Here in Malibu
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September 30, 2009

Red-shouldered hawk

red-shouldered hawk

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.

September 29, 2009

Flight path


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.

September 28, 2009

In like a Lion

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.

There were French antiques:lions club sale

Behind-the-scenes oddities:foot

And a sleeping princess, tiara and all.princess

September 27, 2009

Here in paradise

Paradise Cove dawn

Have I mentioned it's beautiful here?

September 26, 2009

Signs of Saturday: Sushi


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.

September 25, 2009

And the fog rolled in

One morning this week, when my laptop was in the shop and I was completely cut off from the world patiently waiting, we woke to a thick and swirling layer of white that obscured everything:morning fog

Further up the coast, the fog had less success:fog bank

Though it never gave up:fog bank

September 24, 2009


lovely lizard friend

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.

September 22, 2009

Play misty for me

misty tuesday

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.

September 20, 2009

Tomato heaven

Santa Monica farmer's market tomatoes

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.

September 19, 2009

Signs of Saturday: Eats

Malibu Beach cafe

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.

September 17, 2009

You missed a spot

Look who's helping the painters:Painted dog

September 16, 2009

So there is something for everyone

I'm sorry, but how did I end on on the mailing list of this particular catalog?


What did I buy, which link did I click?
How did I land on this mailing list?

Oh wait -- do those boots come in an 8 1/2?I mean, wow.

September 15, 2009

Nothing but beach

Paradise Cove dawnWith 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.

September 14, 2009

Open space

We were at Bluffs Park yesterday, at one of my favorite spots in all of Malibu:Bluffs Park

Playing ball:Jake the Giant Puppy Dog

And looking occasionally at the 9/11 memorial across PCH at Pepperdine:The 9/11 memorial

September 11, 2009

The Pepperdine lawn

9.11 memorial at Pepperdine University

It stops traffic with its simplicity, this 9/11 memorial, almost 3,000 flags set in rows across the Pepperdine lawn.

9.11 memorial at Pepperdine University

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.

September 10, 2009

Failing grade

Remember this?Knoll before construction

Well now it's this:Goodbye, pretty ridge

All those who think this is progress, raise your hands.

September 9, 2009

September surprise


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.

September 8, 2009

Camp sight

Labor Day campers in the Cove

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.

September 7, 2009

Vanishing act


I miss Evinrude.

September 6, 2009

Pacific Coast Sandway


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.

September 5, 2009

Signs of Saturday: Chili Cook-off

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.

First sign that fall is here is, in fact, the Cook-off sign:sign

Oops. Sorry. That beautiful and colorful and whimsical and verging-on-folk art sign was the old sign. Here's the new sign:new chili cookoff sign. Zzzzzzzz...

Oops. Sorry again. That's last year's sign. Not as neat as the old sign, but not awful. Here's the new sign:Even more boring sign

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.Chili Cook-off begins

Democracy! Yay! (And I mean that with all my heart.)

September 4, 2009

What price paradise?

Old Rindge Railroad Trestle

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.

September 3, 2009

Fire sunrise

fire sunrise

One look at this light and you know, without a doubt, fire.

September 2, 2009


maisie's nose

Sick with the flu.


September 1, 2009

A brief reprieve

Tuesday dawn

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.

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