Here in Malibu
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April 30, 2012

Message in the sand

sand crab lays eggs?

This little Pacific sand crab, the creature all those long-billed birds are digging for, made a perfect circle as she burrowed her way through a cycle of low tide.

And this site is a regular Rosetta stone for reading the various dots and divots left on the beach by our tiny marine cousins.

April 29, 2012

Flight of pelicans

pelicans in flight

When it's early enough, and the water is still enough, you hear their wings as they glide by.

April 28, 2012

Signs of Saturday: U-turn


Maybe he just realized he left the front door unlocked?

April 27, 2012

The beach here this morning

Woke craving the beach this morning, and not just the beach but the light, sunlight, morning sunlight that a week of fog has kept from us.

And here it was, clear and golden. Sounds like music to me.

cove at dawn

April 26, 2012

Also from the April showers

Lots and lots (there were thousands, tens of thousands) :

...of tiny:

IMG_0009 flowers:


April 25, 2012

Service required

Because I've ignored the service light on my car for more months than I care to admit, and because Malibu Auto starts work at the crack of dawn 8 a.m., and because some mornings are less organized than others, I'm waiting here in town with my laptop but without my camera, which means that, in addition to this run-on sentence, you're being treated to a photo from the archives.

You're welcome.

The End

April 24, 2012

April showers bring...

This year, April showers seem to bring even more April showers. (It's supposed to rain tomorrow, and maybe Thursday as well.) As I've said before, weird weather.

Of course it's the perfect opening to show a few pix from last week's storm, which here in the hills included not just torrential rain but also THUNDER and lightning so big and so close by, it had the Little Dog checking the internet for fallout shelters.

The creek rose and the road to our place looked like this:

road floods

And after hours of downpour which brought out the plows to clear rockfalls from the mountain roads, we had a sweet moment of this:


Oh, and also? Hail.

April 23, 2012

Gray day


The marine layer that erased the coast all week has eased its way up the canyon. We didn't even bother with the beach this morning, headed instead for the hills where the mist, shredded on the mountain tops, made words like 'wreathed' and 'wraith' float through my pre-caffeine brain.

April 22, 2012

California quail at the lake

California quail

Our adorable state bird, identified by BirdLife International as a threatened species due to its vanishing habitat in much of California, is a frequent visitor to the lake.

April 21, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Welcome, summer

Two months until the solstice but the weather seems not to care, with the beach all June gloomy and the mountain temps set to hit 80-plus.


April 20, 2012

The beach here this morning

The plan was the morning sunrise. The reality was this:


Which means this:


The pod of dolphins that kept pace as we walked toward Point Dume blended into the fog, and you have to look close to see this guy:


April 19, 2012

Duck, duck...goose!

There's an ever-changing cast of characters here at the lake, the ducks of course, and egrets and herons and tiny snub-nosed birds who bob along in gangs but whose names I don't know yet. And last Friday, just before that crazy rain came by, these two geese.

They weren't afraid, not even of Maisie:


They just strolled and swam:


And, bored with the paparazzi action, one of them took a quick nap.


April 18, 2012

And now, a moment of Muffinhead



She's smiling again.

April 17, 2012

Call of the wild

There's this squirrel we see on one of our walks, and by "see" what I really mean is we get a glimpse of him. He's young and agile and, I think, has a bit of an attitude.

He'll let Maisie get a good look, a bit of eye contact, then he'll flip her the bird and vanish.


It's always near this sycamore, and no matter how far ahead either of us plan, how fast we walk or what angle we take, we can't find him.


Until yesterday, that is, when we circled the tree, looking up up up and there, perched in a hollow, the fluffy little rodent.


Can you hear that?

Neener neener neener.

April 16, 2012

On the beach this morning

On the beach this morining both the fog...


...and the tide rolled in.


April 15, 2012

Snow on the mountains

There's a spot on one of our roads here in the Santa Monica where, if you know where to park and which trail to take, you look out over the valley to the snow-covered mountains beyond.

rain in LA = snow in the mountains

Oh wild Los Angeles, I love you.

rain in LA = snow on the mountains

April 14, 2012

Signs of Saturday: The Original Spanish Kitchen *


Remember the Spanish Kitchen, which sat abandoned for 40 years, the tables still set, the taxes still paid, slowly crumbling as the decades passed?

