Something about the light and the heat and the crispy colors and you can kind of feel the edge of autumn, waiting.
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:
Sun -- and the Tiny Labrador -- to the east of us:
Sun -- and the Tiny Labrador -- to the west of us:
And to think some people don't believe they're real.
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.
No, these pix are not in black and white.
Fog drifting in:
drifting charging in:
Just plain fogged in.
But it'll burn off. Girl Scout's honor.
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.
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:
This (the rain and clouds, not the duck)...
Led, as so many of you know (the blaze of pix on Twitter was fantastic) to this:
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:
...and from the beach:
Here's the moment before sunrise:
And look! A rainbow at Zuma Beach:
For morning sun these days you head high into the hills to the far edge of the marine layer, and then you wait.
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?
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.
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.
I'm obsessed with a bird these days, a white-tailed kite that comes each year to spend the summer in Bluffs Park.
He has a fierce face:
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.
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:
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:
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.)
Watched a black-crowned night heron watch the waves:
Is it possible I've never shown you the Cove from the other side of the pier?
I'm kind of shocked.
Big deal, says the Muffinhead. Hand me that ball.
That smudge on the horizon? The marine layer, bested by July heat.
Which gives us blues like this:
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.:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.)
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.
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.
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.