Calm wind, bright sun, the last bite of cold on the air. Too many things to take care of this morning (deadlines! due dates! more deadlines!), but I knew it was good seal watching weather, and I knew they'd be heading north to Canada in a few weeks. I'd work all afternoon instead.
So there they were, sunning themselves on the rocks like slick black bananas--or maybe yams? I couldn't take my eyes off them. They weren't so much like the sea lions of Santa Cruz or Monterey, in "perfect response," as Mark says in one of his new poems. While some of these guys were blissed out and calm, others were not, vying for space on the three or four available rocks as the tide rose and the waves rolled in. I actually saw two of them fighting, or attempting to, their growls filling up the air. And of course I got it that they'd evolved from land mammals like bears. They were acting like bears. And the stirring up of the water! It made me think about the difference between West Coast and East: rest vs. bluster. And, of course, in the East it's always about real estate, even during a downturn.
Actually the walk to and from the seal haulout was an adventure in itself: a mile-long trail in Montauk Point State Park through a holly forest: sometimes boggy, sometimes high and dry, up the hill, down the hill, always rocks and roots beneath the feet. On the way back home I stopped the car for an enormous black turkey who crossed just in front of me.