Here in Malibu
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July 31, 2012

Meanwhile, back at the rancho

hot and dry

Something about the light and the heat and the crispy colors and you can kind of feel the edge of autumn, waiting.

July 30, 2012

Hot? Try Grand Park in...LA

Sure, you could pile onto PCH and inch your way to a crowded stretch of beach, OR you could take the Expo (or Blue or Red or Purple or Gold or Orange or Green) line and hit the fountains at Grand Park, which descends from the Music Center to City Hall, and which had its grand opening on Saturday.

I mean, look at how cool -- literally:

grand park fountain

grand park fountain

grand park fountain




July 29, 2012

The (sunny!) beach here this morning

Sun -- and the Tiny Labrador -- to the east of us:

sunday morning beach

Sun -- and the Tiny Labrador -- to the west of us:

sunday morning -- no clouds

July 28, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Watch for...

watch for mermaids


And to think some people don't believe they're real.

July 27, 2012



It pains me to say that no, this isn't from the garden up at the barn. It could have been, it should have been, but vicious rodents gophers ate the sunflower crop this year. All of it. And they laughed the entire time.

July 26, 2012

Breakfast at the lake

You can be regal as you hunt your morning meal:

heron at the lake

You can be graceful:

egret fishing

And then there's this way:

duck breakfast

July 25, 2012

Stuff we saw this morning

No, these pix are not in black and white.

Fog drifting in:

fog drifts in

Fog drifting charging in:

fog layer

Just plain fogged in.




But it'll burn off. Girl Scout's honor.

July 24, 2012



That's it, just daisies on a summer afternoon.

July 23, 2012

The mountains here this morning



July 22, 2012

One small leap...

young swallow afraid to fly

On a walk one morning the sky is full of swallows. They fly patterns like jets in an air show, criss-cross over this little bird.

He's hunkered, feathers fluffed, his peeping voice a giveaway -- he's a fledgling. The adults all around, his tribe, urge him to jump, to trust, that within the fall is the flight.

July 21, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Take your pick

Here's what weekend traffic looks like these days, when everyone, everywhere, decides hey! Malibu!


And here's a closer look at the kids from Quebec (they made the turnoff for the Latigo Falls hike) who wear their itinerary proudly:



July 20, 2012

And the evening before...

This (the rain and clouds, not the duck)...

rain in july in SoCal?

Led, as so many of you know (the blaze of pix on Twitter was fantastic) to this:


And this:


July 19, 2012

The view(s) -- and a rainbow -- here this morning

Gracias, Hurricane Fabio, for drifting into El Norte with gentle rain and gorgeous light and this sweet, sweet breeze.

Here's the dawn this morning, from the bluff:

morning light in Malibu

...and from the beach:

morning light in Malibu

Here's the moment before sunrise:

sunrise at Paradise Cove

And look! A rainbow at Zuma Beach:

rainbow from Zuma Beach

July 18, 2012

The new normal

mist burns off

For morning sun these days you head high into the hills to the far edge of the marine layer, and then you wait.

July 17, 2012

Gone fishing

There's the heron, deep in our little lake:

heron fishing

What's he up to?

heron fishing


heron fishing

July 16, 2012

Murder on my mind

This is the time of year I usually show you how the garden up at the barn is doing, how the corn is growing and the tomatoes are ripening, how the sunflowers are blooming and how cute the tiny squash and melons and pumpkins look. Remember?

barn garden

Garden in 2007

Instead, I'm thinking very non-Disney thoughts, in which the vile rodents gophers, who Uncle Walt would have shown you as singing and dancing and being adorable, are dead. Or at least living across the canyon.

But no, they're here, and hungry and busy and of all the things I planted (see first paragraph) all that remain are three lone tomato plants and a bit of French thyme. And I'm trying not to get too attached to any of them.



July 15, 2012

Pelicans in flight

When you stand on the bluffs and pelicans glide by they're almost at eye level, so close you see them steer with the tips of their wings.


July 14, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Answers


I wish he had stopped because boy, do I have questions.

July 13, 2012

White-tailed kite

I'm obsessed with a bird these days, a white-tailed kite that comes each year to spend the summer in Bluffs Park.

