November 17, 2022
They’re back. And apparently they have a lot to say. The sea lions have returned to our part of Puget Sound. Their barking is loud and incessant. As I walk along the water it’s rather charming to measure my steps in time with their vocalizations carried across the bay. I understand it’s less charming for those who have waterfront homes and are enduring sleepless nights. Last night I was commenting to Dennis that I was again grateful for our decision to buy acres of forest rather than a waterfront lot when we realized that even a mile from the water we could hear the barking.
When we hear the natural world speaking, it’s not always comfortable or convenient. I don’t speak sea lion. But I’ve been wondering if, within all that barking, they are trying to tell us something. The natural rhythms in their aquatic ecosystem are changing. The sea lions have arrived, as they do every year, for the salmon spawning. But they are a bit early and the salmon are late. It’s a serious issue for these hungry creatures.
Changing climate conditions are impacting the complex system of natural signals that trigger movement and migration in our Puget Sound waters and all ocean waters. We often leave it to scientists to observe these changes. We leave it to scientists to listen to the natural world. Perhaps it’s time for us to listen.