The view of the Mendocino Coast across the street from our bed & breakfast in Westport, California. Truly a beautiful, remote place without a soul around for miles. I was able to write a lot of poetry while here
Harp Seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) are native to the northernmost Atlantic Ocean and parts of the Arctic Ocean. Each year thousands of harp seals gather on the sea ice around Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence where they give birth to their young "whitecoats." The mothers then return to the ocean where they monitor their pups through carefully maintained breathing holes, only coming onto the ice a few times a day to nurse the young pups. Pups are unable to swim or find food until they are seven to eight weeks old. Consequently, their survival is entirely dependent on the sea ice . . . without adequate ice, there is no place for the mothers to give birth and no place for the pups to nurse until they are mature enough to enter the water. Our Oceans, Our Future!
I took this photo in early March of 2015. I lived on a small ice breaker boat for about 5 days and spent my days out on the ice photographing these baby seals and their mothers. I like this photo for a couple of reasons. First, if you look closely, you can see frozen tear drops on the seal's cheeks. I think this is just an amazing detail to capture. I also like this scene because even though it was brutally cold, the sun was very bright and the seal is seeking shade from a large ice formation. I just find it interesting that this little guy needed a break from the sun!