Some of you will be happy to know this post is duck-free. There is one bird, and at the end, a frog playing a violin.
As most of Facebook and Instagram knows, we go to Malibu almost every weekend, at low tide, so we can walk along a 3 mile pristine beach in front of some of the most expensive homes in the world in Malibu Colony and Colony-Adjacent. Twelve million dollars is a decent price for one of the “smaller” properties. That’s about 3.42 THOUSAND DOLLARS PER SQUARE FOOT! (It’s amazing what one can easily find out.)
You know what else? One family of settlers, the Rindges (explaining the many Rindge Drives and Rindge Streets around the area) purchased most of what is now Malibu for TEN DOLLARS PER ACRE from a guy who bought it for 10 CENTS AN ACRE 35 years prior from the descendant of a Spanish Conquistador who got it from… wait for it… the King of Spain as a thank you for his years of military service. Nice pension, huh?
The Rindges later couldn’t afford the cost of taxes and property maintenance for the massive estate, so in the 1920’s they sold oceanfront lots in the Malibu Colony for… wait for it again… ONE DOLLAR PER WATERFRONT FOOT. So, yeah, a property now worth 20 million was originally bought for 120 bucks 100 years ago. No wonder those families never left. Am I too old to be adopted by one?
There are a few “Beach Access” points where we commoners are allowed to enter the playground of the rich and famous. They used to act like they owned the beach, but the courts said they don’t! We, the public do! As long as we don’t venture closer to the homes than the midpoint between the water’s edge and the homeowner’s property, it’s our playground too! You can go onto the beach and walk as far as you want in either direction, or just find a nice spot and spread out your blanket.
Unfortunately for us lowlings, most of the best parts of the beach are not accessible due to rocky outcroppings that are unpassable. The Low Tide Trick©® is that if you go around that time, which of course changes every day and so you need to check your tide charts, you can walk around the rocky points and continue down the beach a couple of miles in front of the Colony, which is where a lot of your rich and famous have beach houses.
That’s right, beach houses. These multi-million dollar homes are second homes to many of these people. Yes, the weekend place. As we say, when passing a home with a normal-looking family out on the back deck by the pool looking at one of the most beautiful beach scenes anywhere, eating and drinking and having a ball, “what do these people do for a living?”
Looking at homes is fine, but what else is there to look at, you may ask? Great question!
There are these pointy things on a rock that make a beautiful patterns and I’m pretty sure are flower-like animals that when submerged stick little fronds out and catch algae to eat. I could be wrong but don’t have time to research this. Feel free to comment. The other two are definitely some kind of red coral. I looked that up. Pretty! And it gives me a chance to use the “slide show” feature!
The tide pools are also very accessible at low tide and you can see some cool creatures, like the occasional starfish, mussels, small fish swimming hither and thither, lots of hermit crabs skittering around bothering each other, some rock crabs and many sea anemone, the last of which is fun to say over and over again. Anemone. Anemone. Anemone. Try it!
The weirdest thing is that as we keep going back we see some of the same people week after week, like the sunbathing guy and his maintenance man, above, and some of the other walkers. Like there’s this one guy who walks with his young teenage daughter every week. What’s his story? Divorced dad, or just some rich guy taking a walk with his kid? Some Russian ladies who’ve had a lot of work done. This heavily tattooed, middle-aged lesbian couple we say hi to. And of course, the families. The rich kids on the deck, laughing and drinking komboucha while taking a break from surfing. Oh, sure, live it up while the rest of us are working our asses off just to get by!
Oh, sorry. That’s the problem with Malibu. All this conspicuous wealth staring you in the face, mocking you, saying, “you’ll never have this, loser! AHAHAHAHA!” But it just goes to show you, if you have a really beautiful place, the rich people will move there.
The other thing we see every week are some birds, especially this big white one. I know, they all look alike (don’t tell them I said that), but I’m pretty sure this one has found a nice spot to feed and just comes back every day.
Here he is again, same spot as last time.
And this bird seems to be here weekly. What is she hunting?
(Side note: As you probably know, “bird” is an English and very Austin Powers-y term for “babe,” and hence not derogatory. But don’t you call her a bird. Only me.)
Anyway, all joking aside I thought it was cool to see this bird every week until today when writing the blog. I was writing about that bird, and then this happened:
I know, he looks a bit different, but it’s him, I swear! He’s in the shadows but he’s very white and his head and neck feathers are up, trying to scare me off, but I stood my ground. Bastards! Trying to censor a writer’s work! Never! You don’t think that’s menacing? Well here’s further proof.
Okay, so he’s here for the same thing, fish. Koi to be precise. There’s a ton of ’em in our water feature. They breed like crazy. Koi are kind of carp, aren’t they? Which is a delicacy, especially smoked, but the birds seem to like it sashimi style, and will often fight to the death for one.
Well that’s the tour for this week. As the sun heads down in the west and the pelicans form the famed Flying V into the sunset, we bid you a fond adieu from Malibu, CA.
Here’s where I usually plug my novel. Well, I met an agent who likes my “voice” and told me to get the damn book off Amazon and keep writing the second book and get the second book published and THEN someone will want to publish Smoking in Bed, which is too long for a debut novel because of American’s short attention spans.
Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah, in the meantime however, I will be offering signed copies of the original printing done here in LA (that we sell in local bookstores) as soon as I figure out the best way to go, but it could involve old-school checks and money orders.
Have a great week, everybody.
And now, as promised and for your enjoyment, a frog playing a violin.