The day after

herring roe on seaweed
Just like little jewels

I seized the chance to go down to the spawning beach again today… I wasn’t finished taking pictures. For one thing, there was all that roe. But there was much more than that, as it turned out.   

Well, I’d better finish up with the roe. For now, anyway.

In masses, it turned the lower levels of the beach, where the weed grows densely on the rock, from dark brown to grey.

masses of herring roe on seaweed
And smelling slightly fishy, too.

But it’s the details that were astonishingly pretty, when you stop to look.

more roe on seaweed

At any rate, the roe on weed was just the background. This is the real story. Know what it is?

raft of sea lions

It’s a ginormous raft of Stellar sea lions all floating around together sticking miscellaneous noses and flippers up for an airing and occasionally making quite astonishing noises. Probably a hundred of them. (Again, I apologize for the lack of a proper telephoto…. one of these days…) The dots in the foreground are mostly seals. There may have been some California sea lions in the mix as well.

seal with barges in background

Here’s a seal…. not a particularly good view, but I liked the colours and composition.

sea lion, sea lion raft, gulls

Here’s a slightly closer view of a sea lion. The raft is in the background. Oh, and a truly amazing number of gulls were flying around today. The fishermen had gone, but the wildlife was clearly in cleanup mode.


I don’t suppose this killdeer was after the herring, but it was hanging about and intriguing Our Dog, who was initially still on leash. When we let him off and he trotted over to investigate, the killdeer scurried away shrieking like someone whose virtue had been threatened, at which point Our Dog clearly thought, oh, just another of those silly birds, and went to look at something more interesting….

So a good day, all in all.

8 thoughts on “The day after

    1. Thank you! And thanks for coming by and commenting from down here on (relatively) southerly shores.

      I’ve never made it to Alaska, yet—it’s on my bucket list—but I lived in Yellowknife as a young child, and have spent time paddling Yukon rivers and otherwise exploring up there, so I know the North is one of the best places on earth to live—you’re very lucky!

      (And ah, the lovely feeling of water vapour crystallizing in your nose at 40 below…)

  1. Fantastic photos – what a treat to see this, and you capture it well with the lenses you have, so no apologies necessary. I especially like the close-ups, but as you know I lean that way anyway.

  2. Wow! I knew we should have gone back down there today. I was completely amazed yesterday, my mouth was hanging open. Couldn’t believe how magnificent the whole thing is. Your pictures just great. Thank you capturing this event.

    1. Go down tomorrow and report on what’s happening! I’m back to Big City, alas.

      I was actually surprised that the milt was still colouring the water so strongly—not much less than yesterday.

    1. Thank you! I have very limited time for blogging, so I don’t often do longer posts or series, but because everything in these 3 days was so closely related to a specific event it all had to go together to make sense.

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