyone did.

  3. Pier 39 sounds like Navy Pier here in Chicago. We don’t have any seals, but I have a photo from Sea World in Florida, where I am dangling a fish over the open mouth of a walrus. Will save it for my own A-Z animal collection.

    1. Hi, Felicia! Yes, in principle, it’s a lot like Navy Pier, but in actuality, San Francisco is a port town. Much moreso than Chicago is now, though I know it used to have more port movement in the past. Oceanliners come in to the Bay and deliver goods to the ports in San Francisco and much more over on the Oakland side; there’s a navy base over at Alameda and also on Angel Island.

      The thing I like about Pier 39 is it’s part of a whole part of town called Fisherman’s Wharf. While a lot of it is geared toward tourists, there’s a lot that’s not. It’s a fun place to see and at last five times bigger than Navy Pier.

      It probably sounds like I’m comparing the value of the two places, and I’m totally not intending it that way; I just mean they have different things to recommend them. 🙂 I like Navy Pier for what it is; my favorite part is the Stained Glass Museum.

      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  4. Aww…they are so cute, I still want to pet one too 🙂 But there’s an important message…these are all wild animals and we better learn to behave ourselves accordingly!

    1. I agree! It’s easy to forget that when humans encroach on species’ territories that we are guests in their world, not the other way around. 🙂

      Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment; I appreciate it!

    1. Hi, Kim! Thank you for stopping by, and for subscribing to my newsletter. 🙂 I’m glad you found some other good stuff to play with as well; the Nice Girls have a very active Facebook group if you’re on FB, it’s at We limit promo to just the Nice Girls; the discussion is mostly about men, raising kids, writing, recipes, movies, and having fun. Our last even was a movie night that was tons of fun; we’ll definitely be doing that one again. 🙂

      Good luck with the challenge, and Happy Blogging!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.