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.
(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.
A gallery from Salon.
HuffPost's reader's gallery is here.
WashPost has one.
USA Today's photos.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Sycamores go rust and gold, shed leaves, make room for winter hawks.
Among the oaks, acorns ripen:
And the Christmas berry, true to its name, moves every day a tiny bit from tangerine to truest red.
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.
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.
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.
No official word yet on the cause, though the possibility of a downed power line has entered the conversation.
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.
Misty here this morning, lake obscured, light in a fight to be seen.
...then suddenly, sunlight.
If, from the depths of escrow, I say this is why there's no new photo today, will you forgive me?
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.
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.
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.
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
They have dozens of different varieties, offered for sale according to their season.
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:
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:
It dwarfed this sailboat:
Made everything so blue:
Hooray! A good reason to shoot the seaside prickly pear again!
And the path along the bluffs:
And way high in the sky, it looked like this:
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.
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.
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:
Now that you're acclimated, how about a close-up?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Batman was there:
Along with ceramic mermaids:
Stacks of soft cotton textiles:
Chairs for grown-ups:
And for kids:
Stamped tin tiles:
Surfboards, of course:
That red chest sold almost right away:
A mom from 1953 wants her purse back:
I want my 5th grade bike back:
And everyone wanted little Latigo, one of the guide dogs in training, the true celebrities at the event.
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.
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.