Countless stories have been told since that August night in 1961 when Pearl Caretto served dinner as usual, then shut the doors for good. Real answers, however, are scarce.

Here's a relic of those days, a pie plate found at an estate sale, old and heavy, not spilling any secrets.

* Just heard from Greg Morris, the restauranteur who re-opened the Spanish Kitchen a few years back. Turns out my Spanish Kitchen pie pan was actually used to serve paella. Morris has one of his own, given to him by the Caretto's daughter.

For more info about the place, past and present, the web site is here.

April 13, 2012

Rain on the lake, green in the hills


It's wonderful to have rain, but it's at least a month out of place. Good thing there's no such thing as climate change.


Meanwhile, we had a couple of new visitors this morning. More pix of them on Sunday:


April 12, 2012

Rain, and yet still dry

prickly pear on point dume

Not a single smooth surface here on Point Dume, where the prickly pear meets the sea.

April 11, 2012

Eye of the storm

a moment of sun

For a moment this morning the sun was out, the light bright and tender in that way only a new spring day has. If I tell you that the mountain birds were singing and the sky was so blue and the rain caught in the oaks dripped and shattered, made prisms, it sounds overwrought. But that's how it was for a moment this morning, in that break in the storm.

April 10, 2012

Sun shift

tuesday morning in the Cove

tuesday morning in the Cove

tuesday morning in the Cove

Each day the sun rises a few minutes earlier and a few degrees further east north (thanks, Bill!), headed for its earliest and most easterly northernmost arrival on the solstice in June.

And while you may think today's dawn broke at 6:28 a.m., it was really 5:28, the sweet expanse of the spring-to-summer morning masked by daylight saving time.

April 9, 2012

Sea lions off Point Dume

seals relaxing

It took a few seconds to figure out when I first downloaded this image but what I thought were birds bobbing around off the Point Dume headlands yesterday turned out to be a bunch of sea lions, lounging.

They stayed like that the whole time I was there, heads and fins poking out of the water as they barked and splashed and warmed themselves while the sun rose and the mist thinned and the tide rolled slowly in.

April 8, 2012

Point Dume this morning


A bit of wind, some hazy sun, seals calling from the rocks below, a ship's horn sounding in that fog bank far off shore.

April 7, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Before

Malibu Beach cafe

I can't remember -- have I already shown you this vintage shot of commerce in Malibu back in the day? (Click through on the photo for the rest of the scene, including the "LIQUORS" sign.)

And if you've got a hankering for more of Malibu's rural past, it's hard to beat old episodes of "The Rockford Files", where the second unit stuff shows just how much our little city has changed.

April 6, 2012

Too soon

Jake - sit. Good dog!

I'm supposed to go get his ashes but I just can't.

April 5, 2012

And one more thing...

creek meets the sea

Big waves breached the berm that often forms between the creek and the sea and look how the waters mixed:

fresh water swirl

April 4, 2012

And when we turned around...

After I got that shadow shot from yesterday and before the Tiny Labrador finally finally (quick! call PETA!) got to play ball, there was this:

breaking wave

Don't you wish the space-time continuum had a pause button?

April 3, 2012

Me and my shadow

morning shadows

I know it seems like the Little Dog is faithfully watching my every move but what's really going on is there's a tennis ball in my pocket and she's bumping me with her cold, wet nose and saying hurryhurryhurrygodammitHURRY.

April 2, 2012

Spring flies in

Looks who's back -- the Bullocks orioles who nest each spring in the trees just across the valley. You can see them in the canopy, especially the male, so bright in flight, a streak of gold that always catches your eye.

Here he is, fresh from the bird bath next door, and about to raid the hummingbird feeder. (Even as I'm writing this, a pair of herons flew by, headed for the lake, and a rufous hummingbird is swooping and diving above the rosemary hedge, doing his aerobatic best to woo the girl he loves.)

bullocks oriole returns

bullocks oriole returns

bullocks oriole returns

April 1, 2012


We went for a walk this morning and when we got back, look who was waiting for the Sunday papers:

Miss Patsy

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