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October 31, 2012

Will work for REM

doggie in the window

The hurricane, the move, the election, the move and yes, I know I'm not talking about it very much but -- the move! -- and I'm sleepless. And unable to make good decisions. So here's a photo.

The fact the toy giraffe dwarfs that doggie in the window is a good clue to her true (lack of) size. She's a fearless guard dog when perched on the back of the couch, weighing in on every creature within her gaze.

October 30, 2012

This is Sandy

Satellite View of Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy on Oct. 30

(Photo: NOAA/NASA GOES Project via Creative Commons in Flickr.)

Yeah, not the right day to post sunshine and sunrises. Like everyone else, my thoughts are out east right now.

Perhaps the only thing more shocking than the photos is the utter lack during this presidential campaign of the the words "climate change" from either candidate.

The NYT has a photo gallery on its front page, and also has a readers gallery.

A gallery from Salon.

HuffPost's reader's gallery is here.

WashPost has one.

USA Today's photos.

October 29, 2012

So, that went well

remains of the sale

When I sold my house last year I thought I'd done a good job of winnowing out old crap. I gave away tons of stuff and yet more stuff appeared. The day we moved, the U-Haul I had expected to remain half empty turned out to be not large enough. I can tell I'm not alone here -- I feel a lot of you nodding.

By the time we finished the remodel on the new place, even though it turned out so well, I already knew I wanted to move. Didn't dare voice it aloud as it seemed a bit insane, but there it was. It's beautiful here in the Santa Monica Mountains, very big and very wild, but somehow it's not quite my spot.

Once the guys finished the final touch-ups, I moved just a fraction of my things into the house. Stuffed the shed full of the rest. Managed to wait until spring to tell my real estate guy he should draw up another contract. And when it came time to de-clutter in order to stage the place for sale, I didn't have to move a thing.

ANYWAY, long story long, of the two contradictory sayings about absence (makes the heart grow fonder / out of sight, out of mind) it was the latter that held sway. Thanks to CraigsList and that moving sale (those are the leftovers in the driveway, packed up and headed for Goodwill) I'm certain that this time, the smaller van will do the trick.

so, that went well...

October 28, 2012

A(n arctic) blast from the past

icicles in Santa Fe

I'm having my moving sale today, and no, I'm not going to post a photo of all the stuff. Because the whole point is to let it go, to let it move on, to new homes, to be woven into new narratives. Some of it I've had for years, some of it I bought and never used. But all of it was in the shed and I figure if I managed without for the last 18 months, what's a few (let's hope many more than a few) decades more?

This photo is from Santa Fe. Winter, obviously. (It's 88 degrees here in the Santa Monica mountains today so icicles seemed the way to go.) Lately, that city and that state have been calling my name. And they're pronouncing it perfectly.

October 27, 2012

Signs of Saturday: ♡ u


Some days, half the license plates on PCH are variations on this one theme.

October 26, 2012

Ball jar

sea glass

Just as the sun vanishes, literally vanishes each evening behind a mountain peak (now you see it, now you don't) the kitchen window sill lights up and the sea glass glows.

October 25, 2012

Morning light

glassy sea

Not exactly how it looked this morning, but precisely how it felt.

October 24, 2012

Change is in the air

It's subtle, the change of seasons here. Light shifts, nights cool, colors change, but slowly.

The giant coreopsis, dormant now, waits for winter rain:

dormant coreopsis

Sycamores go rust and gold, shed leaves, make room for winter hawks.


Among the oaks, acorns ripen:

acorns, ripening

And the Christmas berry, true to its name, moves every day a tiny bit from tangerine to truest red.


October 23, 2012


misty morning

Wouldn't want to be driving for the hour or so things looked like this, but for a walk around the lake, it was mysterious and lovely.

October 22, 2012

The view from Point Dume this morning

rainy point dume 011

If you've ever lived in an older mobile home, you know there's an intimate relationship with rain. From the very first drop you hear it, a thud on the roof of the house, a tinny plink on aluminum awnings.

That's what woke us in the dark of morning, the rain on the roof, and when daybreak showed that the storm had slowed, we headed to Point Dume, the perfect place to track the clouds' trajectories.

October 21, 2012

Small brush fire in Ramirez Canyon

Driving up Kanan Road on Saturday morning we came across a small brush fire burning in Ramirez Canyon, smoke mixed with fog, firefighters converging from all directions.

small Malibu brush fire on Saturday

It started small and, thanks to fast response and cool, wet (and windless) weather, it stayed small. Just a quarter of an acre burned, and was out in under an hour.

small brush fire in Malibu

blurry fire truck

No official word yet on the cause, though the possibility of a downed power line has entered the conversation.

small brush fire in Malibu

October 20, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Do as I say, not as I do

when no means yes

If I had been just a bit faster with the camera, the Muffinhead's pose as she watered the neighbor's lawn (for the first and last time) would have exactly matched the tiny statue, which has the word "NO" etched across the front.

October 19, 2012

Misty morning on the lake

Misty here this morning, lake obscured, light in a fight to be seen.

misty lake


misty lake

misty lake

october morning

...then suddenly, sunlight.

mist burns off

October 18, 2012


If, from the depths of escrow, I say this is why there's no new photo today, will you forgive me?

getting ready for the moving sale

And if, after one glance at the shed packed with stuff for the moving sale, the answer is "thank god that's not me", I forgive you.

please come to my yard sale and buy EVERYTHING

October 17, 2012

More, please

oh, maisie

Seriously, do I even have to write another word?

