The View From My Window


Slim Paley Photo

Yesterday afternoon this little guy stopped by.  I believe he’s a “Rare Margiela Brown & Chanel Black Bird with YSL Rouge Throat” if I’m not mistaken.

Spring is upon us here in Santa Barbara.  The buds are a poppin’, the frogs are in a frenzy, and the birds are all auditioning for a Disney movie.  I’m also realizing it’s time to acknowledge a new stage in my life; I’m officially “Mature”   I now derive the greatest happiness simply from throwing open the windows at my desk and listening to the birds and…the lawnmower. I’m basking in the golden light of dusk, the scent of newly shorn grass and becoming a professional bird watcher!

Click here for my Mature Bird Watching Music 🙂   This song is so beautiful it makes me cry.

That’s right, I sit at the window and take photos of birds and cry. Did that bird just screech “Hormones”??!!

FLEET FOXES MEADOWLARK Bird pillow from Timorous Beasties


Slim Paley Photo

Peeking out the window behind my desk


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The Ornamental Plum trees are starting to show off



Slim Paley Photo

The cocky “Alexander McQueen Fall 2011 ” bird that acts like the place is his.


Slim Paley Photo

I love to cut these large branches for the front hall but they make a hecka big mess.  If you even breathe in the room beside them the petals fall off.



Slim Paley photo

The view from my desk window facing South  West toward the Sea (A bit confusing in Santa Barbara as the coastline curves at a peculiar angle here)

In another few weeks this high second story window will be almost completely sheathed in pink Cecille Brunner roses!

Often the birds perch right here against this window, but usually jump before I have my camera ready.



Slim Paley photo

The wisteria est arrivee’!

and moving outside…

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The first artichokes are popping

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Rose bushes are amping up…


and God knows what these are called but they’re pretty darn happy at the moment

Slim Paley photo


Illustration by Christian laCroix

Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty: A Fashion Fairy Tale Memoir (February 2011- available on Amazon)


Slim Paley Photo



Slim Paley photo

The Golden Hour

Where are my binoculars ??

wait a minute, where’s my cocktail?!

“Birdsong” Ice jacket designed by French illustrator Pierre Marie



  1. SP,

    Do you live in heaven? 🙂 LOL

    Your garden is paradisiac! I’ve said before, I just can’t wait to see your roses and your garden in general during this spring. You have the most beautiful flowers I’ve seen. And that little bird is just a gift, huh?

    Have a wonderful weekend, my darling! And don’t forget to stop by to say “hello”! 🙂


    Luciane at

    • 1.Yes I do believe Slim lives in heaven–wow oh just wow the pictures of your grounds are spectacular!
      2. Slim-start the compounded hormones early like around 49-50 and you are slim Slim that is 90% of the battle in “maturing” plus you have really great hair –another plus.
      3. You totally cracked me up Slimmey—>“Rare Margiela Brown & Chanel Black Bird with YSL Rouge Throat”
      4. I so thought McQueen and Lanvin collections were to die for!
      5. Did you know The Sartorialist is now on Twitter @sartorialist

  2. You are by far my favorite blog! You never fail to impress me with your beautiful photography and amazing wit. Thank you!

  3. OMG, you wear your maturity with grace and style………………….it is still so coooooooooooold, and rainy, here in NYC and the only flowers showing their heads are in streetside stalls shivering in the wind…..makes a girl want to return West. Still recovering from hip surgery but happy to be back if this is what there is to look forward to.

  4. Truly, truly one of your best (how many times have I said that ?) The music made my screen a wee bit fuzzy. I am already anticipating your garden’s beautiful bounty. The first photo superb, that also took my breath away. The view of your garden sooo green and the ocean? stunning.
    Thank you for a beautiful teaser . ox

  5. Ugh, I’m so jealous, it’s pouring rain here in Vancouver:( it’s been a very long fall and winter!

    Wow, i thought that “Rare Margiela Brown & Chanel Black Bird with YSL Rouge Throat” was a “Finch” , thanks for clearing that up!

    Fantastic photos!

    • Yes, Canuck, many non-pros make this same mistake but it is in fact a “Rare Margiela Brown & Black Chanel with YSL Rouge Throat”

  6. I am so glad it is spring somewhere. There is hope for us Vancouverites. We are wet, cold, wet, cold and windy.

    Your pictures are gorgeous, bright, colorful and gives one a glimpse of what is to come.


  7. Do you need a houseguest? Or perhaps you can open your doors (as well as your windows) and start a B&B? Oh, my goodness….you live in a fairy land!

  8. The bird, the view, the blossoms…you are in heaven. Yes, the desk view is reason enough to blog on forever and we love everything you share with us!

  9. Silly SP…your cocktails are at your Emergency Martini Station. And you think we don’t pay attention 🙂

  10. You appreciate, and capture for us, the finely textured details of life that otherwise escape those too busy to notice. Not just the photos and writing itself, but you put it all together in such an aesthetically pleasing way! So, I delight in each piece while also delighting in your artistry. Well done!

    I live in Santa Barbara too and am so grateful to be able to own an “upside-down” house (with no view.) BTW, I think the flowers you said you weren’t sure of are some kind of exotic orchid. Perhaps you should go to the Orchid Show at Earl Warren Showgrounds this weekend (Fri-Sun).

    Thanks for the song and for embellishing our world with your love for beauty and the finer things of life 🙂

    • Why thank you Krista! That’s so nice.
      Perhaps I will see you at the show…I plan on stopping by if I get a chance this weekend.

