Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 

Sea Lion Visit

There are schools of small herring in the harbor, and they are tasty treats for some bigger animals. The largest ones right now are Steller sea lions, and they are impressive!

Especially when they come up eight feet from the dock you are standing on! The big ol' boy in the photo above is watching me. He could launch himself onto the dock without having to grunt if he wanted. It seemed that they are more concerned about whether the human is going to behave, though.

So they kept a pretty close eye on me just to be sure.

Steller sea lions are so graceful and fast in the water that it doesn't seem like they weigh between 500 pounds and a ton. I retreated to the relative safety of the back deck of the boat. Fourteen of these huge animals worked a circle in the harbor, chasing herring, and occasionally socializing.

The mergansers and seals are working to get their share of the herring, too.

When one merganser says dive, everybody dives.

The seals keep an above-water lookout, and a below-water lookout. The latter is looking for prey as well as danger. Seals are not the preferred food of Stellar sea lions, but they are on the menu at times.

Sea lions have the teeth for the job.

And they are always watchful for opportunity.

Don't be lunch!

Alaska Beachcomber

You might enjoy Hard Working Whales

More Southeast Alaskan animals in the Alaskan Critters menu.

Summer Medley Part 2

More images from summer 2013! 

Sea lions napping on a buoy

More sea lions sacked out

Fishing Vessel Toni Marie's sign

Watching the live fish at DIPAC Hatchery in Juneau

Bald eagles on a navigational marker near Petersburg

A Wrangell sunset. If any of you know anything about the vertical color stripe phenomenon please write to me in the comments or on the contact page! 

Handicap Accessible?

Handicapped dog owner

More eagles sitting around on human's stuff. 

Fireweed

Fireweed in seed

That's all for today, darlings!  

Let your summer smile carry you through the colder season, 

Alaska Beachcomber

Sea Lions

Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

Curious creatures brighten dark, overcast days for me. BIG curious creatures are really cool to watch from the safety of the boat deck, especially when they also have big, yellow teeth. This Steller Sea Lion is not snarling, it is grabbing a breath, but since it weighs well over five hundred pounds I will give it plenty of room anyway. They are very fast and agile swimmers, blowing and diving, then coming closer for another look at the human on the floating box.

Click on the image to the left for a closer look at those canine teeth.

Steller Sea Lion ( Eumetopias jubatus)

Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopias jubatus)

Steller sea lions

We watch each other for a few minutes and then the whales blow off a little ways. The sea lions take off to see what is going on there, and probably to check if there is a snack involved.

Humpback whale surface feeding or 'skim feeding.'

One of the whales is surface feeding. It moves along with with its mouth open, then closes its mouth and dives as the seagulls close in. The whale's baleen is visible if you click the image to enlarge it.

Humpback whale diving as seagulls converge.

Humpback whale diving as seagulls converge.

Some days in Southeast Alaska the sun doesn't come out, the rain starts and stops and starts again, but there is always something in the day that leaves me awash in wonderment. This day offered views of two species of huge marine mammals. What an amazing place!

Wishing you wonders in your day,

Alaska Beachcomber

More marine mammals and other creatures can be seen here: Alaskan Critters