Category Archives: around town

Leacock Memorial Trail

Today I picked a trail I did know about except that I saw a sign to the trailhead on Sunset Blvd, close to Bienvenida, which is on our way to school. I could not find it at first, because the road deadends at one of those posh gated communities. But when I did a U-turn I saw it: the Leacock Memorial Trail to Temescal Ridge Trail, which is inside the Topanga State Park. You can read about it here too.

It is only 0.5 miles long, and at the first junction you get to Temescal Ridge Trail. I kept right and then on the next junction I went left. I actually did the same route (purely by accident) as in the link above, and I ended at the top of the hill, with really good views of the city and the ocean. I dont know what the elevation gain is, but it is a pretty good workout. Here are some pics:

IMG_3993_smIMG_3980_sm

The trail is partially in shade, and partially exposed with great views towards the city and the bay.

IMG_3991_smIMG_3990_sm

What is this on the right. It was a little creepy (I really, really, really cannot stand snakes), it did not move at all, just stood like that frozen. Is it a lizard? But I could not see the legs. A snake? It does not really look like a snake. I wanted a closeup picture, but I did not want to go too close, so I extended my camera and shot blindly, hoping for the best.

IMG_3964_sm

A scream? A hiss?

IMG_3977_smIMG_3986_smIMG_3963_smIMG_3994_sm

summer makeover…

…for the beach towers along Venice/Santa Monica beach.

These were taken over the last few months during my bikerides, which are supposed to be regular but are really occasional. This is the first time I have seen thse towers painted since we have been here (10 years). It’s a nice change, just in time for Summer…

IMG_1643_sm

This is what they used to look like. Not very exciting, is it. This was taken in March.

IMG_3296_sm

In early May I noticed that they painted the the stairs and the railings in various colors – green, orange, blue, yellow and purple. I thought it looked very nice (even on a foggy day like this).

IMG_3898_sm

But then recently, they pained the cabin part too, and it looks really nice. I think each tower has a different design, mostly flowers, some geometric shapes. This was taken today, and since we are in June, most days (especially in the morning) are foggy (actually, it’s marine layer – it’s what’s called June Gloom) so you cannot really see the brightness of the colors, but trust me, it is very colorful and very bright. Oh, and this tower is actually the same one as in the first picture.

Ah, June Gloom. Just to give you an idea of how gloomy it is, I leave you with this:

IMG_3903_sm

***Update: Just to see that the morning June Gloom can turn into a beautiful day. The following is the picture of the same building, same day, around 4 pm.

IMG_3915_sm

finally a hike

After I missed two Thursday hikes, first Sven was sick and then me, I was finally able to go out for a hike. I went back to Will Rogers Park, and this time there were no bees, so I headed up Inspiration Point trail. I am not sure I actually got to the Inspiration Point – there were a couple of places where the trail split and there were no signs  and I decided to just keep going right. (why? no reason at all) Eventually I ended down at the stables and back to the parking lot. I almost did not go, because as it turns out, it rained today. Really rained, it was not just one of those misty mornings, it rained. But I thought it might be the last rainy/overcast day before the summer, and I like that kind of weather, and I wanted to take some pictures, so I did go. My hair was wet, and I had to protect my camera (so it really did rain, even though this is LA abd it’s end of May) but I think I got some nice pictures. (Oh, and I started on the trail relatively late, because we got stuck in traffic going to Luka’s school – no, it was not the weater, apparently a water main broke on PCH and it was a complete mess. We were 30 min late to school!)

The pictures…

more here

walk around the neighborhood

I should take more walks. I remeber when my first son was born, we walked every day, all around the neighborhood. When he was very little, we used to go as soon as he woke up (and it was not dark outside, this IS Venice after all). He was usually fussy early in the morning, and bouncing in the bjorn (and beeing a little squeezed) did him good. When my younger one was born, we had less time, and we couldn’t just go early in the morning, not before his brother was in preschool.

