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December 31, 2010

Good riddance Adios to 2010

Have I said this before about the little dog?

She's very sure she's Maisie:
dec 31 2010 012

But she's also pretty sure she's Jake.

Which is why, half the time, she's attached to his neck. How else can she be sure he's headed exactly where he (she) OK, they want?

dec 31 2010 001

It's been a challenging year for so many of us. Here's a wish for better times in 2011.

paradise cove rainbow

December 30, 2010

Hide your eyes

It was cold and it was dark and the skies were gray for days and days, so when someone brought over a bag of brilliant tangerines:

orange 009

And it turned out they almost exactly matched one of my Bauer bowls:

orange 013

The next step was obvious.

Seriously, hide your eyes.

orange 010

December 29, 2010

The beach right now

the beach right now

Grabbed a quick shot between the rains. It's absurdly beautiful here.

December 28, 2010


dolphins and paddlers

A pod of dolphins flirted with a pair of paddle boarders near the Paradise Cove pier yesterday, swimming and splashing for a bit before heading north on their daily commute.

Meanwhile, here's the light on this chilly morning:

morning in Malibu

December 27, 2010

'Twas the day after Christmas

card 006

Everywhere we drove for Christmas festivities, L.A. and Long Beach and Ventura and Sherman Oaks, we saw downed trees. Here's one high in a twisty Malibu canyon, where the shallow roots of this huge eucalyptus proved no match for a week of non-stop rain.

Someone used a chain saw, chopped the tree to pieces to create a path for cars to get by. The trick is to drive fast so you don't get trapped in the sticky depths of the muddy shoulder.

December 26, 2010

Shades of grey


Interesting how much information you get with just a few hundred shades of gray.

December 25, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Merry Christmas!

card 004

Merry and happy everything to everyone.

December 24, 2010

Living trees

my planted xmas tree

I've asked Jake and Maisie to please sit still for a sec in this photo so you can see how happily one of my previous Christmas trees has adapted to life at the barn.

And here's this year's tree, warming the house with its spicy scent, and with icicles and lights and flying Santas. My favorite part (a little cheesy, I know) is the real nest I found after a storm one day, and the real egg shell, from which a wild bird once hatched.

card 043

December 23, 2010

Rimfalls and rainbows

I'm thinking that my New Year's resolution for 2011 should be that, despite its size and weight and the fact that f-stops still make my dyslexia give me the finger, I have to start carrying around my SLR. Because then I'd get better pix of stuff like Latigo Falls, running at top speed:

Latigo Falls

Come a little closer:
Latigo Falls

Here's what the meek creek did to the beach as mountain runoff drained into the Pacific (which was anything but):

creek tears through

And here's the fat chunk of the rainbow's end that lit up a curve of the Santa Monica bay:

December 22, 2010

Oh my god the commute

ramirez creek flooding

My condolences to my fellow SoCal residents, wherever it is you're trying to drive. It's brutal out there.

Here's my route to work, the creek flooding on the way to the barn.

December 21, 2010

Happy Solstice!

It's the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, the true new year. It has been my tradition to post a photo of a sunrise or sunset at each solstice, but if you're here in SoCal, you know why that's not going to happen.

So from the archives, a few sunset pix from Broad Beach. It's the winter solstice, with the actual sol. (Shot when Broad Beach was actually broad, and still had a beach.)

Solstice sunset in Malibu

Solstice sunset at Broad Beach

Soltstice sunset in Malibu

December 20, 2010

The beach here this morning

storm part one 038

So much water here, rain falling, creek roaring, Pacific growling, prowling, taking what it wants.

Meanwhile, I have an op-ed in today's LAT.

December 19, 2010

Secret Santa

decorated roadside tree

Someone decorates this pine each year, comes out to the wilds of Kanan Road and as the cars rush by, on just one corner of the tree and only as high as a person can reach, hangs a handful of shiny bulbs.

December 18, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Wet!

Fire signs

Rain, rain and more rain means wildfire danger here is low today.

December 17, 2010

Autumn in the Cove

autumn in the Cove.
You can tell it's autumn here when the sycamore leaves cover the surfboards lashed to the roofs of the golf carts.

What? That's not how autumn looks where you live?

December 16, 2010

Them's the breaks

wave breaks

We were at the beach this morning and everything was very still and very blue and suddenly a set rolled in and even at the edge of the sand and with a tiny camera, you could get a sense of the waves, so smooth and round and infinite.

