Here in Malibu
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April 30, 2010

Le jardin

le jardin

Here it is, the garden, shivering in the wind and cold and cold and wind. Oh, and fog. And did I mention it's FREEZING?

So around the edges we have marigolds, which may or may not keep bad bugs at bay. At the far end are peppers, sweet and hot. In the middle third, some tomatoes. Beneath the chilled earth, we have seeds that could, with luck, turn into sweet corn, sunflowers, watermelons, cantaloupes, squash, pumpkins, radishes and nasturtiums.

Or one of these guys, already tunneling like mad, could decide it's all just one big appetizer. Ahhh, spring.

April 29, 2010

Ups and downs in Malibu

thursday dawn

A very busy morning here in the Cove. As the sun rose in the east (ever further east, as we edge toward the solstice), the the moon set in the west:

morning moon set

April 28, 2010

Rogue art


Sculptures like this pop up on our beach from time to time and, if you can ignore the off-kilter horizon as completely as the photog so clearly did, are really pretty great.

April 27, 2010


spots and swirls

Between the curves and arcs and spheres of the clouds and grass and hills, this photo leaves me a little seasick.

April 26, 2010

Let the sunshine in. Please...

foggy morning at point dumeI know there's sun out there, just up and down the coast from us, but here in Malibu we are wrapped in cold and cloudy gray.

The up-side? All this gloom makes sitting inside and catching up on the newspapers I missed while at the LATFOB (seriously, how much fun was that this weekend?) seem like a wise use of time.

Please pass the tea pot.

April 25, 2010

Still not used to it

Sunday's a slow blog day so it seems OK to once again mention how we still miss Evinrude around here. Evinrude and speedbump

rudy rests

Rudy naps

Evinrude, forever cranky.

April 24, 2010

Signs of Saturday: LATFOB

book festIt's the LA Times Festival of Books this weekend, which means I really, really hope you're reading this post on a mobile device while knee-deep in books at UCLA. If not, here's the link to Jacket Copy, the LAT books blog, which is the next best thing to being there.

Also, here's info on my panel today, and look! I've got a story in today's Home section.

Photo: Donna Grayson via Creative Commons License.

April 23, 2010

Another former sunrise

signs and downtown 006

I'm working on something these days that has me distracted and so there's a time lag to everything I post. Like this sunrise. Which happened earlier this week, during that spate of freakishly cold weather. It kinda hurts to look at, and I'm pretty sure I fried the light sensor in my camera a teensy bit, but it looked so good, so golden and mysterious, that glimpse of the sun between cloud layers, that I had to get the shot.

April 22, 2010

Brrrrrrr. I mean, really.

signs and downtown 009

So the thermometer reads 38 degrees (allow me to shout: FORTY-TWO DEGREES BELOW ZERO) this morning and the dogs, heartless hounds who nudge me awake with canine ESP each day at dawn, have actually slept in, and the birds, the birds are quiet, in shock, I'm sure, from this frigid night, and look, there in the sky. a flock of waterfowl, flying NORTH as fast as they can. Because it's warmer there.

April 21, 2010

Lambs and lions

daisiesBlustery here today, and cold, with a high, hard wind stirring things up, making things harder for the birds. Seriously, April, this is California. Did you miss the memo?

I'm worried about the nestlings, about the parents trying to raise them, will they be warm enough, will they be strong enough to survive? So here's an entirely unrelated photo, a photo one could argue is diametrically opposed to this freakish weather and the worries it spawns -- perfect daisies, perfectly happy in a warm spot of sun.

April 20, 2010

The view from here

daisies and surf 010

Before you get all excited that it's sunny and warm here in Malibu while in the rest of LA, clouds have taken over, a disclaimer: This was yesterday.

April 19, 2010

Amaryllis in April

Really? Those big fancy bulbs we buy for ten bucks a pop during the holidays, whose thick, green stalks bear flashy trumpet-shaped flowers -- those aren't amaryllis? amaryllis

Not according to this little link, which says the holiday bulbs are actually hippeastrum. Hmmm.amaryllis

Anywicki, the point is that for me, an amaryllis (or two) is a splurge, while in some parts of Malibu, they're just a humble bedding plant. amaryllis in the canyon

April 18, 2010

Love in the time of ploughing.


