Here in Malibu
Archive by Month

« August 2012 | Home | October 2012 »

September 30, 2012

Remember the rain!

more rain

As the hot and crispy season lingers on (and on) I'm taking refuge in photographic proof that someday, eventually, maybe even soon (are they talking about an el nino this year?) it will rain. And if you ignore the shrieky panic mode that TV newscasters revert to with the very first drop, it's lovely.

The photo above is from January 2010. The one below is from September (!) 2007.

downtown LA during saturday's storm

September 29, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Flea market


One of my favorite events takes place on Sunday -- the annual Lions Club flea market.

We get scores of of vendors from all over the region selling everything from antiques and books and fine art to t-shirts and furniture and, inevitably, stuff made by someone who spent way too much time with a Bedazzler.

September 28, 2012

Smooth sailing

dear real estate gods - please oh please let my escrow close

Yes, my eagle-eyed friends, the colors here are a teensy bit tweaked, but some days the challenges are such that even this glorious bit of the California coast calls for a moment of poetic -- or is it pixilated? -- license.

September 27, 2012

Golden oaks


The bright white blast of summer eases out and in its place, in light that skims the mountains, autumn.

September 26, 2012

Howdy, neighbor

It's hard to say who was more startled during an early morning walk, me or this furry tarantula, who was crossing a mountain path just as the sun rose.


It's hard to see at this angle, but in the photo below the valiant spider has a front leg up, challenging the enormous human in from of him to a duel.

I'd bet on the spider.


September 25, 2012


You guys? We're in escrow.

I could write about how it feels, or simply leave it to Patsy:

patsy the 17-year-old cat

That calm? Nothing to add?


Well said, little kitty.

September 24, 2012

The heron at the lake

If you squint real hard you can see that the heron, while facing forward, is actually focused 100 percent on the annoying human with the camera.

heron at the lake

The Little Dog, he ignores completely. If I breach the safety zone, though, which is precisely calibrated in his avian brain, whoosh, he's gone, and I have a lovely shot of muddy footprints.


September 23, 2012

Along the edges

point dume in the distance

I love this spot on the coast, a little hill with a bit of a birds-eye view where you can clearly see the northern curve of the Santa Monica bay, the arm of land that is Point Dume, separating us from the open ocean to the north.

September 22, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Yes, and no

no bbq

No barbeques in Bluffs Park, but rattlensakes on the paths or in the scrub? Oh yeah.

September 21, 2012

Morning light


The parrots woke first, rowdy and raucus, calling from tree to tree. Then a rooster's voice floated in from a house nearby, and the dogs next door piped up.

With an alarm clock like that, who can resist? And there, in the morning light, the reward for stumbling out of a warm and comfy bed.

September 20, 2012

Clean(ish) sweep

cove beach

I'm deep in a project that has not only bifurcated my brain, it has sucked up every last bit of decision-making ability. So, though indeed there are some new photos, and even some new thoughts about those photos, there isn't a new photo today. (This, btw, is the Cove. Not today.)

Why? Because.

And at this point in time, that's a nuanced explanation.

September 19, 2012

When wildflowers predict the weather

It's (finally) cool here at the coast today, but up in the Santa Monica mountains, along a certain sun-struck path, a swath of wildflowers that were once as white as snowfall, are now a crispy, re-fried red.

Exhibit A:

fried woldflowers

September 18, 2012

The sunrise here this morning

We're drifting into the time of morning color, when overnight mist and fog give photons something to play with. This is the sun this morning, rising just slightly faster than that warming bank of clouds. It really did look like this:


And it really didn't look like this:


Or this. (That's just a scolding -- in such lovely language -- from the camera's sensor, asking we show what really was.)




