Demolition of the three vintage beach cottages across the street has reached a new phase and Casa de LOUD! has become even louder.
The flocks are smaller than they were before the Woolsey Fire, and considering the tremendous loss of habitat, it's not surprising. But the good news is that they're still there, screechy and squawking and always watching the action down on the ground.
The really hard part is just how many California quail perished when the canyons here burned. I miss them so much, slightly goofy with those rounded bodies and poufs of head feathers, the
Watching three homes disappear in a matter of hours has been disconcerting. At one point one of the excavators had a bathtub in its jaws, which it tossed from a pretty good height into the trash pile. Yeah, disconcerting.
About a year ago the city took down the '27 miles of scenic beauty' signs here in town and, reflecting the actual length of the municipal coast, corrected them to read '21 miles'. And the 'Bu plates soon followed.
It used to be the Chili Cook-off grounds, and even before that a friend said he used to grow tomatoes there as his summer job when he was in high school. Now it's a really pretty park. It's divided into habitats and planted accordingly. There's a network of paths that wind around a stream and a big pond which, I guess because we're out of drought danger (but really, is Southern California ever really out of drought danger?) are both full these days. Cool mosaic statues of lizards and birds and coyotes and other local wildlife, shaded benches, informational plaques, and almost always a sweet breeze.
We're regular visitors here now because the other parks in town are closed. Beaches are still open but our entrance, under control of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, remains shut down. We have all called and emailed and the answer we get for being kept from the beach is that the entrance is supposedly too narrow for social distancing. That's nonsense of course. It's 12 feet wide and only eight feet long, and the breeze off the Pacific is steady and strong. Locals here agree it's just an excuse for the agency to not carry out its duties. Sadly there's lot of that going around right now.
Our neighbor, who owns about a dozen houses on Carbon Beach, has been doing a bit of redecorating.
And Walt continues to have opinions about the state of the world. (Or maybe he's just acting out a song from Hamilton.)
We got the last parking spot at Solstice Canyon this morning, only 8:30 am and already the lot was full. A wonderful walk, morning mist, cool breeze, hikers invisible and (it's not always this way) silent.
Such a surprise to find water in the lower creek, running low but running, the sounds of that moment so soothing I just had to share.
I love that the city has gone to the trouble of installing an owl box in Bluffs Park. Still empty so far, but with habitat getting gobbled up by development at a dispiriting rate, someone is likely to take up residence eventually.
It was an iffy experiment, growing sunflowers in a the confines of a planter box, and thrilling when a few hardy souls ignored the cramped quarters and gave it their all. It's a far cry from the roomy and luxuriant gardens up at the barn, that's for sure, but these sunflowers, unlikely and defiant, I may love them the best of all.
Things have been kind of quiet here on the blog, pretty much a reflection of how everyone here is feeling since losing the little Labrador. But I've missed sharing the things that happen here so the hiatus is officially over.
Also, thank you so much for the kind and generous and thoughtful and encouraging notes about losing Daisy. You are all so lovely.