Malibu’s Hidden Forest and Ruins (#photos #fun-facts)

"Tarantula. Uh, oh!" (Malibu, California)

“Tarantula. Uh, oh!” (Malibu, California)

Tarantulas! What’s their deal?

The one I photographed above is a California Black Tarantula. These relatively harmless arachnids rarely cause injury to people. Like cats, tarantulas have retractable claws on each leg. Also – they can magically regenerate lost legs.

"A Time Long Ago..." (Malibu, California)

“A Time Long Ago…” (Malibu, California)

A chimney? In the middle of nowhere? Here’s the story…

In the late 1920s, Fred Roberts began to amass significant wealth with his grocery store chain. He eventually purchased almost a 1,000 acres deep within Malibu’s Santa Monica Mountains. The purpose – to build a tropical themed retirement mansion called Tropical Terrace. The mansion, situated in the picturesque Solstice Canyon, sported waterfalls, springs and lush vegetation. And most amazingly – mountain lions, red-tailed hawks, giraffes and camels. The home was lost in a fire, but the brick and stone aspects remain standing.

"I Alone am Strong" (Malibu, California)

“I Alone am Strong” (Malibu, California)

Santa Monica Mountains – An Amazing Place

The hidden forest is located in the Santa Monica Mountains. Traversing Los Angeles County, this huge mountain range welcomes visitors with its  Southern Californian Mediterranean climate. Native American’s lived in the mountains for over 10,000 years, and now explorers can enjoy over 500 miles of trails.

"The Longing" (Malibu, California)

“The Longing” (Malibu, California)

"Fallen Paradise" (Malibu, California)

“Fallen Paradise” (Malibu, California)

"Through the Eyes" (Malibu, California"

“Through the Eyes” (Malibu, California)

PS – Here are some photos I took of the Malibu coast. 🙂

61 replies »

  1. Thank you for liking “Sunset Reflections” and “Storm Clouds.” Nice photos and post! 🙂 I enjoyed the story about the chimney in the middle of nowhere. I also did not know that there are tarantulas in California! I remember seeing a PBS program that showed people impaling tarantulas on sticks and roasting them alive on an open fire so they could eat them! I do not plan on trying that anytime soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Thanks! Yeah, I did not eat the spider. I let him roam free through the “ruins.” He was stealth. Didn’t move at all when I took his photo, then I turned away for a second, and he was gone. Who knows where he went. Have a great day, Arlene.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are welcome. 🙂 I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas. I am sorry it took so long for me to respond to you. This past month has been a nightmare for me. I explained what happened to me in my latest post.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for liking my post about the nightmare ending to my job. Yes, things are calmer, but I am trying to figure out what to do next. One thing that I am hoping to do if life will stop interrupting me is to finish our collaboration. I started work on a second illustration, but I did not get very far. Maybe now I will finally be able to finish all of the illustrations. 🙂

        No, I don’t have any special plans to ring in the New Year. A nice quiet evening at home is enough for me. I also do not feel like going out because the evenings and early mornings are freezing cold here now (in the upper 20s and low 30s). Does it get that cold in your part of California? I remember seeing photos of people wearing summer clothing during the winter in southern California.

        I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year! May 2016 be better for all of us! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Arlene – Glad to hear things are chilling out for you. 🙂 We recently moved to Valencia, which is in the Santa Clarita Valley. That area borders the Mojave Desert, which is a high desert. So, our weather is pretty extreme. This morning, it was 36 degrees. But the days can warm up to the 70s or even 80s in the winter. The summers are HOT!!! Big desert temperature swings. I have lived in SoCal for three years and this is the coldest winter we have had. However, it pales in comparison to “real” winters that much of the country undergoes. For example, people celebrating NYE in New York City have to sometimes brave temps hovering around 0 degrees (Fahrenheit)!! Living most of my life in the Northeast, I can honestly say that Californians are spoiled, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It is what it is. Trust me, most of the country deals with freezing temps, sleet, and snow all winter. Be thankful you live in CA! 🙂 I look forward to our collaboration going live!! Happy New Year!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Kevin – I appreciate your detailed description of the weather in your area. I have not lived near the desert before, but I have heard about the extreme temperature changes that can happen in a desert area. I see you can relate to the cold nights that I am experiencing here in Sacramento. At least your daytime temperatures are warmer (they are in the 50s here).

        I lived in the Northeast for a few years when I was a child, so I understand how brutally cold winter can be in that part of the world. I am glad that I was a young child when I lived there and did not have to drive around in sleet and snow. I also don’t remember the cold bothering me as much as it does now.

        Yes, I agree that the weather in California is not as bad as it is in other parts of the U.S. I suppose I am extra spoiled because I spent part of my childhood living in Florida where it rarely got cold. 🙂

        Yes, I am looking forward to completing our collaboration too. It has been delayed for a long time.

        I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2016. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Inspiring photos and great stories here. Thank you for sharing, Kevin. 🙂 That tarantula is a lot more interesting than those yucky subway rats back in NYC !!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOVE the scenic shots and history Kevin … not so sure I’d want to wake up with that hairy guy in my tent nevertheless a FANTASTIC photo – a little less risky than capturing a bear on film :-). California – you’re definitely on my “must return and explore more” list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Yeah, that spider was pretty creepy. He was motionless the entire time we were looking at him. Then, we turned our heads and he was gone. I was paranoid he climbed into my shirt haha. See you soon in California!! And…thanks for the kind words!! Always appreciate your thoughts.


  4. The pic entitled “I Alone am Strong” sparks so many story ideas. Do me a favor and stay away from tarantulas. Poisonous or not (are you sure about that fact?), they’re creepy. And now, I know they have retractable claws. Aack!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning photos! You must have an amazing camera. I can tell you love to be outdoors! Also… You may have worked for the encyclopedia :D. Thank you for always sharing wonderful posts with us! I personally love them all!

    Liked by 2 people

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