Stop, Look & Listen


Ah, Nature! The jagged crags of mountain peaks, the mighty crash of ocean breakers, the awe-inspiring spires of ancient trees pointing the way toward endless sky. Big stuff. Powerful stuff. Definitely a wide-screen, high-definition, surround-sound boffo sensory overload.

But hold everything for just a minute. Slow down the pace, focus on the details, and watch a whole new world emerge.

That’s what Times Staff Photographer Ken Lubas discovered when he spent a few hours walking softly and carrying a big lens at Solstice Canyon Park, located about 500 yards off Pacific Coast Highway on Corral Canyon Road north of Malibu. People like Marc Alexander of Los Angeles and son Daniel, pictured above, love to visit the park for a soothing schmooze with Nature. But people are the least interesting of the creatures to be seen here.


At this time of year, Solstice Canyon Park is awash in color, with California poppies, sunflowers and an infinity of other blossoms and grasses forming a mosaic background for stream and waterfalls. Look sharp and you just might catch a flickering dragonfly or a lazy lizard making the most of a sunny rock.

The park is part of the Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The $5 parking fee gives access to trails, picnic sites and historic landmarks such as Malibu’s oldest house, a stone cottage built in the 1860s.


This Sunday feature showcases books, photo essays, historic and family albums--ways we use images to capture the soul and spirit of the world around us. Readers’ suggestions are welcome, but please do not send original prints or negatives. Write to Gallery, View section, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Calif. 90053.