Here in Malibu
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November 30, 2010

It's Christmas in the Cove

Airstream gets lights

The workmen elves were busy yesterday, stringing lights around the Airstream here in Paradise Cove.

November 29, 2010

The view from there

My parents, in accordance with New York State law, moved to Florida after they retired and now live near this pond:

pond in Florida

Where, if you get up early enough and sit quietly enough, you can see great blue herons:


And watch the clouds move across the water:

Florida wetland

And watch enormous insects which were too gross to photograph (sorry) fight over these spikey white flowers.

home again 065

November 28, 2010

The sea from above

home again 009

I kept shooting pixs as our plane left LAX and I could hear the person next to me sigh -- what kind of rube needs to take photos out the window on a flight? One who flips for the steely gray color and mind-bending texture and, well, the sheer magic of clouds casting shadows on the Pacific.

So there.

home again 008

November 27, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Welcome home!


Just one of the many warm and homey touches that await travelers in the United wing of LAX.

November 26, 2010

Up in the air

up in the air

A persuasive argument in favor of the window seat.

November 25, 2010

Happy! Thanksgiving!

golden light
I like a holiday where all the essential information is in the title.

November 24, 2010

The view from there

the view from there

I was at the Santa Monica farmer's market the other day and there it was, Malibu, a far-off misty coast, kind of like Brigadoon except without the singing and the dancing.

November 23, 2010

Hawks in flight


The other day four young hawks hovered above the bluff here, wheeling and screaming and hunting. There was something so strong and wild about them, utterly fearless and even arrogant, that when the friend who ID'd this photo as a red tail hawk said it's a juvenile, I thought well yes, of course.

November 22, 2010

Sun rises, moon sets

Busy morning here in the Cove as the sun rose:

...and the moon set:
moon set

...and Maisie the Teacup Lab® waited for someone to throw the damned ball already.
throw. the. ball.

November 21, 2010

Biplane on the bluffs


We were in Bluffs Park the other day when this biplane buzzed the coast. I barely reached the camera in time to get even this not-so-hot shot, just enough to catch the shape of the thing as it sped north.

November 20, 2010

The rainy view from here today

I ditched the dogs and took the camera to the bluff, the horizon all dark and moody, just me and a few flights of pelicans, who cruised the currents above. Here's the view toward downtown. You guys have a bit of drama going on:

View toward town

Here's the view of Little Dume:

Little Dume, wreathed in clouds

And here's a raft of pelicans, hunkered down for the duration:
huddled pelicans

Signs of Saturday: Phone

so 20th-century
Phone booths in a downtown hotel. So 20th century.

November 19, 2010

Deer at dusk

deer 006

While reporting a story a few years back about the plight of the mountain lions in the Santa Monica mountains, a wildlife expert told me that wherever you see a mule deer, mountain lions aren't too far behind. Their favorite food, mule deer. Bar none. I think of that every time I see a deer, wonder how close by one of those amazing cougars might be.

I also think about the other thing one of the wildlife experts told me: Most people in Los Angeles have never seen a mountain lion, but the mountain lions have seen them.

Meanwhile, I love the the big ears on these little deer, who I came across while driving high in the hills at sunset yesterday. Stopped the car and o h s o v e r y s l o w l y moved toward them with the camera. Didn't want to spook them. They tolerated me.

deer 012

I love the ocean backdrop here, love the deepening dusk, the way the deer is scratching his nose with his rear hoof.

Somewhere, a mountain lion loves them, too.

deer 003

November 18, 2010

The scientific method

Though perhaps not clear at first glance, what you're seeing here is the result of long and arduous experimentation, of mathematical analysis of the dimensions of length, mass, time and acceleration and, via a living set of standards by which units were created and definitions modified it was concluded that at 9 a.m., this is the warmest spot in Paradise Cove.

Miss Patsy

November 17, 2010

Hummingbirds are amazing

What's the opposite of ADD? OCD? Because when it comes to birds I love, I've got it. Want to photograph them over and over. And do. (Sorry.) Like hummingbirds:
hummingbird in the cove

Which have their own chapter in the book I'm reading myself to sleep with these days, Birdology.

Last night I learned that a baby hummingbird is the size of bumblebee, has to eat every 20 minutes, weighs less than a single feather of a larger bird.hummingbird at sunrise

An Allen's hummingbird, when it's at the perigee of its mating dive, goes 60 miles per hour and pulls nine Gs. Not a bad way to impress the girls.tiny hummingbird, big twig

Hummingbird hearts beat 500 times a minute. They draw 250 breaths per minute. Their need for food is so great, they're ferocious in claiming territory. bird war


Though when they have to, they'll grudgingly co-exist.
wet birds

The Aztecs believed hummingbirds to be reincarnated warriors. Anyone who has hosted a feeder knows that's not necessarily wrong.hummingbird

November 16, 2010

Ghost ship / white light

First off -- nice piece in the LA Times today about our friend and neighbor, Tom Shadyac, and his new documentary, "I Am".

