Here in Malibu
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December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve moon rise

A lovely end to (let's face it) a really weird year.

new years eve moon rise

last moonrise of 2017

December 30, 2017

Signs of Saturday: Wish list

two months and counting...

Somewhere, months after it was supposed to have been delivered and installed, a friend's dishwasher is being held hostage.

December 29, 2017

Another Christmas postcard

vintage christmas card

One of my favorites.

December 28, 2017

More evening colors

Sunrise or sunset, it's a color wheel this time of year.

just a random sunset

December 27, 2017

It's Puppy Wednesday!

And guess who's just about had it with running errands:

soooo tired of running errands...

December 26, 2017

Hello, Bob

OK, as requested, the other side of the card.

98 years ago...

Sent just 98 years ago. (Still can't quite make out the signature. Ira? Ida?)

December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

From California!

Christmas postcard sent Dec. 16, 1919

This card was sent from Stockton, Ca, to Mr. Robert Hall in Brewer Maine on Dec. 16, 1919. The postmark even has the time -- 11 am.

December 24, 2017

'Tis the season

merry christmas

I love imagining the moments of recognition as families unpack their ornaments and decorate the tree and for a little minute, everything is as it ever was.

December 23, 2017

Signs of Saturday: Arf!

the hairy angels

December 21, 2017

Happy (true) New Year!

It's the winter solstice today and starting tomorrow, a few seconds at a time, the days will start getting longer. (Fellow Laura Ingalls Wilder fans may recall Pa Ingalls' saying -- when the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen. In this time of insane weather, predictions of a 75-degree Christmas day, and a year-round fire season, I can only say fingers crossed.)

Meanwhile, here's a shot of the clouds that surrounded us for a few hours yesterday, whispering of rain but leaving behind not a single drop.

clouds fly by on the last day of fall

December 20, 2017

It's Puppy Wednesday! (And considering that awful and corrupt new tax bill, it's not a moment too soon.)

the shiniest Labrador in Malibu

First of all, the puppy is NOT that big. (But she really is that shiny.) Still, with the sloping trail and something that the point-and-shoot did, she looks larger than Walter. Of course I may just be in denial that she's growing up so feel free to ignore the protestations of the person behind the camera.

BUT, and this is definitely true, for some reason whenever the camera comes out, Daisy furrows her forehead and squinches up her face and she looks...not like herself. The late great Maisie also hated having her picture taken so who knows, maybe it's a Lab thing?

ANYway, this was just after sunrise and with the light pouring in, both dogs are having trouble keeping their eyes open. I love how goofy they look.

December 19, 2017

Glass house

the glass house

No stones, please.

December 18, 2017

Wild talk

early morning parrot chat

Somewhere in those branches the wild parrots are perched, chatting about the morning as it unfolds.

December 17, 2017

Just one more and then I'll stop

friday sunset fire light

The northwest corner of Bluffs Park has become quite the gathering place at dusk these days as smoke from the terrible wildfires pushes the sunsets to extremes.

December 16, 2017

Signs of Saturday: Mutual aid

All week long convoys of firefighters from neighboring states have been driving north on PCH. I'm just glad they get to see a scenic bit of coast before heading into the heartbreak of the Thomas Fire inferno.

Utah firefighters here to help

December 15, 2017

Another carbon-forward sunset

Beautiful but more than that, unsettling.

yet another fire sunset

December 14, 2017

Let's pretend it's yesterday so it can still be...

Puppy Wednesday!

he said what??

Here's Miss Daisy just counting down the seconds until it's time to go outside and wrestle with Walt, lick a 4-year-old boy's ear, and (ever hopeful, ever the Labrador) get a treat for her troubles.

December 13, 2017

C (as in carbon)

Crouched on the horizon where December rain clouds once gathered is a thick band of smoke from the wildfires still burning.

horizon smothered in wildfire smoke

And the sunsets have been just plain eerie.

sun sets in layer of wildfire smoke

December 12, 2017

New moon

new moon

Head high enough (and deep enough) into the hills and you can escape the sounds on the ground, the cars and voices and chain saws and leaf blowers and talk radio and and and. It's what's above, though, a constant in LA, jets and planes and helicopters and now drones, that robs you of the chance of even an instant without man-made sound.

But this morning, in the flats of Solstice Canyon, a miracle. The trails, the hills and even the sky, all still, and the silence, you could feel it on your skin.

December 11, 2017

The sunset here last night

Just after the sun set last night the winds kicked up, storming down Malibu Canyon in gusts so strong that standing up became a challenge. We were lucky (again) and an hour later all was still, save for the occasional siren screaming up PCH, mutual aid fire fighters racing north.

december light

bluffs park sunset

wildfire sunset

December 10, 2017

Sea level

Malibu Colony and climate denial

Homeowners in the Malibu Colony may not be climate change deniers, but buying there takes a certain type of denial nonetheless.

December 9, 2017

Signs of Saturday: Pinus radiata

California native

With our most recent living Christmas tree safely planted up at the barn last spring, it was time to find a new candidate to do holiday duty. We always go to Treeland in Woodland Hills, where the selection includes my favorite, Pinus radiata, better known as the Monterey pine.

It's a California central coast native that thrives in the sea breezes. Each January, after the lights and decorations come off, it gets transplanted into a roomier pot. Then it spends the year in a sheltered, semi-shady corner of the garden, hand-watered and, when luck is with us, rained upon.

Last year's tree had served for three Christmas seasons. It was so tall by the third year (a little more than nine feet) that we had to use a ladder reach the top. This year's tree, at just seven feet, feels small by comparison. But it will be beautiful when it comes inside next week and the Christmas things go on and a bit of wilderness transforms the house in these final days of the year.

living christmas trees

tree shopping

December 8, 2017

Autumn ending

santa monica mounains in autumn

Fall in the Santa Monica mountains, not the face slap of color you get in the east, but subtle and soulful, a sweet reward for true believers.

December 7, 2017

Fire light

fire light

Out to sea the colors are all wrong as everywhere, our wildlands burn.

December 6, 2017

It's Puppy Wednesday!

And Daisy wants you to know it's exhausting.

sleepy puppy

out cold

you woke me for this?

December 5, 2017

The devil winds at sunrise

wildfire sunrise at malibu pier

Here's the Malibu pier this morning, pelicans grounded, seagulls flung sideways, everywhere smoke from this newest round of wildfires.

seagulls flung by santa ana winds

December 4, 2017

And then...

Here's how the sunset ended.

winter horizon

color in the hills

sunset blues

malibu sunset

sunset bluffs park

looking west from bluffs park

December 3, 2017


So a week went by accidentally.

Meanwhile, here's the start of a recent sunset.

december light

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