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August 30, 2014

Signs of Saturday: 33rd Annual Chili Cook-off in Malibu this weekend

Annual Malibu Kiwanis chili cook-off

2014 Kiwanis chili cook-off this weekend

It's here -- the chili cook-off and carnival put on each year by the Malibu Kiwanis Club, the annual end-of-summer punctuation mark. Details at their web site here.

August 29, 2014

Night falls

me and the coyote, watching the same sunset

Me and the coyote, watching the same sunset.

August 28, 2014

Meanwhile, over at Pepperdine...

pepperdine preps for 9/11 flags

Preparations for Pepperdine's annual flag display to mark the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks have begun. Founded seven years ago by then-student Ryan Sawtelle, who stayed up all night with a group of friends to place the flags in time for the Sept. 11 sunrise, the simple and moving memorial instantly drew reverent crowds. These days, the flags go up well before the anniversary of the attacks and stay up well after.

August 27, 2014

Big Wednesday

Hurricane Marie has passed to the south of us and instead of rain, she sent a bit of surf.


A lot of surf, actually.

big wednesday

And a lot of people came to the Malibu Pier to see it. They jammed PCH:

traffic jam all day at the pier

...filled the beach:


And turned the sidewalk into a carnival:


the circus is in town

sidewalk jammed

The TV crews were there:

news crews

A drone was there:

of course, a drone

drone and gull

Photogs made camp:


Bits and pieces of the pier came loose:

parts of the pier wash ashore

that'ss a piece of the pier

A bulldozer built up a sand berm:

building up the sand berm

And hundreds of people hit the water. (Including Laird Hamilton.) (More Laird in the video below.)

the crowd

Because the whole time, this was happening:

hello, Hurricane Marie



ready to duck dive

caught inside

pelicans surf

happy days


nice ride


Laird shooting the pier, on Vimeo via Dual Hemisphere Media.

Laird Hamilton SUP surfing in Malibu. from Dual Hemisphere Media on Vimeo.

* Updated to add Laird Hamilton video.

August 26, 2014

Sad news from the Malibu Pier

Big waves along the coast, and big trouble -- a surfer died at the Malibu Pier.

Not much info yet about the surfer, who news reports say was discovered unconscious in the water late this morning. From KTLA, which has the most information right now:

The distress call in the 23000 block of West Pacific Coast Highway (map) came in at about 11:20 a.m., according to Inspector Rick Flores of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The man, who was in the water and unconscious when rescuers got to him, had been surfing near the Malibu Pier, according to Capt. Eric Howell of the Fire Department's Lifeguard Division.

Though lifeguards got the man to shore and paramedics took him to a hospital, he never revived.

The pier itself has suffered structural damage, according to The Malibu Times. Big waves loosened a piling and California State Park officials have shut down most of the pier for most of the week. Details here.

Surf is supposed to be even bigger tomorrow and lifeguards are asking people to please stay the hell out of the water.

Meanwhile, here's the surf near Little Dume this afternoon:

big surf on tuesday

August 25, 2014

Monday dogs

Believe it or not, Maisie was there first.

maisie and walt

But Walt decided she needed somewhere to rest her head.


(Thought balloon for Maisie: "Sigh.")

August 22, 2014

Misty mountains

mist settles

Looking north from the second tunnel on Kanan Road.

August 21, 2014

That was then


October 2012.

August 20, 2014

Fine feathered friend


I see this guy almost every morning on the drive down the hill to PCH. So handsome.

August 18, 2014

When it takes two hours to travel ten miles

Malibu traffic this summer has been off-the-charts awful and on Saturday, I got the worst of it. Kanan Dume Road, the main artery from the 101 to Zuma Beach, was gridlocked. Starting ON the freeway. And because an errand had taken me to Agoura Hills that afternoon, I was caught.

No problem, I thought, after it took 20 minutes to drive 20 feet. I'll ditch the worst of it by taking Mulholland Highway, already one of my favorite roads, back to Malibu Canyon and head home that way.

Great idea, except Malibu Canyon Road? Closed. So, long story short, I took Piuma Road. (And if you know enough about Santa Monica mountains geography to point out that to get to Piuma you have to drive down the supposedly closed Malibu Canyon road, I have only this to say: hush. Also, unmanned barricade.)

Piuma is, to put it mildly, twisty.

Piuma Road. omg

And steep.

Piuma Road. Deep breath.

But if you've never really had a sense of the mountain range that splits LA in two, then you should take a Valium and drive it.

Piuma vista

santa monica mountains


Piuma and the view.

You wind up far above Malibu Canyon Road:

view of Malibu Cyn Rd from Piuma

Where you get a great view of the Rindge Dam:

Rindge dam

the old Rindge dam

Why was Malibu Canyon Road closed on the hottest Saturday of the summer so far?

Las Virgenes road work

It looks like crews were replacing electrical poles.

road work in Malibu Canyon

And the payoff for all the traffic and detours and delays (and the joy of re-joining PCH at Las Flores for another stop-and-go half hour) was a vertiginous view of the Pacific, the color blue split wide open, that had the little point-and-shoot utterly outmatched.

the view from Piuma

August 15, 2014


A little morning fog with our morning walk:

fog rolls out

August 14, 2014

The beach here this morning

Low tide, low clouds, rising sun -- did someone say 'dogs'?

morning beach

Yes, also (out of focus) (hey, it's a point-and-shoot) dogs:


hey you

yes, you


August 13, 2014

Pop quiz

Raise your hand if you think I kept shooting until a seagull flew through the photograph.

sunset ridge

You know my methods, Watson.

August 11, 2014

Monday morning moon

monday morning moon

On my way to shoot the sunrise, got hijacked by the moon set.

And here it was just twelve days ago:


August 10, 2014

Happy anniversary

monday sunset

Another year for this little blog, a not-so-secret love letter to my favorite place. It's a pleasure to share it with all of you.

August 9, 2014

Signs of Saturday:

native bum

The fact that we had to tailgate for a second for me to get this shot probably made this guy feel right at home.

But my favorite "I was born here" vanity plate is still "EVITAN". (Picture reading that in your rear-view mirror.)

August 8, 2014

Little-known fact

Now you see it...

Dig here and you find this boat, which vanished under the sand about eight years ago.

August 6, 2014


Point Dume parrots

We've got several flocks of wild parrots in Malibu, including a bunch based at the market on Point Dume. They're rowdy and raucous and very opinionated about what you just bought to make dinner.

August 5, 2014

Ghost ship

white on white

Last week, as the coastal fog thinned just a bit, a sailboat slipped by.

ghost ship

August 4, 2014

Monday sunrise

hot hot hot and humid

Shooting into the light makes the sensors go nuts but even though today's sunrise didn't look quite like this, it's a good approximation of the heat yesterday, temps in the high 80s, so much humidity that it felt like being poached.

August 1, 2014

Front row seat

Drive just a little way into the hills in the west end of Malibu and where the roads end, the undeveloped mountains begin. It's a busy border with strollers and dog walkers, hikers and bikers and, thanks to easy living afforded by food and water from landscaped yards, abundant wildlife.

Zuma View trail

That's where the little cottage sits, at the very back of a large property that borders conservancy land. The rear deck is cantilevered over untouched open space and from there, every day, we spend time with coyotes.

The pups smell them:

walt hears the coyotes

We see them:

hello, coyote



And they see us:

coyote next door

Last night, just at sunset, we heard them. (That little 'woof' at the 17-second mark? Walt, asking for an encore.)