One Word Photo Challenge: SEAFOAM

Sea lion escaping the sea foam drama
Sea lion escaping the sea foam drama

This is my entry for the One Word Photo Challenge, this week’s theme is SEAFOAM. Check out Jennifer Nicole Wells site to view other entries for this theme, which is actually based on the color, seafoam. I’ve interpreted it slightly differently. This seal lives in the Galapagos Islands. Let me correct myself here. I always mistakenly call it a seal; this is a sea lion, not a seal, and lives and breeds exclusively in Galapagos. What–you may wonder–is the difference between a seal and a sea lion?  Well, according to the National Ocean Service, this:  “Sea lions are brown, bark loudly, “walk” on land using their large flippers and have visible ear flaps. Seals have small flippers, wriggle on their bellies on land, and lack visible ear flaps.”

There’s a larger story to this photo because this sea lion and his buddy had just been attacked by a killer whale. This lucky creature narrowly escaped the sharp teeth of doom. But his buddy did not. While that little drama in the world was going down, I was fumbling with my camera and trying not to pee my pants. I missed the shot of tragedy in everyday life here, and you can only see a small portion of the remaining sea foam created by that event, but you can almost see the emotion on the sea lion’s face:  is it fear, or gratitude, or sorrow? Makes you wonder if animals just might be more sentient than we imagine.

25 comments

    • Yeah, I disappoint myself when I could have gotten a shot, and then…don’t. Funny though, because my memory of those times is very clear (this whale, a giant buck in Colorado, a crocodile in Australia). This photo is one where I’d like to use LR (or?) to lighten the right side of his face, and eye, and highlight the drenched fur on his body.

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  1. Anyone who spends time around animals know they express a wide range of emotions and have distinctive personalities. Poor little guy! My first reaction when I saw the photo was that he looked like he had just woken up and was still half-asleep. Now I’m thinking it’s post traumatic shock.

    What a great photo! I could relate to your ‘pee your pants” comment while fumbling to try and get the photo. In my combined excitement and horror, I likely would have remembered the camera only at the last minute!!

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    • You are absolutely right. I’ve loved my cats, dogs, horses. They all had personal issues. I have a hermit crab now, have had him for 12 years (they can live to 50 years in the wild). He, however, does not appear to show me much affection. The closest I get is when he wanders across my office (he has free range of the whole office space, which is the master bedroom here) and passes by my chair, and stops below me.

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    • Yes, lovely creature! This was the time you wish you owned a smart phone, so you wouldn’t have to deal with exposure or even turning the camera on! I have recently put “buy iPhone” on my “To Do” list.

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    • Jennifer, Ha! yes, he/she’s(?) a cutie. And when you put on a face mask and flippers and go under water with them, they will play with you, circle you, brush up against you, and spring out of the water and dive back down. The big ones, the males, especially the dominant A-types, you don’t want to mess with. Thanks for offering your weekly photo challenge. I didn’t have anything the color of seafoam (never heard of that color!). This was the next best thing I had. Thanks again.

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  2. You are so right. It seems sad. But you know, when you look around the planet…everything seems to feed on something else. If it’s not a grain of wheat, it’s a worm. If not a strawberry, it’s a cow. Life here is hard on many levels. Humans are lucky because we sit at the top of the food chain and inside Starbucks. I think this little guy is fairly young because many sea lions there were huge, much larger than this little guy…who perhaps had not quite developed the instinct to avoid certain dangers in the deep end of the pool. He did not fear me, at all.

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  3. Thank you. And yes, I too believe animals “know” things, and feel things. I have a hermit crab…very tiny brain (no head really, no face either). I’ve had him over 12 years, and I can tell when he is not well, or when he’s excited. Or when he wants me to leave him the frink alone.

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