I was driving into the Cove the other day when this red-shouldered hawk swooped by, skimmed the treetops and dropped onto a branch. He perched just long enough for a quick photo op, then spread his wings -- so thick, so wide -- and glided onward, upward, away.
We've been seeing these guys at the bluff for the past few weeks, on Saturdays, mostly, with their chairs and picnic hampers, thermoses and radio-controlled planes. They stay all day, chatting and flying and drinking in the view. I want to ask them a million questions -- who they are and where they're from and what they've seen in their lifetimes, what they think of the crazy world right now. But what I say is "Beautiful planes," and what they say is "Beautiful dogs," and I walk on down the path and they look back up into the sky, flying.
The Malibu Lions Club took over the Civic Center parking lot with its annual flea market yesterday, where vendors and shoppers met under a foggy sky.
The sushi sign's outside the market on Point Dume every day. This petite dog longing for a lift home was a one-time-only special.
So I got a new hard drive for my laptop and now it won't talk to my router, all of which means trips up and down PCH so the guys at my favorite tech spot, Malibu Computers, can figure out
wtf what on earth is going on.
Meanwhile, here's a shot of the lizard who greets me each morning up at the barn, gazes at me with his unblinking eyes and does a few hey-I'm-tough push-ups.
We're edging into autumn, a season of contrasts here in Malibu. Today, a cool and misty sunrise. Tomorrow? Anything's possible.
There are heat waves and fog banks and warm ocean swells in the offing. And always at the edge of the continent, at the edge of the collective consciousness, the wafting breeze, that first lick of desert wind, the one that whispers before it screams -- santana.
We're nearing the end of tomato season and this weekend, it seemed as though every vendor at the Farmer's Market was intent on going out with a bang.
Here's an array of tiny tomatoes, orange and green and yellow and red and even purple, something for every palate, and palette.
Not sure what I love most about this vintage shot of Malibu, the cars, the virgin hills, the neon, the font on the signs, or the one-stop shopping approach to food, booze and real estate all being offered under one roof.
I'm sorry, but how did I end on on the mailing list of this particular catalog?
With all the screaming and ranting and name-calling these days, when the default reaction to anyone who disagrees with you appears to be white-hot rage, it seems a fine time to offer up a bit of cool, gray dawn and wide, empty beach.
There. Better now.
It stops traffic with its simplicity, this 9/11 memorial, almost 3,000 flags set in rows across the Pepperdine lawn.
One flag for each person who died in the attacks eight years ago today. It'll be on display all week, and it's worth a visit.
Look what was hidden in the corn patch all season -- a single canteloupe, growing from a forgotten vine.
It's on the kitchen counter right now, round and rough and sending out the sweet smell of summer.
Woke early enough on Sunday to be the first ones at the beach but, as the sun worked its way out of a bit of cloud cover, we found campers in the Cove had beat us to it.
I miss Evinrude.
As this Labor Day weekend draws to a close, as tens of thousands of beach-lovers shun back-to-school sales for a final sail down PCH, it's instructive to look at the coast road's sandy origins.
It's Labor Day weekend and, here in Malibu, that means it's the Chili Cook-off. And carnival. And parking nightmare. But I digress.
Yeah, well, it gets the job done. And here's the vast and vacant lot at the center of town that has hosted the Chili Cook-off
from time immemorial for the last few decades. Word is, this is the last time the Cook-off will be here because soon, this spot will become a park not everyone wants and no one can agree on.
Democracy! Yay! (And I mean that with all my heart.)
Continuing our tour through my business cards, made by the wonderful Ernie Marquez, here's Paradise Cove in the olden days.
That's the trestle of the Hueneme, Malibu and Port of Los Angeles Railway, the full-gauge railroad built by May Knight Rindge in 1905. (It spans what is now the parking lot of the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe.) May's husband, Frederick Rindge, came up with the plan. He died suddenly and his widow oversaw its completion.
No trains every traveled that track, but that was the point. By spending close to a million dollars, May outsmarted the railroad barons of Southern Pacific and kept them from building their own railroad through her land.
Today, thanks to May Rindge, the first female president of a railway company in the U.S., the Southern Pacific was forced to jog inland through the Valley and Malibu remained railroad-free.
I bet Santa Barbarans wish they'd had a May Rindge in their neck of the woods.
If you've been watching coverage of the wildfires, then you're saturated in red, red flames, red embers, red-eyed people, tense and tired. So here's a shot of the cool, gray dawn, some of it clouds, some of it carbonized bits of mountainside.
There are trees suspended in that mist, underbrush and grasses and, where a house went up in flames, the molecular remains of someone's life -- the front door, the dining room table, a family photograph, atoms of ash lifted aloft, drifting.