Meanwhile, read about my apple pie in today's LAT food section. Yum!

December 15, 2010

The big guy up at the barn

jake on guard duty

Visitors at the barn, where I have my office and watch hummingbirds do my writing get to deal with Jake (aka The Big Baboo), my 110-pound body guard.

December 14, 2010

Fog rolls in

First, let us recall the beach here yesterday morning, so sunny and bright it made the little point-and-shoot wince:Yesterday -- sunny!

This morning, it's inducing a wince of a different sort:
Today -- not.

December 13, 2010

How long until we lose HOWS?

adios HOWS

There are those among us who still mourn the loss of the Hughes market in Malibu, which was replaced by Ralphs. I remember seeing Johnny Carson there buying ice cream, seeing Jeff Corey, the black-listed actor who became a famed acting teacher, and in whose legendary classes Jack Nicholson met Robert Towne.

But change is the true constant here, so the news that HOWS Market in Trancas is up for sale, that the little chain is being reduced to a single store, shouldn't come as a shock.

The name is an amalgam of the first initials of the partners in the store, among them a scion of the Hughes family. And so it is that another bit of Malibu's recent history goes away.

December 12, 2010

Roosevelt Highway

Roosevelt Highway

It's absurdly beautiful here today, warm and sunny and, as PCH fills and jams with everyone coming to the coast, I thought it would be a good time to remember what a busy day on the Roosevelt Highway once looked like.

December 11, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Humming a different tune


I have a Prius and as I get 45 miles per gallon (and get to skip the smog check) I forgive it for being such a snooze to drive. Harder to make peace with are fellow hybrid owners who, publicly gloating, put the pious into Prius.

My engine, when it's doing its green thing, quietly purrs. For this driver, though, I'm pretty sure the sound is neener neener neener.

December 10, 2010

The canals of Venice

venice oil wells364
Really? Yes, really. The Venice canals, back in SoCal's petroleum-soaked heyday.

December 9, 2010

Connect the dots


This has nothing to do with anything, really. Just looks cool.

December 8, 2010

Do you want fries with that?


Is it just me or does the organ in Disney Hall look like an order of fries?

December 7, 2010

This is really how it looked


I know what you're thinking -- another sunrise? But this one was just crazy beautiful, had all the early birds standing on the bluff, speechless.

And look -- it's just as pretty upside down:


December 6, 2010

Coyote trail

coyote trail

We walk to the beach each morning along a fire road, often the first domesticated creatures of the day to make the trek. It's a wide, dirt path along a steep and deep ravine where, in the warmer weather, hundreds of hidden frogs ribbit their way to reproduction. We've come across roadrunners there, hawks and hummingbirds and coveys of quail, rabbits, of course, and coyotes.

Since a spate of construction has decimated one of the main wildlife corridors here, taken out valuable territory, the coyote visits have been halved. But when they come, they often use this little tunnel, a place so full of scent and suspense that Maisie invariably patrols it, even when it's been weeks since the last sighting.

And yes, that's a tennis ball in her mouth. One of these days we're going to have it surgically removed.

December 5, 2010

Rainy day sunrise

First it looked like this:

And then it looked like this, the colors spreading:

And then it looked maybe kind of a little like this, except the camera can't catch it, the sun reflected on the sea, the colors molten, the surface seeming to boil.


December 4, 2010

Signs of Saturday: Pinus Radiata

First -- I've got a story in today's LA Times' Home section. (Lovely photo gallery, too, with pix by Kirk McKoy.)

And now, this tag, small but full of promise:

Monterey pine

It marks the start of the season at our house, the 15 minutes 30 minutes hour spent at Treeland in Calabasas, trying to choose which of the beautiful and fragrant potted Monterey pines will come home for the holidays.

A great selection this year:
Living Christmas trees at Treeland in Calabasas

December 3, 2010

Good morning!

paddle out

Here's how one of my neighbors (Hi Ted!) gets the circulation going at the start of a new day.

December 2, 2010

Morning colors


It was pink this morning, and baby blue and, around the edges, a little bit aqua, but the camera couldn't quite capture that.

Also not captured -- how cold it was. Brrrr.

pink today

December 1, 2010

The egret seat

egret at the Adamson House

I was at the Adamson House the other day, one of my favorite places in Malibu, and though I had planned to sit on the dock and watch the birds in the Malibu Lagoon, this egret got there first.

egret at the Adamson House

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