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Elephant Seals and the Worm Moon

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

Last night was this year's worm moon which coincided with the spring equinox, the moment when the length of day and night is nearly the same. It was also a supermoon which means the moon appears larger than normal when full.

To see this spectacle, we drove North on The One towards the Piedras Blancas lighthouse. This is a beautiful structure, first illuminated in 1875. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is possible to take a guided tour.

We parked about half an hour walk down from the light house and walked along the cliffs as the sun went down. There is a good path and we passed a couple of other people taking in the view from a bench near the start. It was a stunning sight with the lighthouse shining against a vivid orange backdrop. As it got darker we could hear the bizarre sounds of male elephant seals swimming down below.

This area is famous for elephant seals, and during the day you can find hundreds of them lounging around, throwing sand over themselves on the beach near San Simeon State Park. They come here in spring to mate and give birth. The males, known as beach masters, can be over 15ft long and weigh over 2000kg.

Unfortunately on this occasion the moon itself was mostly hidden by clouds, but every now and again we got a glimpse. By visiting the lighthouse I was hoping to find a spot to help give some sense of scale to an image fo the supermoon. Didn't quite manage it this year, as we were distracted by the sunset - but I'll get some practice in before it comes around again!

Worm moon seen through the clouds

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