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November 30, 2009



The wind blew all night here in Paradise Cove and it's blowing still. On this last day of November, the sun glows red through a shifting scrim of dust, and the gulls are flying sideways.

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from Paradise Cove!

We interrupt this blogging break to give you the view to the south...
View of LA from the Cove

Look! Downtown!
The view of LA from the Cove

And here's the view to the north:Paradise Cove, Malibu


OK, back to not blogging.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2009

A little break

morning light

It may come as a shock, as this blog updates almost every day, but I may take a little break. Family's in town and there's shopping to do and simple carbs to eat. So you might be seeing this photo of the '49 Plymouth in the canyon for a little while.

But then again, maybe not. We shall see.

November 23, 2009

This dog's life

maisie and patsy

Maisie and Patsy, napping away a slow Sunday afternoon.

November 22, 2009

Sunday sunrise

sunday sunrise

sunday sunrise

sunday sunrise

Every day the sun edges closer to Palos Verdes, edges ever closer to the winter solstice, the true new year.

November 21, 2009

Signs of Saturday: Save our stars


Is there anyone who watched the Leonid meteor shower this week who didn't long for a darker sky? Even here in Malibu, where we see stars at Starbucks and even bigger stars in the sky, the proliferation of security lights and landscape lighting and uplights to illuminate treetops at night, off all things, has made our ever-less-rural sky a lighter shade of pale.

November 20, 2009

Second look


From far away these blooms don't look like much, haphazard spots on a somewhat scraggly plant. Close up, though, I love the carnival colors, the waxy, witty shapes, real flowers riffing on fake flowers, showing how it should be done.

November 19, 2009

We've got a few worries here in the Cove

In case you missed Kevin's link, here's Mark Gold's post on his Heal the Bay blog about the ongoing battle over sewage in Paradise Cove. Residents have struggled with city and state agencies, and with the Cove management for decades. Here's a shot of a sewage flow back in 2007, before the new septic system was installed. Are things any better? Read Mark's piece and you'll see what he thinks.

Meanwhile, here's something else we worry about when the winter winds get to blowing -- miles and miles of power lines amid the tinder-dry brush.

power lines

November 18, 2009

I can't help but root for the hawk


So we're on our morning walk, the dogs and I, and the birds are singing and sun is rising and the treetops are all lit up with that early light when some crows start cawing and cackling and sounding their alarm. And there it is, high on a eucalyptus branch, a hawk.

It's a cold, cold morning and he's waiting for the sun to warm his wings, to warm the air a bit so he can fly and glide and maybe catch a thermal. And there they are, the gathered crows, above and below and all around him, cawing.

But he sits and waits, ignores them utterly. The only move he makes is a head tilt in my direction as the camera shutter snaps. And one by one the crows grow bored, fly away, and the hawk is alone again, waiting to take flight at precisely the right moment.

November 17, 2009

Suspended animation

If anything says autumn as loudly as the lifeguard towers towed into storage at the end of Zuma Beach...lifeguard towers in storage

It's the scores of sand volleyball courts standing empty.autumn beach

November 16, 2009

In case you hadn't noticed...

new moon

Movie? What movie?

November 15, 2009

Now that's a sailboat

shipSaw this sailboat yesterday, moored near the Malibu Pier -- and just north of Carbon Beach, aka Billionaires Beach. Wish I'd had time to get closer for a better shot because really, it looked amazing.ship

November 14, 2009

Signs of Saturday: Extreme caution

road sign in Palos Verdes

This is a favorite sign of mine in Palos Verdes, a warning that works on so many levels.

November 13, 2009

I miss Evinrude

The Rude One

Still can't quite get used to Evinrude being gone so here's another photo of The Rudest One. That was a cranky magnificent cat.

November 12, 2009

The fleets meet

the fleetAs the debate over Marine Protected Areas continues to rage, a hoard of fishing boats converged on the coast north of Malibu.