October 16, 2012

It may be hot but...


Hot again, typical for this time of year. At sunset, though, as the temperature drops, epecially here in the mountains, fall just knocks the stuffing out of summer.

October 15, 2012

Beware of dog

tiny labrador stands guard

Hot again, so hot that the autumnal pix I was going to post seem silly. So instead here's the Tiny Labrador, standing guard over her humans, who were taking a post-picnic nap.

She's close enough to fend off all comers, bumble bees and soccer balls and the occasional flying toddler. But the real point of this positioning is how easy it is to drop the tennis ball next to your ear.

October 14, 2012

A tree falls

Remember this?

the oak room

Now it's this:

split oak

I hope the remaining half can survive.

slit oak

October 13, 2012

Signs of Saturday: See Canyon Apples

One of my favorite things about fall -- the annual Malibu Pie Festival. It's today, 11 am to 4 pm, and if you're looking for something fun (and delicious) to do, this is it.

Which leads to another fall favorite -- the appearance at the farmer's market of the incomparable heirloom apples from See Canyon

See Canyon apples

They have dozens of different varieties, offered for sale according to their season.

see canyon apples

The flavors are so full that at first, all you can bear to do is eat them. But eventually the idea of baking and cooking becomes tolerable, and then this:


Becomes this:

apple pie



October 12, 2012

Cloud atlas

I'm re-reading David Mitchell's gorgeous novel, Cloud Atlas, and like so much of his language, the title trailed me all day as the pre- and post-rain drama lit up the sky.

Here's one of a dozen formations that hovered just offshore, shape and color slowly shifting:

after the rain

It dwarfed this sailboat:

after the rain

Made everything so blue:

sail away

Hooray! A good reason to shoot the seaside prickly pear again!

after the rain

And the path along the bluffs:

bluffs park

bluffs park

And way high in the sky, it looked like this:


October 11, 2012

Pier view

Beautiful here yesterday, the horizon crowded with clouds,


The water the bluest blue.


The pier was all but deserted:


And even Surfrider Beach had a bit of breathing room.


October 10, 2012

The more things change...

jake at the barn

I know the second half of that cliche I just foisted on you (sorry. cranky.) is that things stay the same, and to that I'd like to say, in the nicest way, baloney.

There's Jake up at the barn, just under a year ago. We miss him so.

October 9, 2012

Talk about spider season...

Have you read Ellen Alperstein's wonderful piece on LA Observed about October and spiders in LA? It's right here, and it explains why, when I went to cut some rosemary last week, this is who I found in the garden:

Let's start with a long shot for the faint-of-heart:

enormous spider in the rosemary

Now that you're acclimated, how about a close-up?

enormous spider

She's as big as a quail egg and very polite. Waves one or two of those striped legs at me when the camera comes too close. Other than that, it's the bees collecting rosemary pollen who need to watch out.

enormous spider

October 8, 2012


Today on the to-do list it's either this:


Or this:


And even I don't know how it turns out.

October 7, 2012

Geese on the lake


Beautiful birds.

October 6, 2012

Signs of Saturday: Attachments

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Fell in love with this little metal box, a relic of the Singer Co.'s past, but then decided against forming yet another new attachment.

Somehow, just the photo was enough.

October 5, 2012

Can I show you the white-tailed kite again?

white-tailed kite

I think it's those big black eyes that get me, give his face such specificity that every time he's in that tree, in that snag, I can't help it, the camera comes out.

Handsome, isn't he?



October 4, 2012

The mountains here this morning

marine layer rolls in

Light came late. The dog slept in. Parrots didn't chatter. So much moisture in the air, even the rooster's crow never arrived.

A coyote howled from the neighbor's yard and the cat sat up, demanded proof she's safe.

Someone closed a window. Someone else brewed coffee. Even now, hours later, it's still all gray and hushed and dim.

October 3, 2012

Scenes from a flea market

Despite the triple whammy of heat wave, recession and Carmageddon ll, early-morning attendance at the annual Lions Club flea market on Sunday was pretty good.

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Batman was there:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Along with ceramic mermaids:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Stacks of soft cotton textiles:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Amber glass:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Chairs for grown-ups:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

And for kids:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Stamped tin tiles:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

Surfboards, of course:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

That red chest sold almost right away:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

A mom from 1953 wants her purse back:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

I want my 5th grade bike back:

Lions Club flea market in Malibu

And everyone wanted little Latigo, one of the guide dogs in training, the true celebrities at the event.


October 2, 2012



It's 103 in the shade here in the Santa Monica mountains, and at the coast, it's 90. My brain's on strike and the DSL connection just fainted, so here's an early-morning shot of the Tiny Labrador, posing with the full moon.

When I took that photo, it was 68 degrees. Girl Scout's honor.

October 1, 2012

Shine on, harvest moon

cove morning

So much moonlight it's been hard to sleep what with cats and coyotes keeping crazy, howling hours. So it was way too early when we hit the beach, got a low-light shot, more painting than photo, as smudged and grainy as the girl behind the camera.

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