In other news, that's not dawn's early light on the Cove Colony beach, but some sort of movie shoot. Cool effect. white light

Ditto for the white ship veiled in white fog which, even as I write this, is burning off beneath the morning sun.
ghost ship

November 15, 2010

New view of the Pier View

pier view

I still miss the Pier View Diner. Before local zillionaire Larry Ellison bought it four years ago and promptly shut it down, it was Malibu's last divey restaurant and bar, with roadhouse food, cheap drinks and, in their halcyon days, Pam Anderson and Tommy Lee in heat.

Something new is in the works now, something exclusive and pricey, another step away from the original 'Bu. And because I've been sick for a week and not taking great pix, I'm leaving this snapshot, taken from the end of the Malibu pier, as an IOU.

November 14, 2010

Are you looking at me?

hummingbird hiding

We've been downsizing here on the blog, what with the tiny horses, tiny mushrooms and always, the tiny dog. Now here's a shot of the tiny hummingbird -- a rufous? -- who waited patiently for me to get a good shot before buzzing around my red flannel shirt, then flying away.

November 13, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Don't feed Bonbon

No treats for you

It seems Bonbon, one of the canyon's equine residents, has been getting more than his fair share of bon bons.

November 12, 2010

That missile/contrail debate

Kevin posted a video from an aviation enthusiast in Seattle who suggests that mystery missile was an LAX contrail. That's the first thing that popped into my mind, too, having seen so many of those over the years. Plus, when a missile does launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, there's always this glittery, oily-looking ring in the sky, much more UFO-ish than the pink plume that's causing such a stir right now.

So here's a contrail from our archives (lit from beneath at dawn so the contrail is casting a shadow of itself on the clouds) to add to this life-and-death debate.

Up next -- is the Tea Party stuffing the Bristol Palin ballot box on DWTS? Stay tuned!

cloud shadow

November 11, 2010

Gusts and blustery and cold

I suppose it was while racing down the street in my pajamas that I fully awoke, barefoot at 3 a.m., chasing the umbrella from the deck. It stayed just out of reach, bounced along the bluff where, mercifully, everyone else was asleep. (Or, on this morning's walk, simply too kind to say anything.) Back in bed, winds rocked the house and the cat, slightly freaked, sat at the window and watched.

So here's the beach at sunrise, where the gulls and crows and pelicans grounded by the winds tested their luck, tried to break free.
Grounded by the winds

wind shear

cold and windy morning

November 10, 2010

Ouch. And look!

I lifted a box of books the other day and even as I did I thought hmmm, it's so heavy, this should be harder. Turns out it was way harder than it seemed -- I tore a muscle and before too long, couldn't move. Which is why yesterday's post was so abrupt succinct.

But I'm on drugs feeling better now, which is why this post is a meandering story with no end longer.

The point being, here in Paradise Cove we have a very low-tech lost and found:
lost and found

November 9, 2010


daylight savings time ends
See? Pink.

November 8, 2010

Tiny mushrooms in the Cove

tiny mushroomEverything about the tiny mushrooms that pop up here after it rains, from the fuzzy stems to the striped gills to the greener than green grass around them looks slightly psychedelic. Though I have to say, this remains my favorite photo (Tiny mushroom! Tiny Lab!) of the phenomenon.

November 7, 2010

Sunday sunrise

Here's today's sunrise, suddenly an hour earlier:sunday sunrise

And here's the sun just moments later, peeking over the clouds:
sunday sunrise

Speaking of which, check out the mushroom cloud to the west of us when, for almost an hour, I was the only person on earth on one of the earth's most beautiful beaches.

November 6, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Free!


You never know what'll happen here in the Cove when someone buys a house. In this case, our new(ish) neighbor keeps up the custom of the previous owner and shares the fruit from his many trees. Merci!

November 5, 2010

Another really big boat

another big boatThere's another enormous yacht parked here in Malibu. In case you can't quite get a sense of its size, check out the stern, where the helicopter sits.

See? Big boat.

November 4, 2010

Central Park

park benchDepending on the season, this is the spot where we watch the sun rise, count the planes stacked up at LAX, wait for whales, check out the Cove's movie shoots and, when the crazy scary santana winds blow, watch the wildfires advance.

November 3, 2010

Up in the air

When a friend called to report a hawk sighting at the end of my street, I grabbed a camera and, at first, thought she meant this hawk, one of three circling my neighbor's house:flying hawk

But she actually meant this one, perched in the eucalyptus, staring right back at me as I got the shot.young hawk

young hawk

November 2, 2010

Campaigning in Malibu


We have our share of, um, individualists here in Malibu.

November 1, 2010

Shadows and light

shadows and light What I wanted was a shot of this funny bird, bobbing and bathing in the spot where the creek meets the sea. What I got was Jake and Maisie and me, shadows in the morning light.

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