So you see how the gull stands there, watching a wave form and deciding what's next?
A little bit of that is going on here these days. Stay tuned.
On one of our walks we pass a small grove of these shrub-like oaks, bristling with acorn tops.
When you see how few of the thousands of seeds have sprouted and survived over the years, you get a sense of how hard life can be in these mountains.
We were early enough to the beach this morning to see it free of footprints. And then the day began.
If you're reading this on a Saturday, then chances are The Tiny Labrador is just beyond the fence, doing beer bongs with a lamp shade on her head.
So I know I just showed you a hawk, and not too long ago posted a jet, but this hawk and this jet in the same frame just seem to nail the LA experience.
Come to think of it, with the oaks and poppies and herons and egrets, the clouds sailing overhead and the Santa Monica Mountains all around, the little lake here in the hills is a bit of nature heaven.
The Little Dog has become enamored of a trail near the lake, a hike that takes us high up into the hills. Coyotes cross it, and herds of deer. The tiny Labrador catches their scent, then loses her mind. She races ahead and, if luck is with her (but not with me) she finds fresh scat to roll in. Yay.
Have I mentioned there's a stable here in our corner of the Santa Monica mountains? It's wonderful to see and hear (and yes, smell) horses every time you leave the house.
It's been several months now since HOWS market closed, the land sold to make room for something way bigger and fancier, and I suppose it will surprise no one to hear that I miss it. (Though not nearly as much as I miss the '49 Plymouth. Wasn't it a beauty?)
Signs of spring everywhere you look, including in the creek bed, where vinca blooms amid last year's fallen leaves.
Well, I'm not really sure it's him, but whoever it is, he's very handsome.
Mother Nature had a surprise or two up her sleeve this morning, like a biblical sunrise that started like this:
Then became this:
With colors like this:
All at the same time.
Happy Valentine's Day from Diesel Books in Malibu, where Cheryl, the manager, had a bit of fun with the inventory.
And from this blog, well, today's sentiment should come as no surprise:
Dark this morning and even darker right now as the clouds roll in and (not nearly enough) rain drums on the metal mobile home roof.
Beautiful light on the beach:
Where it was low tide:
With pelicans windsurfing:
And where the Little Dog:
...was very, very happy:
I remember the trees and ponds and flimsy fishing poles. The survivalist security? Not so much.
Honestly? It's lucky there's a photo here at all. All over the landscape of our favorite walk in Bluffs Park these days a shrub is blooming, tiny flowers, ragged and messy and, from the behavior of the bees, laced with meth.
We're talking big bees here, the size of a grape, an enraged and territorial grape. Walk along and they buzz you, fly at your face, herd you away. But all the paths are lined with this plant so you're basically racing along, surrounded, praying that urban legends about killer zombie vampire bees have not come true.
The early bird also catches the setting moon, which slid behind the mountains just as the sun rose over the sea.
It's always lovely here after a rain, the sky scrubbed clean:
Birds warming their wings:
Quite a few people stopped in the grocery store parking lot the other day to marvel at this St. Bernard's size.
One day this was just another tree on a ridge here in the Santa Monica mountains.
The next day -- poof! -- a blizzard of blooms.
The stand of prickly pear cactus in the oak grove used to look like this:
It had been there for years, eking out a living, bearing the scars of occasional target practice.
This week, it looks like this, shredded to mulch by boys with guns.
If you've ever lost someone, which means I'm now talking to everyone, you know how this grieving thing works, which is to say it doesn't. You just take it as it comes.
I really, really miss him.
There's a new path we've been walking, the little dog and I, a rough and rambling loop through the Santa Monica mountains. It can take 20 minutes or two hours, depending which detours you choose.
Here, shot as the sun rose and the birds went nuts, is a grove of deciduous trees, one of hundreds in these hills, lit like a Hollywood closeup.