A Mother's Day Surprise!
Updated: May 11, 2022
My older daughter—Jaime—had been visiting for several weeks. On Mother’s Day she roused herself early to enjoy the breakfast that my sweet hubby had graciously picked up from the Compass Rose Café. Precipitation had chased us indoors the past several days. So with a break in the rain as we finished eating, Jaime suggested a beach walk.
Living on the Southern Oregon Coast is a privilege. The beaches host a myriad of wildlife, shells, sea glass, and many different types of rocks. Every walk provides a unique experience.
As you can see, Jaime is very photogenic. I might be, if not for my wild hair.
Kirby—our reactive Bichon—pulled Jaime toward the top of the beach, while I headed to an outcropping of rocks toward the water. Just as I rounded a corner, I spied an adorable baby harbor seal on land!
I observed my first baby seal on the beach in 2020. At that time—via an internet search—I learned that the baby seals are not abandoned by their mothers. The mothers are actually nearby searching for food. While the pups can swim as soon as they are born, they can’t tread water for long periods of time. So mamas leave them on the beach to rest and warm up. Click here to read more about baby seals.
During the three Mays that we have lived on the coast, I have encountered four baby seals on the beach. It takes every bit of my self-restraint to keep from cuddling them and taking them home to reside in my bathtub. They are just so darn cute.
Luckily, I had my phone and zoomed in so that I could keep my distance but still take a few pictures and a video. Then I took Kirby’s leash, so that Jaime could observe the pup from afar. We kept Kirby far away from him to prevent Kirby from scaring the young thing.
While still reeling from the excitement of seeing the pup, I received a phone call from my younger daughter and her boyfriend—Courtney and Coy—to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day!
The day had lined up perfectly. There had been a break in the rain to allow me to walk on the beach with one daughter, while receiving a call from my other daughter and her boyfriend, and the icing on the cake was getting to see a baby seal. Wow, how lucky could one person get?
I always look for sea glass while I walk the beach. As all sea glass hunting aficionados know, the sport requires intense focus. After walking about a mile, I had come up empty-handed. The giddiness of seeing the baby seal and receiving the Mother’s Day phone call had messed with my concentration. It was okay, I would much rather see a baby seal than find sea glass any day.
Threatening clouds were rolling in behind us, so we double-timed it back toward the house. Three-quarters of the way, back I spied a small piece of sea glass. It was better than nothing.
A light drizzle started about the time that we could see the seal pup. Kirby pulled toward the seal, but we kept a wide berth. Just about the time that we reached the beach in front of our house it started sleeting. Being pelted by sleet was better than being drenched by a hard rain.
A few minutes after we were inside, it started pouring. The baby seal had hauled out onto the beach for warmth and rest. In this young and fragile state, would the pup survive the sleet and rain?
While we were safe and warm inside, Jaime treated me to delicious nachos for lunch and even cleaned the kitchen afterwards.
During another break in the rain, I headed out armed with binoculars to check on the seal pup. My heart dropped when he was not in the location where we had last seen him. Relief swept over me when I spotted him a few feet away taking shelter under the overhang of a rock. His instincts had kicked in and guided him to protection. As the rain started falling again, I followed his lead and headed to shelter.
Hubby took me out for a dinner of filet mignon. All in all the perfect Mother’s Day!
Angela L Gold is the author of The Lion Within.