I love the tractor up at the barn, so solidly build, big and basic, yet with a sweet retro vibe.

April 17, 2010

Signs of Saturday: St. Louis Drug Co.

St. Louis Drugs in Boyle Heights

I love that no one has messed around with the sign on this Boyle Heights pharmacy. (Yet.)

April 16, 2010



One of my favorite things -- early morning beach light.

April 15, 2010

It's only a cliche 'cause it's true

The early bird...the early bird...


The wave.the wave.

April 14, 2010

The garden again: Black gold

new garden And just like that -- well, actually because my friend both plowed AND disked, then worked all that beautiful manure (see yesterday) into the clay we here laughingly refer to as soil -- the garden is as smooth and rich and inviting as I have ever seen it.

Am off now to the local feed store to buy my annual two bales of straw for mulch, and then to the nursery for bedding plants, and then to stare at the road and will the UPS truck to please please hurry with the seed order.

Meanwhile, Maisie does not smell like a daisy, unless said flower has been consumed and masticated and swallowed and digested and expelled in a moist blob by a barnyard animal. In that case, Maisie is daisy fresh.

April 13, 2010

It's getting to be garden time

rolling dogsOne day, this load of fabulous, friable and oh-so-fragrant manure appeared on my garden site up at the barn. Jake and Maisie -- she's the one belly-up in this shot -- promptly dropped to the ground to show their approval.

April 12, 2010

The view from here today

Here it is, the view to the south of us, the mountains swathed in rising mist:misty Monday

To the north, rainclouds in retreat:rain leaving Malibu

And in the gardens here in the Cove, raindrops.raindrops


April 11, 2010

Not-so-still waters

sycamore hike

Have you ever hiked up to the waterfalls in Sycamore Canyon? It's a wonderful walk, much of it alongside this lovely creek, and if the rains come tomorrow as promised, we'll get a few more weeks to get to the top of the canyon and see some falling water.

April 10, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Beat it, bub

keep out

Hmmm, I wonder what the people decimating building on this property up in the hills are trying to say? If only they'd stop being so subtle.

April 9, 2010

Leafy greens

So, Descanso Gardens -- botanical paradise or water-sucking folly? It all depends on who you ask. Either way, the place is at its peak of spring bloom right now. See?

Ooooh:the Japanese garden



April 8, 2010

The crack of dawn


The sun keeps edging east, rising now over the mountains.

April 7, 2010

Hold music

canyon view

Am in DSL hell right now as Verizon screws up the switch from my ancient modem to a new one, so in the mean time (and via borrowed wifi) here's a pixilated version of hold music, the view from the top of a local canyon.

April 6, 2010

More flora from the canyon

Not sure what I love most about this modest flower, which grows on a rangy bush in the shadows of a nearby stream bed -- the furled shape, the hot, hot color, or that little swizzle stick of a stamen.

April 5, 2010

April showers

rainy monday It rained last night. In the heebie jeebie hour before dawn when your heart rate slows and anxieties surge came a pounding squall all wrong for April, here in SoCal anyway, a hint maybe, to relax, give in, you can't control everything, or even anything, can you? All of that last night in the wind and dark, as it rained.

April 4, 2010

An app a day


Since I really and truly am getting hooked on iPhone photo apps like Camera Bag and Toy Camera and Tilt Shift Generator and omg Lo Mob, it's easy to pretend this photo is about them and not the cutest tiny little (yeah, redundant, so sue me) Lab on earth, Miss Maisie.

April 3, 2010

Signs of Saturday: A three-fer


Sandy Koufax, Stanford and the Dodgers. In order of readability, a few of this car owner's faves.

April 2, 2010

The hills are alive

canyon bloomsEverywhere you look right now, buds and blossoms and petals and flowers in every shape and color and fragrance you can imagine.

Oh California, but you are magnifique.
datura blossom

April 1, 2010

Look -- it rained!


Not as much as we needed, not nearly as much as I hoped, but it rained here in Malibu, for just a little minute.

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