Blossom was first seen in 1972. She was an adventurous young whale that often strayed from her mother J4 Mama’s side to hang out with the older whales in the pod. She later passed her adventurous spirit down to her three surviving calves, J27 Blackberry (1991), J31 Tsuchi (1995), and J39 Mako (2003).
In 1988, Blossom’s first recorded calf, J25, died as an infant. Blossom as seen carrying the calf on her melon.
Blossom’s mother, J4 Mama, passed away around the age of 38 in 1995. Blossom became the matriarch of her subgroup which consisted of her two children and her sister.
In July 2008, when her youngest calf was only 3 years old, Blossom was reported missing, presumed dead. She was approximately 36 years of age. The elder two, especially J27, raised J39 in her place. History repeated itself in 2016 when J31, Tsuchi, was seen carrying her dead first calf with her.
I was deeply moved by the familial grieving process, of carrying a dead calf. This was seen again in 2018 when J35, Tahlequah, carried her dead calf for 17 days.
I sewed seashells onto this flag, to connect Blossom with her home, the ocean.
Flag by Dawn Brennan