Here in Malibu
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February 29, 2012

The runaway

Driving along Mulholland Highway the other day, one of my favorite routes, and there they were, the flock of wild parrots, sunning themselves on some telephone wires.
wild parrots

They sat in groups, chattering:
wild parrots

Whispering secrets:
wild parrots

And utterly ignoring this little ring-necked parakeet, likely a recent escapee, whose plaintive cries I'm still thinking about several days later.
who is this little bird?

February 28, 2012

Metaphors galore


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.

February 27, 2012

Little acorn hats

On one of our walks we pass a small grove of these shrub-like oaks, bristling with acorn tops.

oak with acorn hats

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.

oak with acorn hats

February 26, 2012

Sunday morning

sunday morning beach

We were early enough to the beach this morning to see it free of footprints. And then the day began.

February 25, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Canine Connection


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.

February 24, 2012

Even! More! Birds!

I saw him:
tiny bird

Then he saw me:
tiny bird

February 23, 2012


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.

hawk and jet

February 22, 2012

Egrets at the lake

egret at the lake

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.

February 21, 2012

California poppies

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.

I had my own reward the other day, beyond that of seeing Maisie begin to recover from the baffling loss of her beloved Jake, and this is it, right here, one of my favorite flowers, suddenly blooming.california poppy

california poppy

california poppy

February 20, 2012

Horses here in the hills


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.

February 19, 2012


Point Dume

Cloudy? Sunny" Chance of rain? All is possible in this horizon. (Which is Point Dume, btw.)

February 18, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Missing

HOWS Market in Malibu

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?)

These days, I'm thinking pickup truck. And puppy.

February 17, 2012

And now, a moment of purple


Signs of spring everywhere you look, including in the creek bed, where vinca blooms amid last year's fallen leaves.

February 16, 2012

The hawk is back

It's been worrisome that, after the two barn owls were shot, we stopped seeing the hawk on his usual perch in this sycamore. And then yesterday, he reappeared.

hawk in the Santa Monica mountains

Well, I'm not really sure it's him, but whoever it is, he's very handsome.

hawk in the Santa Monica mountains

February 15, 2012

Drama, mama

Mother Nature had a surprise or two up her sleeve this morning, like a biblical sunrise that started like this:

wednesday morning in the Cove

Then became this:

wednesday morning in the Cove

With colors like this:

wednesday morning in the Cove

And this:

wednesday morning in the Cove

All at the same time.

February 14, 2012

♥ Say it with books! ♥

Happy Valentine's Day from Diesel Books in Malibu, where Cheryl, the manager, had a bit of fun with the inventory.

Diesel Books in Malibu says...

And from this blog, well, today's sentiment should come as no surprise:

I heart Malibu

February 13, 2012

Rain on the way

rain on the way

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.

February 12, 2012

Stuff we saw this morning

Beautiful light on the beach:

morning light

Where it was low tide:

sunday morning beach

With pelicans windsurfing:

pelicans surfing

And where the Little Dog:

oh maisie, go maisie!

...was very, very happy:

the little dog

February 11, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Troutdale

This place, where I went fishing with my dad when I was a little kid, is filled with families on weekends. Troutdale

I remember the trees and ponds and flimsy fishing poles. The survivalist security? Not so much.

Troutdale security force

February 10, 2012

Cranky bees

big bee

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.

February 9, 2012

Good night, moon

moon sets

The early bird also catches the setting moon, which slid behind the mountains just as the sun rose over the sea.

February 8, 2012

The early bird catches the sunrise

It's always lovely here after a rain, the sky scrubbed clean:

Paradise Cove pier at sunrise

Birds warming their wings:

Paradise Cove pier at sunrise

The sun...

Paradise Cove pier at sunrise


Paradise Cove pier at sunrise

February 7, 2012

Face in the window

Quite a few people stopped in the grocery store parking lot the other day to marvel at this St. Bernard's size.

Big dog

And drool.

Big dog

February 6, 2012

The mountains wake up

One day this was just another tree on a ridge here in the Santa Monica mountains.

The next day -- poof! -- a blizzard of blooms.




February 5, 2012

Stuff we saw this morning

A sailboat and the sunrise:

Another sailboat and the skyline:

First light on beach house windows:

It turned everything pink:

The little dog was happy:

And some campers slept through the whole thing:

February 4, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Horizon in a cup

The Los Angeles skyline:LA Skyline

The Los Angeles skyline:
LA skyline

February 3, 2012

Bang bang

The stand of prickly pear cactus in the oak grove used to look like this:

prickly pear before

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.

prickly pear after

February 2, 2012



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.

February 1, 2012

Hello, February

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.

feb 1

feb 1

feb 1



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