September 17, 2012

A slight snag

did you know an upright dead tree is called a snag

A snag, that's what you call a dead tree that's left upright to decompose naturally. This one (I'm afraid to say just where lest a landscape crew gets suddenly trigger happy) plays host to everything from crows and hawks and hummingbirds to one of my favorite seasonal visitors, the white-tailed kite.

hawk in malibu


tiny hummingbird, big twig


white-tailed kite

September 16, 2012

Misty, for a moment

We woke to coastal fog so thick, the camera didn't seem all that useful. Within minutes of hitting the beach at 8 a.m. though, (hey, it's Sunday) things already looked like this:

morning fog

And minutes later, it was this:

morning fog retreats

Then a swell rolled in and a tiny Labrador, obsessed with the ball, almost rolled out.

surf kicks up

If this blog was scratch'n'sniff, you'd be breathing Eau de Wet Dog. (And yes, that's a lot of Maisie pix lately but, well, ummm, I can't really think of a good excuse.)

wet dog

September 15, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Fire danger


This sign's for the Santa Monica Mountains, but with local, national and international headlines these days, I'd say the bear is as much oracle as mascot.

September 14, 2012

It's too hot to type

hot dog

Move over, Rover.

September 13, 2012

Extended office hours

When the Little Dog's panting gets louder than the fan up at the barn, we decamp for our other office, a patch of shade at Bluff's Park.

whale tale bench at bluffs park

And I'm not the only one working hard:

happiest dog on earth

September 12, 2012

And the clouds rolled in

So it started like this, morning clouds gilded by sun:


So pretty, we should see some more:

morning sky

OK, just one more:

morning sky

There was golden light on the mountains:

santa monica mountains at dawn

And three best friends, chatting it up at the lake:

los tres amigos

September 11, 2012

Pelicans, just a few pelicans

It's a miracle the pelicans are still here, let alone how they earn their living, diving for fish from heights of up to 60 feet, their bodies buffered only by small air sacs under their skin. Hard work.

friday sunrise

And then they surf, angled above the water, tilted to catch the breeze, riding the airfoil made by a breaking wave.

pelicans surf

I'd go on again about miracles if it wasn't kind of obvious already.

pelican surfs

September 10, 2012

Just walking the ducks dogs

dog/duck walk

dog/duck walk

Another day, another Disney fantasy come to life.

September 9, 2012

Pepperdine raises the 9/11 flags


It's the 5th year of the Pepperdine memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Prep work had been going on all week and the flags themselves went up late Saturday afternoon. In the past, dawn would break on September 11 and there would be the flags. This year, the display opened three days early.

Events include the annual Ride to the Flags, which starts at the naval base in Point Mugu and concludes at the Pepperdine lawn. This year's ride takes place on Sept. 16. From the web site:

It is with great honor that we at the White Heart Foundation announce our main beneficiary of the Ride to the Flags V - SFC Cory Remsburg.

SFC Remsburg served 10 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the elite Army Rangers. On his 10th tour, SFC Remsburg was severely injured by an IED blast and he suffered traumatic brain damage.

Having to relearn how to walk, he is in need of rehabilitation machines so that he may exercise daily at his residence once he completes his in-patient care at Casa Colina in Pomona.

SFC Remsburg has given so much for this country. Helping to afford these machines for him is the least we can do.

There's also a short prayer service at Pepperdine on Sept. 11. And for more about Ryan Sawtelle, the student who created Pepperdine's 9/11 tradition, click here.

September 8, 2012

Signs of Saturday: A two-fer


One pickup truck, two voices -- the bright and breezy "Life's a Beach" versus David Byrne's existential "Same as it ever was."

September 7, 2012

The sunrise here this morning

Can't choose the shot to use from today's sunrise, which caught the downtown skyline in high relief.

The one where it's getting started?

friday sunrise

The one with the pelican?


The one with the melty top?

downtown LA at sunrise

There were more, lots more, and I stayed and watched for a long time.

How long?

This long:

why are we just standing here? Somebody call PETA.

