Malibu, it’s Not Just a Beach

Having family visit from back east is a great opportunity to once again, be a tourist, this time in a city not far from my home.  Malibu Beach is just up the road about 45 minutes, depending on the traffic.

Malibu, known for its pristine beaches and surfers is also home to the rich and famous, I kept my eyes own for Tom Hanks, but alas, I didn’t see him.

One of the first things we did was find a place to eat. There are places along Pacific Coast Highway that have great views of the ocean; we selected Dukes, named after the father of international surfing, Duke Kahanamouku. He was a very accomplished athlete, winning 2 Olympic Medals in 1912 in Stockholm.  A Gold while setting the world record for the 100 meter freestyle and a Silver with the U.S. freestyle relay team.

In 1914, he introduced surfing to Australia and New Zealand. The following year he helped make the sport popular in California and the U.S.

The other thing I learned about this amazing man was that he continued to compete in the Olympics again in 1920 winning 2 more Gold Medals in the same sport and again in 1924 he won a Silver Medal as well at the age of 34. His last competition was on the U.S. Water polo team in 1932, in Los Angeles where he won a Bronze Medal at the age of 42. He died in 1968 in Honolulu at the age of 78.

We were able to sit outside and soak in the summer like weather even though it’s the second week in November.  The east coast, Philadelphia folks really enjoyed that.

I had to stick my camera up and over the glass partition, but you get the idea. Rocks and surfs up.

Just a little pulled pork with mango BBQ sauce, apple cider slaw, pickled onions, and fries.  Life is tough at the beach.We strolled around an outdoor area taking in the sights.  Of course I was on the lookout for what birds where flying or walking around.

I guess I never really noticed that pigeons have red claws. Since I was fixated on bird claws and web feet from just a few days ago, it seemed only natural to take a picture of this proud pigeon.

As it turned out, I had some great opportunities, including this picturesque starling perched on the top of this tree, which I believe is a liquid amber, based on those porcupine style balls, we call, ankle busters.

But it was the double-crested cormorants that just blew me away. They were like a flying stampede; first one then another and another.  These are large birds measuring 28-35 inches in length. They’re dive bombers, eating mainly fish; guess they had their fill, because now they were definitely tree huggers.

There I was like a tourist in a new land, snapping away, dodging cars in the parking lot as I realized they were all heading to the same location; a couple of gigantic pine trees.

While this is not my favorite picture, I had to back out far enough so you could sense the size of the trees, before I show you just what they looked like a little closer in; plus I was beginning to lose the sun light.

It was so interesting to watch them continue to land and position themselves. Also, the sun began to shine on parts of their feathers and beaks.

I wish you could have been there.  Try as I did, I kept snapping away with the intentions to crop and help the color a little.  As you can see, with a bit more blue in the background, they are even more incredible.

They looked just like tree ornaments, ready for the holidays.  AND, I might also mention, in total silence. Does that surprise you?  It surprised me; this was not a squawking tree of birds.

As the sun was setting, they were just basking in the glow. It was such a great time with the family both, legged and winged!!

Now, I need to get back to that New England trip and share the beauty of my happy place…New Hampshire. Come back next time.

Here’s a sneak peak of a sunset on Newfound Lake.