IMG_0012 - Version 2

He has a fierce face:

IMG_0012 - Version 2

And when he flies it's with enormous power, more like a gull than a hawk. (Crummy photo, I know.)


I'll bring the SLR today and try to get a decent shot, if this humidity hasn't completely sapped my will to live.



July 12, 2012

Sail away

This pretty sail boat cruised up the coast yesterday just as the sun was setting, powered by a breeze we on land could see but didn't quite feel:

sail away

sail boat

July 11, 2012

Under the pier

By the time you read this the mist will have burned off and, if you rewind to yesterday's post, that'll be the view from here. But the Little Dog and I, both sleepless at 5 a.m., wandered down to the beach and this is how it looked:

no surf today

Usually we're pulled north by the series of bluffs and coves but this time, we headed south to the pier. It's quiet under there. Echo-y. (Spell check does not want you to use the word echo-y.)

under the pier

Watched a black-crowned night heron watch the waves:

night heron

Is it possible I've never shown you the Cove from the other side of the pier?

paradise cove pier

I'm kind of shocked.

paradise cove pier

Big deal, says the Muffinhead. Hand me that ball.


July 10, 2012

The beach here this morning

That smudge on the horizon? The marine layer, bested by July heat.

marine layer, conquered

Which gives us blues like this:

blue beach

And this:


July 9, 2012

So, this happened:

Made an early-morning sprint to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market on Saturday, just ahead of traffic (and the hungry hordes who often wipe out the stock at Harry's Berries) and brought home some Gaviotas, arguably the best strawberries in L.A.:

Harry's berry

AND I was aggressively ruthless clever enough to hide them from another hungry horde set some aside and soon, the ice cream maker was whirling:

ice cream

And a little later, churning:


And yes, this is where photos of the finished product should go but I was tackled relieved of my duties as the hungry horde guests filled the bowls and ATE THE EVIDENCE. Every last bite of it.


But the flowers look nice.

July 8, 2012

The marine layer burns off

No, not here at the beach:

morning fog

Up there, in the mountains:

marine layer

July 7, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Cheyenne

When I first moved into Casa Mulholland, my neighbor told me that Clint Walker, the manly man who played Cheyenne back when cowboys ruled the TV landscape, was the original owner of my house. Not quite as cool as Otis Chandler owning my place in Paradise Cove but, even though I had never seen Cheyenne and didn't know who Clint Walker was, still interesting.


When I told a friend about it, she knew exactly who Clint Walker was and loved the idea so much, she wrote to him and voila, a bit of Mr. Walker is back in his Santa Monica Moutains neighborhood.

clint walker used to own our house.

July 6, 2012

We need a new rhyme

cloudy july

There's May gray and June gloom and, a week into a tenacious marine layer, July ____?

July 5, 2012

The way they fell

The parcel of land here, all 456 acres of it, has been untouched since, well, forever. Sure, you'll notice a few spots where a foundation once stood, but the trees are huge and those slabs of rock quite tiny, and what we have here is that rarest of things -- a swath of original California.

So as well as the oaks and sycamores that are hundreds of years old, there are trees that didn't make it that far. Here are a few of them and the ways they fall, in the forest where we still hear them.



fallen tree

July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

If I showed you the actual fogged-in beach here today, you'd crawl back into bed, so instead let's look another shot from another day, when California was living up to every Brian Wilson lyric ever written.

Happy July 4th!

the beach today

July 3, 2012


Westward Beach in Malibu

My most recent pix don't feel festive enough so here's a repeat from last summer, a bit of sky, a bit of sun, and an umbrella that shouts BEACH! (But in the nicest way.)

July 2, 2012

Bee tree

We were walking yesterday when I heard a hum that always makes me think of bees but which I have trained myself to understand is actually the sound of high tension wires, when I realized no, there's not an electrical pole in sight, so I looked around and sure enough, flying in and out of the knot of a huge sycamore were hundreds of bees.

bee tree

Did alarmist stories of hikers and their dogs found dead, covered in killer bees, race through my my companion's mine? You be they did.

bee tree

But we bravely stood our ground as I got these shots and if you squint at the tiny spots you'll see their bee-like shapes, and maybe a pitying look at the girl with the camera and a head full of dumb urban legends.

bee tree

Land shark!

July 1, 2012

Morning meditation



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