We've struggled into spring this year here in Malibu, with prolonged cold and wet (for us, anyway) weather. This weekend, we've been granted a reprieve. The sun rose, and it was warm. Clouds never formed. The wind, when it stirred at all, was gentle, just a breeze, really.
Of course this means everyone's headed for the beach, but on a morning as lovely as this one, in spots not many people know how to find, it's easy to say c'est la vie, and feel incredibly fortunate just to be here.
Here's one of the last of the old-school mobile homes in the Cove, which had names like Homette and Star and Golden Mansion. Mine's a Meteor, though the implication it's headed anywhere on the cobwebbed chassis that lies beneath in the cool, cool shadows, is just a bit misleading.
Getting a new camera is like seeing things afresh, and I can't help think that, with my new little Canon, the blues here are bluer, the shadows truer, and the pinks? Magnifique!
So it rained here this morning, actual raindrops that shocked the cat and thrilled the dogs and sent me searching for a bit of warmth, a floral substitute for sunlight.
Despite the fact the owners of the little shopping center at Cross Creek trim the trees so hard each spring they resemble toothpicks, the egrets still find a way to build their nests. Look closely and you're see a pair of birds perched at the edge, each warming her clutch of eggs. I'm pretty sure there's at least one more somewhere in the (rebounding) canopy, ready to rain down bird poop (and fish guts! Yum!) on lucky visitors below.
One of the things I love about this place is how, as dawn breaks, the dozens of different birds who live in the trees here start the day with song.
No wonder the garden up at the barn is growing so slowly, the corn unwilling to commit, the sunflowers pretty much refusing to even sprout, and the tomatoes hunkered down as though expecting snow.
Not sure what to make of this vanity plate cruising Calabasas the other day. Is it that they do, in fact, love war? Was the car part of a divorce settlement, so it's literally the result of a love war? Or maybe it's a family of philosophers, publicly working their way through the tangled ties between love and war. That one, I get.
And for fans of Maisie the Teacup Lab®, here she is, keeping a vigilant eye out for her mortal enemy, the ground squirrel.
In looking for photographic proof that didn't involve another grim and gloomy shot of the grim and gloomy sky (full disclosure -- I'm loving this weather) I found some raindrops on flower petals. See?
And just as I aimed the lens at this wonderfully, vividly, ear-splittingly orange trumpet vine, someone crawled out and, I'm pretty sure, scolded me.
That fringe of gold you see growing from hillsides and roadsides everywhere? Wild mustard.
Not only do the different types of flagstone at the local stone yard have names (mine is "Ridge Peak", which makes me a little crazy because really, was it a ridge or was it a peak? Make up your mind!) but it turns out the forklifts also have names. And monograms.
Say hello to "Lucio"
toys power tools and fork lifts and trenching thingies and huge piles of building materials that need to be ripped with power saws or subdued with sledge hammers and really, welcome to my nervous breakdown world.
Things have been nutty around here lately, a bit busy and dirty and occasionally loud, so here's the heart of a sweet bunch of flowers whose soft colors and creamy textures give Valium a run for its (Big Pharma) money.
Not cheap, these harbingers of spring, at $10, $20 and $30 bucks a bunch, but this stand at the Santa Monica farmer's market this week was mobbed.
The lilacs we see in SoCal were bred for our mild climate and one of the things we gave up, since we don't have the annual freeze the Eastern varieties require, is the fragrance. Oh, you'll get the bit of lilac scent if you get close enough and breathe in hard enough, but it's faint.
We're awash in mulch up at the barn, much of it tree bark from some fire prevention trimming that's going on, and some of it plain old grass clippings which, for Jake the Giant Puppy Dog, (112 pounds at the vet's the other day!) are not at all plain, and never get old.
So I'm at Treeland in Calabasas yesterday, looking for lavender, when this golf ball flies by, except it's humming, and then it's hovering, right at eye level.
Not a golf ball at all, of course, but a bumblebee, big and round and staring right at me. I missed that shot, unfortunately, and barely got these, as the bee hated the little snickety sound of the camera's auto focus.
Over at the checkout counter, the resident cat worked just as hard, if not harder. It's just a question of perspective.
While we're slogging through Monday traffic, through unbearably bad news about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (remember those?) and that oil catastrophe in the Gulf (spill, baby, spill) some lucky souls have taken a step back in time here in the Malibu rancho.