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December 31, 2014

Crazy windy


Thank you, Canada, for sending us this holiday gift of cold and snow and gale-force winds -- you really shouldn't have. We've got a foot of snow in Murietta, hundreds of people stuck in their cars in the mountains, closed roads, flipped big rigs, and at the coast, wind gusts clocking in at 70 mph.

Here, just before being blown over (no kidding) are a few pix from Zuma Beach. The little cottage is rocking, a loose tarp on a nearby hill sounds like a cannon, and every few minutes the electricity flickers off. A memorable close to 2014.

LAT story is here. CBS weighs in here. Fox says Rose Bowl events tomorrow will be coldest and windiest ever.

sand storm

December 30, 2014

Clouds, but no rain

Well, no rain yet. (Forecasters say maybe some showers tonight. Fingers crossed.) What really matters to our drought-blasted state is Sierra snowpack, so here's hoping predictions of winter storms in the mountains this week come true.

Meanwhile, some dark-sky drama here at the coast:

morning light

clouds roll by

big clouds, tiny sprinkle of rain

December 29, 2014


Chilly the last few mornings, and very still. Here's a hawk we saw, fluffed up and waiting, for the sun to rise, for the air to warm, for a breeze to ride, a thermal to help him glide skyward.

sunrise hawk

hawk in morning sun

hawk warms up


December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

1913 christmas postcard



Green lawns in winter?



Snow on the mountains that we can see from our flower-decked porches?

Check and check.

Merry Christmas from California!

vintage california christmas 1913

December 24, 2014

Merry and bright at The Grove

Longing for a bit of holiday excess? Two words: The Grove.

santa at the grove

merry and bright

holiday lights at the grove

December 23, 2014

Light show

Skies here have been spectacular the last few nights, the light and colors so intense that even though you know there's no way the camera can catch it, you keep taking the same photo over and over again.

ANOTHER amazing sunset

yet again, crazy sky

sunset in malibu

December 22, 2014

The neighbors

hello, neighbor

Dawn and dusk, the neighbors here come out for a stroll.

December 21, 2014

Hello, winter

the final sunset of fall

It's the solstice today at 3:03 p.m., the first day of winter. (And, logically, the true new year.) And because it was pretty spectacular, here's the final sunset of fall last night, which seems to have wowed much of Los Angeles. Also, the WashPost's nice 5-solstice-questions blog post.

Happy solstice!

December 17, 2014

Before and after

Here we are on Tuesday before the rain:

storm moves in, Tuesday sunrise

And here we are this morning, just after:

wednesday sunrise, after rain

December 15, 2014

Hello, Monday

moody blue monday

Why so blue? Rumor has it there's more rain on the way...

December 11, 2014

On Mulholland Highway

on mulholland highway

I love country roads.

December 9, 2014

After dark

At dusk last night Walt went a little nuts, pacing the deck and growling. Since he had ignored the beautiful sunset two nights ago:

sunday sunset

I knew this one had nothing to do with his mood.

monday sunset

And then, on the ridge above us, something moved. Walt growled. Too dark for anything but a crummy photo from the point-and-shoot but still, look close, right there in the center of the frame. See the coyote ears?

coyote in the brush

IMG_2452 - Version 2

December 3, 2014

Updates from the land of wet dogs

Amid the patchy rain this morning, a glimpse of blue:

patch of blue

The wet birds were happy:

drying out

wet birds

Oh -- and you know those spray painted signs near city drains and gutters saying everything in the streets drains into the sea?

Here's the creek two days before the storm:

before the rain

And here it is after:

rain from creek to sea

creek flows into the sea

December 2, 2014

♪ ♫ Rain ♪ ♪

before the storm

A slow build with this storm, low clouds edging in all night long. Thick mist at daybreak, just a few fat drops falling.

The wildlife here is waiting, crows hunched on telephone wires, hummingbirds hidden, great drifts of pelicans high above, sailing, a steady breeze up there, not a wing beat, not once.

To the north of us PCH is closed. To the south you hear the Zuma surf. At my feet, wet dogs. (Yes, fragrant.) And just now, right now, the real rain.

No, this awful drought isn't over but for today at least, it's not getting worse.

December 1, 2014

Paradise Cove pier: No birds allowed

It's easy enough to see what keeps visitors from walking on the supposedly public pier in Paradise Cove:

closed: paradise cove pier

But what about the seagulls and pelicans the sign jokingly refers to?


Take a closer look and you'll see the network of fishing filament, all but invisible, that runs the length and, in places, crosses the width of the pier.

anti-bird wire

You don't need the occasional clump of bloody feathers on the pier's wood planks to realize that for sea birds seeking a place to rest, it's a potential death trap.

pelican death trap

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