September 6, 2012

No new shark for Monterey Bay Aquarium exhibit this year

Photo © Monterey Bay Aquarium/Ken Peterson

Though four young great white sharks were tagged and released by scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in August, this year's shark season in the Santa Monica Bay closed without a viable candidate for the aquarium's exhibit, according to Ken Peterson, communications director for the aquarium.

We've concluded our 2012 white shark field season in southern California. This year, we've tagged and released four animals. None proved to be a candidate for exhibit in Monterey.

Colleagues with CSU-Long Beach and the Southern California Marine Institute - our Rapid Response Team - will still respond if a commercial fisherman accidentally nets a juvenile great white shark. Otherwise, we'll resume our field program next summer. If they haven't left already, the pen and purse seiner should depart Paradise Cove shortly.

This was the aquarium's 9th annual shark season, a project that has resulted in six 'young of the year' taking up residence in the great white exhibit. Of those six, all of whom were released, four survived and were tracked, one died when it was caught in a gill net, and one died soon after leaving the aquarium. Detailed info about those sharks is here.

The aquarium's great white shark exhibit is a huge draw, both for visitors eager to see the predators in person, and for criticism by animal activists, who say penning the sharks, even in the name of research, is inhumane. Here's the aquarium's main great white shark page, with links to its research, preservation and rescue efforts.

Meanwhile, on the left is John O'Sullivan, curator of field operations for the aquarium, and on the right is Chris Lowe, of the shark lab at CalState Long Beach, releasing a tagged juvenile great white in Santa Monica Bay on August 16.

September 5, 2012

Clouds! And rain! Rain clouds!

The clouds rolled in:

rain clouds

The rain came down:

rain on the lake

And the ducks were all, whatever, dude.

ducks in the rain in the santa monica mountains in malibu.jpg

September 4, 2012

Above the waterline


It's the third year of low rainfall and the little lake here in the hills is shrinking. This bit of metal (it has something to do with water measurement) is usually submerged. Now, it's an egret's rest, the perfect perch for sunning, and for scanning the horizon.

September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

First, ahhh, Malibu.

paradise cove, looking north

Next, traffic cops.

pets and signs 005

Maybe you're not at work today, but you know who is? A lot (a lot) of traffic cops all up and down PCH. Though chances are the roads here will be too clogged for speeding, if you do open up the throttle, the odds of getting an expensive ticket (particularly on the hill near Ralphs) are pretty good. So slow down. Open the windows, take a deep breath and drink in the view.

Ahhh, Malibu.

hot start

September 2, 2012

The swell rolls in

After the quietest of summers, a swell finally rolled in:

swell rolls in

swell rolls in

The people came:

golf carts in the Cove

Caught some waves:

surfers in the Cove

And were very, very happy:

surfers in the Cove

surfers in the Cove

surfers in the Cove


swell rolls in

September 1, 2012

Signs of Saturday: The Chili Cookoff

Once upon a time, Malibu's annual Chili Cookoff was announced like this, with a wonderful sign that was equal parts info and folk art:


Then one year, it became slightly less wonderful:

new chili cookoff sign. Zzzzzzzz...

The next year, a lot less wonderful, but at least it looks like someone tried:

Even more boring sign

Unlike this year. Seriously?

2012 chili cookoff sign

The actual cookoff and carnival still look pretty much the same, thank goodness. All the info you need about this great event -- how to get here, where to park, what to expect, at the (very nice!) Kiwanis Chili Cookoff web site here.

the chili cookoff carnival

© 2003-2015   •  About LA Observed  •  Email the editor
Follow LAO
Kevin Roderick blog
11:49 AM Mon | The Twitter feed is curated and updated most days. Posting to the blogs is more sporadic.
12:59 AM Mon | 'In on merit' at USC
Mark Lacter, LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Get RSS Feeds
of LA Observed
LA Observed publishes several Real Simple Syndication feeds for easy scanning of headlines. If you wish to subscribe to a feed, most popular RSS readers will do it for you. You can also enter the web address from the XML button below or click on a specific feed. For more help with RSS, try here or here.

Add to Google