Bunker Door


Hearts of Palm

Bel Marin Keys was conceived as a tropical oasis in the middle of suburbia, and few things say “tropical” like palm trees. And we have a stunning variety of palms and palm gardens…indeed, it is the juxtaposition of the palms with more traditional landscaping that gives Bel Marin Keys much of its unique charm.

My own initiation into the world of palm trees came via my son, Tyler, who somehow acquired a palm tree five or six years ago which was in a terracotta container. It followed us from San Rafael to Novato, and I planted it in the ground near where our driveway meets the sidewalk, to both enable its future growth and provide a little bit of aloha to our street view. For three months, it turned gradually more yellow, and I feared that it was dying a slow, lingering death. I did some research and determined that I had a Sago palm, which isn’t really a palm at all, and also that when they are transplanted they are often dormant for six months before showing new growth. Sure enough, little green buds appeared in the center of Tyler’s little palm, and it seems to be flourishing.

Inspired by the resurrection of my little palm, I have started to educate myself as to palms…their types, care and how they can add appeal and value to a property, and I think knowing as much as I can about palms and palm varieties will have a lot of value for Bel Marin Keys residents. And I found that palms can become a passion for people. I read about “collector palms” and began to notice how palms were used in combinations in various heights and leaf types, creating lush palm gardens. I’m seeing the difference between a date palm and a queen palm, the types of leavesAnd I’ve noticed that a nice palm garden can be contagious…there are many instances where the next door or across the street neighbor of a palm garden responds with a beautiful one of their own. And I’m convinced that a great specimen palm…one planted years ago and majestically mature after years of careful trimming…can add mystique and value to a property. Palm trees have many fans (no pun intended).

Good Morning Kayak

I’ve developed a new obsession…early morning kayaking. Being a long-time fan of sunrises over the lagoon, it’s not escaped my notice that the water is often glassy smooth at dawn. So this past Friday, after a cup of coffee and a half hour with the newspaper, I slipped into the placid waters and paddled towards the sun. There was not a cloud in the sky, and all the reflections on the water were crystalline. I found myself wondering why I had never done this before at 7 am. It was magical.

The water that gently splashed against my hands felt slightly warm…likely the water temperature was higher than the air…and save for the frequent honking of formations of geese overhead, all was quiet and still. The low angle of the sun insured that whatever I was looking at was either bathed in warm yellow sunlight or cloaked in darkness…mundane objects such as discarded dock floats took on a sculptural air. I saw one paddle boarder and one person having coffee on their deck, and lots of ducks. All around me was the sense of the neighborhood waking up. I vowed that it would become a habit.

And so it has. I’ve been out every morning since. Sometimes it’s sunny and glassy, sometimes not so much. Sometime the sun plays hide and seek. Often there’s an egret that lets me take its portrait or parade of ducks that let me follow for a bit. The backyards, docks and watercraft on my route are becoming as familiar as the sidewalks Kona and I have so thoroughly explored. And it’s never less than a truly wonderful way to start the day.

Hurry…Supply is Limited

At the moment, there is only one home for sale that’s not in contract. In the nearly nine months I’ve lived here, that’s the lowest number of houses on the market that I’ve seen. Until some more homes come onto the market, there’s not much to choose from. And I certainly understand not wanting to sell a Bel Marin Keys home. But I can think of one good reason…to buy a nicer Bel Marin Keys home.

If you’re having coffee out on your deck and see a yellow kayak with a guy in a chameleon shirt paddling by, wave…it’s probably me, enjoying my morning.