Here in Malibu
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September 30, 2020

Sunset, interpreted

malibu sunset

The sunset was actually a lot more pink than red, but the sensor in the little point-and-shoot tends to garble those hues, so here's what the camera saw. And considering the shitshow brawl that passed for a presidential debate last night, it actually looks about right.

September 29, 2020

Afternoon break

a gathering of crows

I wish someone would write a book just about crows. They're so smart and funny and fierce, not very good neighbors to their fellow birds, it's true, but still, so interesting. Whenever Walt's afternoon walk takes us to Legacy Park, we'll see them gradually gathering in this tree. No chatting, no interaction, just an accumulation. Another mystery.

September 28, 2020

The slow recovery in Solstice Canyon

rebirth after the fire

It doesn't look all that dramatic, I know, but these bursts of green leaves topped by crispy spires are actually young sycamore trees coming back from wildfire. It's almost two years ago now that the Woolsey Fire tore through Solstice Canyon and with every visit, we still feel the effects. The wild parrot flocks are mostly gone now, as are the ground-dwelling California quail, who never had a chance against the blaze. The place that was once filled with birdsong is now weirdly silent. So to see the regrowth of the sycamores, ungainly in their sprint for sunlight, offers hope that the rest of the canyon is healing in ways that are still unseen.

September 27, 2020

A heron at the pond

handsome great blue heron

Ever since the last heat wave, the stream at Legacy Park has dried up and the ponds are shrinking. We were lucky to spot this great blue heron fishing in the remnants of a secluded pool, his slow-motion walk mesmerizing.

September 26, 2020

Bu plate special: random name edition

bu plate special

I'm guessing the car belongs to Mick, who loves Malibu.

September 25, 2020

The new (picnic) normal

upping the picnic ante

next-level sunday in the park

With team sports scrapped for the time being, the graceful expanse of Bluffs Park has been colonized by the rest of us, ambling families, brisk walkers, people with dogs and toddlers and elders in wheelchairs, runners and racers and young sidewalk chalk artists, t'ai chi-ers and nappers, all enjoying the Pacific breeze. And now, a new addition, the welcome-to-my-castle pandemic picnic.

September 24, 2020

tbt: Daybreak

paradise cove

Here's the Paradise Cove pier just before sunrise, the indoor and outdoor light nearing equilibrium.

Throwback Thursday: Paradise Cove on Sept. 29, 2012.

September 23, 2020

It's Puppy Wednesday! Big smile edition!

Walt is the happiest dog on earth at this moment

For some people it's Chanel No. 5, for others, eau du wet dog. Potato, potahto.

September 22, 2020

It's the first day of fall

wechat for egrets

The light's been autumnal for a few weeks now, hitting at a slant even on the hottest days. The brilliant (imho) Daniel Swain over at WeatherWest sees signs of an October heatwave, so along with a change of season, this equinox brings trepidation.

On a lighter note, here's a group of egrets at Legacy Park. I thought the camera had shifted and blurred the bird on the left, but look closer and you'll see he's just fluffing his feathers. I love how egrets go from elegant to goofball in an instant.

September 21, 2020

For Monday morning, a respite

It's the last day of summer and really, with everything 2020 has thrown us so far, I'm leery about autumn. So here's a restful and peaceful moment of blue.

There was birdsong and a breeze and a handsome border collie, patiently waiting. For just that moment, everything seemed OK.


September 20, 2020

The giants among us

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1933 - 2020

Photo: Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States of America

September 19, 2020

Signs of Saturday: Bu plate special

I'd pretty much lost track of which Malibu vanity plates had already been posted to the blog and which hadn't run yet. It came as a surprise to learn that we're up to 40 Bu and Bu-related plates. It's still fun to find them so here's another addition, in case anyone ever needs a Malibu lawyer.

bu law

September 18, 2020

A rustling in the reeds

black-crowned night heron

We were at Legacy Park the other day, marveling at the slow-motion fishing expedition of a great blue heron, when suddenly we weren't the only ones watching. There, a slight shimmy in the cattails, was a black-crowned night heron, gently bobbing on his perch, his amber eye a jewel amid the greenery.

September 17, 2020

tbt: Sun salutation

Evening yoga on the summer solstice with one of the coyote parents who lived next door to the little Zuma Beach cottage.

downward-facing coyote

And because it's one of my favorite moments, here's a renegade pup sneaking away from the den for a little bit of dad time.

pup creeps up to visit dad

throwback thursday: coyote family

hello, papa

Throwback Thursday: Shot on June 21, 2015 at 8:08 pm, in the hills above Zuma Beach.

September 16, 2020

A slight rewind

egret takes a sunbath

This is from early last month, right about when this blog took an accidental and extended vacation. It's from a time before the heat wave and before the world was on fire, blue skies, breathable air, and a handsome young egret enjoying a moment's rest in Legacy Park.

September 15, 2020


daisies for Daisy

The daisies we planted in memory of the dear little Labrador are thriving, sweet and bright and cheery. She really lived up to her name.

September 14, 2020

Flight path

in flight

I remember how, on 9/11, one of the eeriest things was the complete lack of air traffic. For us in Paradise Cove, with a direct view of the holding patterns over LAX, it defined those first few days. The same thing has happened in the pandemic, with jetliners so scarce our skies our quieter, and an accidental glimpse of one while photographing sunset clouds, is actually a bit shocking.

September 13, 2020

The noonday sun

the noonday sun

This was Friday, the skies here so dark that the library parking lot lights popped on, easily outshining the sun.

Meanwhile, an unsettling piece in the Washington Post about wildfires in the time of climate change, where smoke plumes embedded with lightning and tornadoes reach 10 miles high, above the cruising altitude of commercial jets.

If you're moved to help, here's a decent collection of vetted donation links to help firefighters and fire victims, via the California State Firefighters Association.

September 12, 2020

The 9/11 memorial memorial is on display at Pepperdine


The campus is still closed so no walking among the flags, and with so many other tragedies unfolding right now, the effect feels muted this year.

September 11, 2020

In other news...

Walt got a new apocalypse heat wave haircut:

walt listens for coyotes

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo but in the process of going gray (he's turning 8 in February; where does the time go??) he has developed eyebrows.

walt got a heatwave haircut

Oh Walter.

September 10, 2020

HELLO! We're back! And yes, this blog paused for a disturbingly long time. So sorry!

So many reasons. Our beach access has been closed, and so was Bluffs Park. That made the remaining hiking trails so popular with fellow quarantine-crazed Angelenos that parking lots filled up by 8 am. Also, depression, ennui, hopelessness, and a sprinkling of laziness. All of which, as it turns out, requires a bit of a learning curve to navigate. BUT life does go on and so here we go again with the posting.

Which brings us to Tuesday, when this happened:

hello, tv helicopters!

At Casa de LOUD! it started with a shouty voice from a helicopter telling a guy whose police pursuit ended near our house to get out of the truck. He didn't. Sheriffs cars accumulated. Guns were drawn. Neighbors collected. So did news helicopters. It lasted about an hour, then an underdressed suspect was arrested. A brushfire he may have started during his flight down Topanga Canyon burned 10 acres and was put out.

So, onward.

Also, thank you to everyone who wrote to make sure we're OK. I hope you're all OK, too. It's been a pretty sh*tty 2020 all around, yes? Yes.

pursuit on pch stopped near us

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