Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Lions and bears ... oh no!

When I say lions, I am referring to Sea Lions. I saw a large group of them (I estimate over 50) on a recent trip to Vancouver Island. They were occupying a floating structure about 150 to 200 metres from the shoreline. It is in an area that has several oyster farms so the structure may have been used by the oyster farmers before the sea lions moved in.

"Sea lions are pinnipeds characterized by external ear flaps, long fore flippers, the ability to walk on all fours, and short, thick hair. Together with the fur seals, they comprise the family Otariidae, or eared seals." (Wikipedia)

The Stellar and California Sea Lions occupy the West Coast, as far as I can determine the main difference between them is size. I am betting these were Stellar Sea Lions.

This one seems to be happily asleep in a very odd position:

Many of them were asleep and I thought some of the expressions were priceless.

See what I mean?

This one seems to have issues! He starts barking ....

And then these guys get started ....

... and before you know it everyone is in on the act.

And one ends up getting pushed into the water.

And this big guy gets the last word for now ...

But seeing them is only part of the experience. You need to hear them too, I thought, so I took some videos as well. To really get an idea of watching them up close you should create the right "aroma", maybe open a can of sardines and park it in front of the screen as you view the videos. Here are 3:

When you have an itch ....

... well you just have to scratch.

Here is a view of some the sea lions on their floating home.

Here is an article with more information about sea lions that live and/or visit the coast of British Columbia.

Oh no someone has started again ....

Can't a guy get some sleep!

Oh, please .......... not again

Full song again ....

Many are asleep here but they also eat, and quite a lot too, they have a particular taste for herring at this time of year.

"Sea lions consume large quantities of food at a time and are known to eat about 5–8% of their body weight (about 15–35 lb (6.8–16 kg)) at a single feeding." (Wikipedia)

Some of the sea lions were swimming or just floating in the water, some also appeared to be asleep in the water.

Another short video:

They can be very noisy, and not just in the daytime, and being on the water the sound carries ... a long way.

I made mention of bears too. Well there was a bear making its rounds close to where we were staying, but usually at night, and if it were not for the scat left behind we might not have known.

Still on the subject of bears, I have recently finished a painting of a bear; the teddy bear kind. It is a watercolour called "For Me?"

Well it's craft fair season and I will be selling cards, prints and some original paintings at the Delbrook Craft Fair in North Vancouver on November 18 and December 2, so guess what I have been doing recently?
More details on this next week.

One more thing, my friend Jochi is having a sale (2 for 1) on his large framed photographs. Drop by his website and have a look.

That`s it for this week, thank you so much for dropping by, I love getting your comments.
Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week ......


  1. Brilliant and wonderful creatures. I could watch them for hours.
    I wonder do folk swim with them or are they like seals a bit unpredictable.

  2. Gillian, I love the sea lions and your photos. They are cute when they start their barking. It must have fun to watch them. Great shots and videos. I love your cute bear painting, it is adorable. Have a wonderful day.

  3. WONDERFUL sea-lions, the more so since I have just been reading Andrew Motion's (fictional) descriptions in his 'Treasure Island' sequel, 'SILVER' ...

  4. Such an amazing sight you saw! Your photos of the sea lions picture them so well. The only time i've seen so many in one location was in Florence, Oregon. We are trying to plan a trip to the island so hopefully we'll come across this gathering of friends as we are enjoying the ferry ride. Good luck with your sales at the craft fairs Gillian!

  5. precious painting - would be perfect for a child's room. :)

    loved the sea lions! can only imagine the smell and din. (no, i did not open a sardine can, thank you!) :)

    just adorable, though.

  6. The sea lions are amazing. Fantastic shots of them.

  7. Wonderful animals, the way that you take them is precious.

  8. Ahha! I see you were in my neck of the woods :) The seal lions really are entertaining, and especially easy to see with the new ramp. I thought you might like a glance at the post I did last January, entitled "Basking Cheek to Cheek"...taken from the same location.

    Sounds like a very busy time ahead for you ~ Some lucky people will be thrilled to purchase your creations!

  9. Great photos of the sea lions but I am glad I am sitting and looking at photos and not up close and smelling them!

  10. I love to go to San Francisco and watch the Sea Lions. I could sit and watch them for hours. You got some great photos of them here.

    I also love you painting. Best of luck to you at your Art Show.


  11. Thanks for letting us join you on your fun little adventure with the lions and bears. (No tigers I guess)

  12. Those Sea Lions are Hilarious!
    Love your Videos!

    Thanks Gil!


  13. They are pretty wonderful creatures...I think their faces look similar to the expressions on a cats face.

    Have you ever been to SeaLion caves in Oregon, a contained space, and all of those smelly guys?


  14. Those sea lion shots are precious - what amazingly expressive faces they have.

    I couldn't find a can of sardines but I imagined the aroma as I listened to their barks.

  15. They're an incredible mix of endearingly cute and rather goofy looking/sounding all at the same time. They must be a hoot to watch.

    Love the teddy bear painting. You're so talented.

  16. Hope the craft fair season goes well for you Gillian. Those sea lions are amazing, not quite so their smell!

  17. I've never seen sea lions in person so I found this fascinating.

  18. Great Pictures, I have been over to the island and seen the seal lions many times. Seeing your pictures really brought them alive for me again. They are such big animals and noisy ones too!!

  19. Isn’t it fascinating that I never got tired of seeing these long series of apparently similar (but really different) photos of sea lions? Sea lions are relaxing just to watch, they are charming and funny. I think I’ve mixed up a seal, a sea lion, and an otter, and can’t tell apart them even now when I learned sea lions are eared seals.


  20. amazing shots and videos !
    the bear is beautiful !
    wish you a wonderful weekend Gillian

  21. Looks a bit like a yoga class.

  22. Oh my gosh...I loved this post. Really fun. I loved the videos, especially the one of them in the water. Their voices really do carry more on the water!

  23. What a wonderful post Gillian..

  24. Great pictures of the Sea Lions.

    We saw a colony of Fur Seals last summer - they were great to see, but the smell was a good deal less than pleasant!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog - I've been in Oman for a week hence slow reply!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

  25. Love your mushrooms Gill, I didn't know they were that strong...enough to support a car!