      • I hope you made it to the Orchid Show…alas, another year gone by and another year I have yet to get to this show. Particularly I was hoping to meet Lance Birk, the “Last Orchid Hunter” – that guy sounds amazing – During his travels he discovered an ancient, lost Mayan city and many new and some previously thought-to-be extinct plant species. He also encountered renegade jungle military forces and armed pirates, experienced airplane crashes, extreme weather conditions and deadly diseases, and contended with rival jungle hunters in a race to find extremely rare orchids. I thought that would be a fascinating take on what could be just a ‘perty’ orchid show. He wrote two books, The Last Orchid Hunter and The Paphiopedilum Grower’s Manual.

    • I did make it there Krista- My friend and I went this afternoon- it was fun! Unfortunately we did not bump into Lance Birk, but we were so impressed by the level of passion of some of the exhibitors!

  11. Once again, I am at a loss for words. Your posts are exceptional! I’ve just tried the Tom Ford, true coral lip tint, the only item from TF, I could afford. I think your bird could be a touch Tom Ford! I am still wondering why I can never get the music to play? After the many comments on this post, I am anxious to ask the young ones.

  12. I just wanted to thank you for opening up your home and gardens to us; even vicariously we are blessed by them. You have such a keen eye and sense of detail that is so beautifully tied together, it creates a joy in my soul that sustains me throughout the day. “We fly to beauty as an asylum from the terrors of finite nature.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  13. Slim, I just wish I could use my camera like you!! I’m on the other side of the world and yet I can take a deep breath and feel it all………B:)

  14. Amazing photography Slim as always. You always brighten up my dreary cold day in Dublin with your blog and stunning photographs. Keep them coming. I love your Rare Margiela Brown & Chanel Black Bird with YSL Rouge Throat”. You are such a ray of sunshine.

  15. I love your designer birds-I will never look at my backyard birds with quite the same eyes. I too, would like to sit and watch the birds on your back porch with a nice drink or two No talking necessary. Something abour our stage in life-children leaving or left, new adventures ahead I am sure yet it makes one very misty at times!

  16. Love the beautiful details in your photographs. I’m seriously jealous of your weather (and fab home!) It’s raining heavily here in Toronto. Thanks for a glimpse into your lovely world.

  17. I too have become a birdwatcher in my old age! I don’t think it’s because we’re old…I think it’s because you mature into appreciating “beauty”. Your blog is such a great way to start the last work day of the week. I appreciate you!

  18. awwww, sighhhh, mmmmmm, this is what I did the entire time I read your post. Beautiful! Your blog always makes me stop and smell the roses, thank you.

  19. I’m plundering the retirement account and buying a house (shack) in SB. Keep it down about the place or you’ll empty out LA.
    I seriously love you.

  20. You are starting a new exodus to california……….nothing but rain in Seattle………..the most hideous winter on record! So jealous!

  21. This is the perfect toast to less sleep/more daylight that is daylight savings time and the promise of spring…love the birds!

  22. Slim – I too am moved to tears by a lovely bird on this beautiful spring day in the Pacific Northwest! I weep not because this chick’s nest and plumage are so much prettier than mine, (though it’s tempting) but because her sweet song encourages me to open my eyes and enjoy the beauty all around me. Thank you!

  23. Hello Slim…Can I bring my tent in your garden and live over there in the middle of the scented flowers,singing birds,eating fresh artichokes and have a look on a magnificent sea view?…

    Thanks for the answer back….

    I want to live in the paradise garden and it looks pretty close to yours!!!!!….

  24. I could look at these photos time and time again. You are a wonder, Slim. Your garden absolutely inspires me. I didn’t know where artichokes came from, but I have never thought about them growing in a garden! Wow. You never cease to amaze and delight me. xoxooxoxox

  25. Slim…I sure wish one of those pretty designer birds would fly my way…all we have are boring little brown sparrows and big, cocky black birds. Must be the zip code. Thanks for the beautiful photos, as always.

  26. Gorgeous post! & I think it’s just the Spring that warms up even the toughest hearts. I’m a young Capricorn (bird) myself and I just bawled looking at pictures of the white cliffs of Dover after reading Rudyard Kipling’s “The Broken Men”. This post also feeds my soul. Love the song! Thanks for sharing.

  27. In the same vein of “heartbreaking” music, regardless of what your hormonal level is, listen to Bruce Cockburn’s “Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaw”. There isn’t a song on that album that doesn’t bring a tear to my eye. Just thinking about “No Footprints” makes me watery. Oddly, as much as I love that album, nothing else he has produced does much for me – I always wonder why.

  28. All beautiful — as always! But I want to comment now on the lovely Emerson quote from Melinda S. Slim Paley and her blog truly are an asylum for us, her followers, from “the terrors of finite nature” especially as the terrors of nature are unfolding in Japan at this time. Let’s only hope they are “finite”! Please keep bringing beauty and goodness into our lives SP. There is so much ugliness out there right now.

  29. Wow, that is so beautiful. Here in Northern Europe we’ve still got some winter ahead of us, but the days are getting longer at least! Enjoy it!

  30. Love your site. I just stumbled onto it today and had to tell everyone about it. Fabulous! simply beautiful and my what good taste you have. One photo to the next, you have a good eye for style and design.

    The quality of your photos is great. What camera are you using?

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