Here in Malibu
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June 30, 2011

Thursday sunrise

thursday sunrise

Ahhh, that's better.

June 29, 2011

Bunnies on the brain

This tiny bunny is pretending that if it acts like it doesn't see me, I won't see it.

tiny bunny

This somewhat larger bunny sat stock-still, just like this, for a few long minutes as he stared and stared into the underbrush,. His ears made micro-adjustments, rotating a bit as he assessed the threat.

watchful bunny

Can't quite see? Let's move a little closer.

watchful bunny

We were somewhat deep into the coyote trail, Jake and Maisie and I, and as I saw the rabbit, the dogs suddenly stopped, turned to focus on that same bit of underbrush with equal (and, I'll admit it, somewhat disturbing) intensity.

June 28, 2011

Where the dessert meets the sea


Add the letter "s" (and nine ounces of chocolate poached in three sticks of butter) and the sere and sandy landscape (see previous post) is transformed.


June 27, 2011

Where the desert meets the sea


We're not technically a desert, I suppose, but in the wild places, far from sprinkled lawns and hose-fed plants, we come pretty darn close.

June 26, 2011

Sunday styles

ducks? geese?

The church hat ladies could take a tip or two from the ducks here in the Malibu.

June 25, 2011

Signs of Saturday: trouble


OK, it's not the written word, but three fallen wing feathers? The bird has probably had better days.

On a cheerier note -- have I mentioned we have a flock of wild parrots here? Acid green wings, cherry red heads, and voices like torn sheet metal.

Music to my ears.

June 24, 2011

Meanwhile, back at the rancho

It's been an interesting few days at Casa Mulholland:

house before

kitchen/dr during

casa mulholland remodel

Valium anyone?

June 23, 2011

Here in Malibu

Today in Malibu

See the ocean?

Yeah, me neither.

This brief post brought to you by my iPhone, while (controlled) (I think) chaos reigns back at the rancho.

June 22, 2011

Those lazy, hazy days of...

On the first full day of summer, we've landed on the pea soup hazy side here at the beach this morning. I'd show you, but it would look like this.

So here's this summer's first sunrise back at the rancho, warm light moving through the oak grove. After yesterday's coyote escapade (during which I didn't even try to get a photo, so you know how, um, exciting that was) today's walk was somewhat brief and more than a bit watchful.)

first summer sunrise

Meanwhile, the beach looked appropriately summery mere hours after the solstice:

A bunny had a leisurely bite on the bluff:

And the annual dance of the golf carts got an early start.
golf carts parked at the beach

Tomorrow, we continue the story of the Great Casa Mulholland remodel.

June 21, 2011

Summer is here!

It's been a busy day here in the Malibu. First, the final sunrise of spring fought the nighttime fog. (I didn't even try to get a photo from the bluff, as the coast was socked in until, well, it actually still is.)

summer solstice sunrise

Then, the dogs and I went for a morning walk:


Jake heard something in the underbrush:
Jake on alert

That something turned out to be a pair of coyotes who had been tracking us.

Jake growled and barked and suddenly chased. His voice gave me chills. An enormous coyote with a gorgeous coat jogged by on the path ahead of us. Around a bend, I could hear a smaller coyote yipping and barking and begging Jake to follow her into the hills.

Maisie the Teacup Lab® had murder in her eyes and, thank god, a leash around her neck. I'm pretty sure she gave me the finger when I refused to let her run.

And then, minutes after we got safely back to the house, men with power tools and really big trucks arrived.

To be continued...

June 20, 2011

Maisie and a daisy

Look closer and this round little flower (I know, not a daisy) is all sharp edges and crisp creases, a bit of floral origami.

maisie daisy

I'd have tried for a better shot but my assistant said it was time to move on.

maisie daisy

June 19, 2011


We've got a bit of a cloudy/foggy thing going on today so here's a shot or two of the wildflowers that still linger this late (Tuesday's the solstice!) in spring.



June 18, 2011

Signs of Saturday: Pick it up


Here's the flip side of the newest sign to pop up in the Cove. Kind of like having your mom around, telling you (in the nicest way) to please, dear, get those smelly clothes off the floor.

Hi Mom!

June 17, 2011

Is that the sun?

Yesterday, for an all-too-brief moment, the sun came out...

...and the angels sang. The Beach Boys, I think it was.


June 16, 2011

Sunset at the lake

The June gloom that chills the coast these days burns off here in the hills. By afternoon, the same sun that will roast us come August has done away with all the fog.

lake at Seminole Springs

Here's the lake at sunset, the air so warm and soft it takes you back to childhood summers.

There are ducks and dragonflies and ripples made by widemouth bass. As the sun set and the air cooled, a loon called. A second later, another one answered.

lake at Seminole Springs

June 15, 2011

Jacaranda season reaches the 'Bu

at last -- jacaranda!

When did the jacarandas bloom in your neighborhood? As I was camped out in a series of short-term rentals in Woodland Hills, Santa Monica and Venice (in that order) I had the good luck to follow the jacarandas.

at last -- jacaranda!

Yesterday, after weeks and weeks of chilly weather, the sweet unfolding arrived here in Malibu. This is the tree up at the barn, the dividing line, it seemed, between inland sun and coastal gloom.

at last -- jacaranda!