Now that I have the new camera, I like to take it (and the dog) for a walk. And I take pictures. Here are the ones from today.

IMG_3665_sm

A gorgeous gate. Old wood, rusted metal. I just realized that I have not changed my ISO setting, so all these were shot at 400. Not a tragedy, but 100 would have been better.

IMG_3667_sm

I almost missed this one. Can you guess what it is? A handle on another gate.

IMG_3670_sm

Beautiful orange flowers on a huge cactus. I usually don’t get to see a flowering cactus, or I see it when it’s all over.

IMG_3676_sm

On the way back, I took a stroll through the Canals. It’s always nice to walk there. I have not seen too many ducks today.

IMG_3678_sm

But there was this guy.

IMG_3681_sm

I wish I were sitting under one of these, on a beach, sipping a coctail.

IMG_3683_sm

I know there are thousands of pictures of these flowers out there, and much better than this. But, oh well, this is mine and I like it. So there.

westridge trail

I was hoping for an overcast day, but it turned out clear and really warm. Not too clear, though, as you can see from the pictures. Beautiful hike. I didn’t go all the way, but I took a side trail that goes up three hills, for some extra workout and more pictures.

I am really looking forward to these Thursday morning hikes, but I will have to be more prepared. The is getting warmer and I will need a hat, some light hiking clothes (long sleeves and pants) and shoes, definitely better shoes; light hiking boots or trail running sneakers.

will rogers to temescal…

temescaltowillrogersToday I decided to go to Will Rogers State Historic Park and hike the Inspiration Point Loop, but… as I was taking the picture of the beginning o the trail, beutiful yellow flowers all around, I noticed bees! A lot of bees, right in front of me, on the flowers I was photographing. If I was to contine, I would have had to disturb them, and from experience (hiking north of Pasadena some time ago) I knew that disturbing that many bees might not be a good idea. So I turned around and took the Temescal Trail which connects Will Rogers Park and the Temescal Gateway Park. This trail is 2.1 miles one way, but I did not have the time today to do it all the way, so I got about half way in and then had to turn around. I liked the trail, it was shaded and very quiet. I wish I could go even earlier, to get that early morning light and smell, but, oh well…

temescal canyon trail

temescalmap Last Thursday was my first “Thursday Hike” morning. I am always struggling with excersize. Not that I don’t want to do it… It is just that I get easily bored with treadmills, classes,… I love hiking, and I really don’t know why I did not think of this before. I got a book on tape, the camera and at 8:30, right after dropping L off at school, I hit the trail. I made myself walk all the way to the top without stopping to take pictures, to get the workout. And then I ran down. It was really good, excellent workout, pain afterwards, but I will do it again.

I did not get the map beforehand, so I did not know that the trail is a loop and I returned the same way. I will have to do it again (there are more trails around there too), because apparently the other side is even better, but I did get to see the little waterfal. It’s a nice hike, elevating gain about 1000 ft, and great views rom the top (on a clear day) – you can see the city, the ocean (towards Malibu) and the mountains further north and east.

quick stroll in venice

This morning we had a lot of plans – stroll with the dog, trip to the library, then go get the groceries, nap for S and then a trip to the beach. Do I have to say that changed? (What are plans for, right?) We ended up playing at home for most of the day, and then took a quick stroll down to the park (the “Duck Park”) at Venice canals. It still surprises me how dark it gets relatively early – and how cold. OK, chilly… (I try to think of those people living in colder parts of US and world). We left the park earlier than planned (ha!), walked fast to get some dinner and then literally ran to the beach to get a few pictures of the sunset while waiting for the food to be ready. We had fun, and I got to play with my new camera some more (I did have to be fast with two kids running around)…

Malibu Bluffs Park – May 09

At the end of a tunnelPeekabooMore Peekaboo

I am testing the ZenphotoPress plugin for WordPress which allows for easy inserting pictures from Zenphoto to a WordPress post. I am impressed how easy and fast it is. Click on any of the pictures to go to the full album. Continue reading