Here in Malibu
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March 31, 2011

Calla in the canyon


Just shadows and light. (OK, and a few bugs.)

March 30, 2011

Another sunrise

First it's blue:

Then it's gold:


And then it's time for breakfast.
puppy dogs!

March 29, 2011


Jerry Seinfeld's vintage Porsche

This photo of Jerry Seinfeld's vintage Porsche, shot one morning at the Malibu Kitchen while he sat out front with a pal having bagels and coffee, has topped 1,400 views in my Flickr stream.

That makes it more popular than shots of Maisie, or even Evinrude. Go figure.

March 28, 2011

Was yesterday beautiful or what?

morning light

It was one of those cat-and-mouse days yesterday with the clouds and the sun and the storms and the sky. It rained a little and the sun shone at lot. The temperature reached 70. People seemed skeptical about the weather and stayed home, so our roads and beaches were winter-empty.

after the rainHere's the fire road on our walk yesterday morning, the kind of glistening green that gives you an instant case of spring fever. Everywhere you looked, clingy raindrops.


I tried and tried (and failed and failed) to get the macro lens on my little point-and-shoot to obey me. It had a mind of its own, and so here are the photos it chose to allow me.



March 27, 2011



I love everything about this agapanthus, the blue, the stripes, the hidden symmetry.

March 26, 2011

Signs of Saturday: History

tennis court

One of my favorite things about Paradise Cove is coming across tributes to long-time residents who passed away. It's a real community here, with history and ties that run deep and strong.

Here's the bench in the tennis court, the photo filled with a group of friends both living and now gone, the names on the plaques sadly growing more numerous.

March 25, 2011

Flight path

When you stand at the bluff in the late afternoon, flights of pelicans pass by. They're surfing the updraft, coming so close you can hear their wings beat, see their eyes blink.

I get so entranced I can't tear my gaze away to get a perfect shot, so here are some imperfect ones of some of my favorite birds on earth.




And here's a look at of the storm's passing:
storm passes

March 24, 2011

Moody sunrise

wednesday sunrise

The light does all sorts of crazy things these days what with the rain and haze and rain and clouds and did I mention all the rain? And though the morning horizon wasn't really quite as gilded as it appears here, it did come pretty close.

March 23, 2011

Proof of spring in the flower aisle


Not sure what the weather is doing in your neck of the woods, but this morning we had a blazing it's-gonna-rain sunrise quickly quenched by a skim of haze.

So here are some of the daffodils presently livening up the joint, obvious, on the nose, and yet undeniably springlike.

Oh! And this very second an Ana's hummingbird is cruising the hedge right outside my study window, hoovering up tiny spiders. (That's their main source of food, you know, insects like gnats and mosquitoes and spiders. All that nectar they drink is like an avian Power Bar.)

Yeah, spring is here.

March 22, 2011

Clean sweep

So first of all, yeah, we had an earthquake here in Malibu last night. Just 3.3, but after more than a year of killer quakes working their way around the world, there is no "just" any more. It's not until the shaking actually stops that you know what you've got, and in our house, that was adrenaline.

In much better news, the sand here was swept clean by the tides last night, piled high with kelp. Love when we're lucky enough to have insomnia get there first.

tuesday morning


between rains


March 21, 2011

We3c60e t6 s*r5ng!

That headline? It's "Welcome to spring!", translated into a private language by the heat-seeking cat's derriere. (She's gifted that way.)

Here's Point Dume this morning, all dark and atmospheric. (And yes, part of the atmosphere is my shooting with the wrong settings, but it was cold and windy and did I mention my umbrella broke yesterday?
view from point dume

Sadly, a sailboat got wrecked on the beach:
wrecked sailboat

Here's the garden window, plastered with raindrops:

And here's more rain headed our way:
rain on the way

March 20, 2011

The stormy beach today


I braved wind and rain and really big puddles on this, the last gasp of winter, to bring you shots of the rainy beach. (The spring equinox is tonight.)

My hair snarled. My umbrella snapped. It was wild and gorgeous and worth every chilly, shivery moment.


March 19, 2011

Signs of Saturday: Hart to Hart

Some home owners in one of the canyons have put up this sign explaining the provenance of their property.

And remember the life-size herd of plastic cows? They have company -- this plastic dog.


March 18, 2011

Traffic jam in the canyon

traffic jam

Another day, another Sig alert.

March 17, 2011

A nuclear reactor in Corral Canyon

Nuclear reactor in Malibu

As we here along the coast await the plume of radiation from Japan, a reminder of our own nuclear history.

From the ever-fascinating UCLA archive, photographic proof that a nuclear reactor was once in the plans for Corral Canyon here in Malibu. Seriously.

Also part of LA County's '60s-era master plan for the 'Bu: a coastal highway that ran over the ocean, turning Las Virgenes Canyon Road into a six-lane freeway, and ultra high-density development, like in Marina Del Rey.