June 14, 2011

Next on the agenda

wide open

So, yeah, we're slowly working our way deeper and deeper into this meadow next to our new place. But before we go any further, there's a rattlesnake clinic (and a vaccine) in Masie and Jake's futures.

June 13, 2011

Here in (the) Malibu

We took our first walk in our new home this morning and so far, so good. We're deep in the Santa Monica mountains, surrounded by undeveloped open space on all sides.

This is one of the countless groves of California live oaks around here, trees so old I swear you can hear them humming.california live oak

But wait -- something's not quite right with that photo.

Ahhh, that's better:
california live oak

June 12, 2011

Castle Rock dancers

castle rock dancers

Once upon a time, this was risque.


And yes, this was the post for a few minutes on Friday, and then the USS John Paul Jones sailed into town, so I went and took pix and that went up instead.

BUT, since today I'm in the new house with a cleaning crew, and because, despite my best efforts AT&T, the phone and internet provider in these parts, can't get it together to hook up my service for another TWO WEEKS (is this 1984?) I'm re-purposing this post. From my iPhone. Because it's actually 2011. And I own a home.

Again -- sigh.

June 11, 2011

Signs of Saturday: Keep it clean


Once upon a time, Cove residents would build a little beach hut each summer. These were temporary structures made with whatever was at hand -- lumber, palm fronds, unexpected gifts from the sea.

Some neighbors to the north, condo owners with beach keys, weren't fans of the huts. A few were torn down, and there was a particularly tense period when someone cemented a "Keep Out" sign into a rock. (Which mysteriously vanished.) (The sign, not the rock.) Eventually, the huts stopped appearing.

ANYway, that's the genesis of the "Hut Road" term, and you can kinda tell how long someone's been living in the Cove by which hut, if any, they remember. The genesis of this particular sign, however, is the universal struggle wherever people have dogs: trying to get owners to scoop the damned poop.

End of history lesson for today.

June 10, 2011

USS John Paul Jones -- biggest ship yet in Malibu

U.S.S. John Paul <br />

U.S.S. John Paul Jones

war ship 008

We've had our share of really big ships here in Malibu, what with Larry Ellison's sailboat, that Russian billionaire's yacht and other assorted extravaganzas. But this weekend, we're hosting the U.S.S. John Paul Jones, the 505-foot-long Navy destroyer.

There are welcome signs,
U.S.S. John Paul Jones welcome sign

Welcome parties,
U.S.S. John Paul Jones welcome ceremony

And welcome boats, with a sailor keeping watch over the goodie bags.
sailor and goodie bags

One of the parties, a barbeque for sailors and family members, is being hosted by the Adamson family in Serra Retreat. For Malibu history buffs, there's some nice resonance there as, during World War II, the Adamson family hosted a number of soldiers in Malibu, as the U.S. military camped out for several months on famed Surfrider Beach.

Check out Bob Pool's story (Hi Bob!) in the LA Times right here.

June 9, 2011

Where's Jake?

where's jake?

Every now and then, particularly with a companion like this (and believe me, it started at an early age) The Big Dog needs some alone time.

It took Maisie all of a minute to find him.

June 8, 2011

The view from there


Follow this path on the bluff and, just beyond the curve, you come to a rear view of the Malibu Colony. People pay a lot to live so close together.

malibu colony

June 7, 2011

June 7, 2011 B.E.*

This morning, before I sat in a windowless room and signed a stack of escrow documents the size of a small toddler, I took a walk in my beloved Paradise Cove.

Other than the claustrophobia and the writer's cramp, which mean I now own a house deep in the Santa Monica mountains, this makes today no different from the last 27 (but who's counting?) days since I left my place in the Cove.

We're moving into the new digs on Saturday. I'm promised that much hilarity -- and remodeling -- will ensue,




*Before Escrow

June 6, 2011

Lab + ball = happy

An (im)patient dog:
what are you waiting for?

A sliding catch:
short stop

And all is well with the world.
Miss Maisie

June 5, 2011

The bridge to somewhere


One of my favorite spots, this little bridge out in the middle of nowhere.

June 4, 2011

Signs of Saturday: Lost and found

lost and found

Sometimes, when the need arises, signs in the canyon become bulletin boards.

June 3, 2011

Point Dume boat wreck makes the NYT

Remember that wrecked sailboat on Point Dume?
wrecked sailboat

It's a bit the worse for wear more than two months later, and is in today's NYT.

Meanwhile, here's the Cove beach yesterday on a windy afternoon. I love the jagged shadows as the sun moves west beyond the bluff.

beach yesterday

June 2, 2011

Here in the Malibu

our new street

Here's my new street, deep in the heart of the Santa Monica mountains. If all goes well, we'll be mopping the floors and reveling in the silence on June 11.

June 1, 2011

Curve in the canyon

canyon curve

I'm camped out in yet another short-term rental, waiting out the tenth circle of hell escrow period for my new digs. It's a lovely house but it's in the city and it's loud. All the time.

So I'm looking forward to the daily drive into Malibu, where this curve in the canyon is part of my commute to the barn. I haven't seen a beach sunrise in over a week and it's making me cranky.

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