This was just one flank of the fleet, which leaves you wondering -- what were they catching, and will there be any left?

November 11, 2009

Fall color

wednesday morningHere's the beach this morning, autumnal minimalism.

November 10, 2009

Behind closed doors

new bathroom

More than a few of you who have been to the house and saw the remodel pix wrote to say you're confused by all the newness, disoriented, even, by how much has changed.

I'm pretty sure this photo isn't going to help you much.

November 9, 2009

More before and after.

OK, not so much before-and-after as before and during, in which "during" is the leap forward when you know something good is coming but whatever that good thing may be, it's still far enough away that you're pretty sure you'll be sleeping in the study forever.

Here's the 1973 mobile home bathroom before:before

Such charm.


And here's during:new bathroom

Intriguing, no?

November 8, 2009


Here's the 1973-era aluminum window, thin as a hospital gown and about as effective.before

And here's the new trio of double-hung windows, plus drywall. double-hung windows

November 7, 2009

Signs of Saturday: No dumping

no dumping

Way, way up high in one of our canyons, right where the crumbling asphalt gives way to a tooth-jolting washboard of packed dirt, someone sprayed this warning on an open grate.

Seems to me this message could apply to any road or street or lane or grate or culvert anywhere and everywhere in L.A. because eventually, everything does drain to the sea.

November 6, 2009

And the remodel rolls ever onward

sleeping in the studyHave I mentioned lately that we're living in controlled chaos with the contents of the closet spread around the dining room, the kitchen filled with boxes of tile, and the bed crammed into the study where two dogs now spend their time making sure the contractor knows they're available for patting?

November 5, 2009

Kiss yet more open space goodbye

november fog

Yesterday, amid all that fog (which, after a bright and lovely start this morning, is wafting back inland from the ocean) we saw more story poles, which means another house, which means more landscaping, which means more fences and tall walls, which means adios to even more open space.


November 4, 2009

And now, November

fog fills the canyon

And so it's here, the autumn fog, wrapped tight around the coast. It presses on the window panes, drips from the eaves, sends scented tendrils, salty sweet, through keyholes.

We wake to the cool, gray dawn, shiver into sweaters, climb into the hills to catch a glimpse of sun. fogged in

Then it's back into the soup, to the moody gloom, to November at the beach.fog

November 3, 2009

Along came a spider

halloween morning spider

One of our neighbors here in the Cove is the drummer for a famous band and since he's on tour all the time, his deck tends to go native. You'll see a squirrel squatting on the roof, birds nesting in the arbor, a stray cat asleep on the stairs. And on Halloween morning there was this spider, as big as a golf ball, quivering in the midst of an enormous web. It waved as I got the shot, then settled in to wait for the mailman.

November 2, 2009

Foot traffic *

It's 7 a.m. on a Sunday morning at our local Starbucks, though it feels a lot like 8 seeing as how Daylight Saving (* that's Saving and not Savings, as I've been saying ever since I learned to speak English) Time is over and we've gained back that hour someone borrowed last spring. It's definitely the day after Halloween, though, and everyone's talking, about the various doings and dramas of their evenings, about tricks played and costumes worn, about plans for an even bigger bash next year.

So I'm doing the Sunday crossword in the NYT when suddenly the sound level takes a dip and there's this pair of shoes, third-date shoes, morning-after shoes, these-come-off-last shoes.morning feet at Starbucks

And then the line moves on and there's the dad and his kids:morning feet at Starbucks

And a tourist: morning feet at Starbucks

And a Malibu mom:morning feet at Starbucks

But it's the shoes that aren't headed for CostCo later on, the shoes that won't be running laps or running errands, those are the shoes that have everyone in the place thinking...something.

November 1, 2009

Another sunrise

ahhh, sunrise

I know, I know, another sunrise? But look how pretty, how calm and lovely. It would be just plain wrong to let these pixels lie fallow.

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