Original caption: REACTOR SITE-Three members of the Atomic Energy Commission Safety and Licensing Board inspect site of proposed nuclear reactor power plant in Coral Canyon, Malibu. They are, from left, Dr. Lawrence Quarles, Hood Worthington and Samuel Jensch. They are holding hearing in Santa Monica this week.

March 16, 2011

Ummm, what?


I cannot explain, I can merely report.

March 15, 2011

Hello, kitty


The computer here is dying has indigestion so until it's back from the shop, we're blogging by iphone. Not as easy as it sounds. Which is why we've got a shot of Patsy (can you even see her? Lord this is a rotten little camera) on deck this morning, catching some rays.

March 14, 2011





While we were all learning way more than we had ever hoped to know about nuclear rods and rads and fission and meltdown, the sun rose.

March 13, 2011

Sunday brunch

ducks at Malibu Kitchen

There was a bit of a line at the Malibu Kitchen this morning as we waited to get an unnaturally large blueberry muffin coffee.

March 12, 2011

Signs of Saturday: Beware of Dog


It's an old sign nailed to an old eucalyptus left over from a different era here in Malibu. The dog? MIA.

March 11, 2011

No Malibu tsunami

Just got back from the bluff, where a line of people watched tiny riffles ruffle the beach. Whatever energy is left in the ocean after that catastrophic earthquake in Japan, it's not doing anything unusual here.

What we did have this morning is one of my favorite sights, the bluff reflected in the pool created where the creek meets the sea. The pool persists in one form or another year-round, but it's in March and April that it's at its best, still filled with runoff from the rain, still clean, still clear.

no tsunami 012

March 10, 2011

It's the future, Benjamin...

plastic cows

Meet some new neighbors here in Malibu -- a herd of plastic cows. Neater, cleaner, quieter, with less off-gassing.

And for some animals of the non-plastic variety, check out my story about urban homesteading in Altadena in today's LAT food section.

March 9, 2011

Tiny flowers

tiny flowers

The wildflower season has begin in Malibu, with lupine and penstamon and giant coreopsis making themselves heard. (I'll get coreopsis pix soon -- they're glorious this year.)

But it's these tiny purple blossoms that really grab me, so small they look like confetti in the grass. You have to kneel down and carefully aim the camera to get their little faces in full focus.

March 8, 2011

Jake in the grass

So we're up at the barn and the little dog is out chasing her mortal enemy, the ground squirrel, and the big dog is suddenly missing and I'm looking at the hills, sure he's up there cruising for coyotes, but my friend is laughing and he's pointing and at first it's just grass growing near the wood pile and then it moves and look, there's a big brown eye and it blinks, and there's Jake, hiding in plain sight, cleverly camouflaged in case of coyote attack.

Le Jake

Le Jake

March 7, 2011

The view from here this morning

monday morning

monday morning

The sun rose at 6:15, a minute earlier than the day before, almost eight minutes earlier than the week before. It's a lovely, organic easing into spring, except that Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday. And then we'll be shoved back into the dark in the morning and, for the entire summer, have no idea just how magically early the dawn breaks.

March 6, 2011

Bridge over the creek

creek bridge

In theory, it's a year-round creek, though in practice we see it most reliably after a rain. Right now, it's running every day, a lure for the birds and dogs and kids in the canyon. I love the bridges it runs under, solidly built in another era.

March 5, 2011

Signs of Saturday: Ummm, a horse?


Malibu is horse country and it's fairly common for us to encounter a few when we're out and about. Maisie invariably hangs from the car window, breathes in deep and swoons with joy.

March 4, 2011

Today, I'm lying to you

It's dark and drippy here today. Period. No shifting clouds, no drifting fog, just a thick, wet slab of atmosphere crouching over us, leaking.

So I'm fighting back with a shot of golden sun and golden sand and blue, blue sky, none of which we see right now but all of which will return, maybe even today, because that's the way it is here in Malibu, reliably, ridiculously, relentlessly beautiful.

hot start

golden light

Maisie and Jake

sunday morning

March 3, 2011

Water tank

water tank

This aging water tank sits near the top of a canyon, a crumbling reminder that when the winds whip fire through the SoCal hills, it moves so fast and everything is so far away, you're often on your own.

March 2, 2011

Remember the windmill?


A few weeks ago, I posted a shot of the windmill in the canyon. Here it is from afar, attached to an odd and lovely house.

March 1, 2011

Pink and blue

random stuff 028

Beautiful sunset clouds here the other day. This morning was just as pink, though the clouds have since rolled inland, covered the sky. Forecasters say there's rain on the way.

So, those people who are interested in the house? They came the afternoon of an Oscars party. The table was set for eight, oranges and limes and tequila were ready for margaritas, this great Moroccan chicken dish was braising, Champagne was chilling, brownies cooling on the counter.

A friend said later, those people probably did want to see the house again, but what they really wanted was to stay for dinner. Hey, the more the merrier.

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