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August 1, 2012 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Protest leaves

It was a grassroots effort.

The excessive heat just made them more determined.

A small army – standing shoulder to shoulder.

As a humid breeze mingled among the little crowd, some questioned:

Do you really think we can do this? (We are measured a little short.)

Can we make any difference? (Others are less stiff in their demands.)

Protesters. (Image:

Though some wilted, others remained rigid – not willing to curl under the oppression.

We have no choice.

We have grown up here.

The weaker members withered.

There were cutting remarks.

We have traditionally been green.

We must stand tall.

It was true they had weeded some out – now mostly a homogeneous nature.

Watered by despair, the seed of a plan grew.

Did they have the resiliency to nurture it?

Some wavered: limp.

Home on golf course. (Image:

With the sunrise, the baking heat promised to punish them again.

Glaring. Scorching. Drying.

Energy draining with every minute.

Each feeling a little more brittle.

Anxiety level rising.

Protesters. (

The glare of the sun revealing just what a ragged bunch they had become.

Could they make it another day?

Then, what they had been waiting for: the door opened.


Now, their chance to be heard!

Stiffening, they stood side by side.

Single minded in purpose.

Each blade of grass summoned its last bit of chlorophyll.

The lawn, in unison, screamed:

“Hey, we are dying here.

Turn on the sprinkler!”

Not my lawn. (Image:


Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge


  1. John / Aug 1 2012 12:39 am

    hhmmmm ?


  2. jmmcdowell / Aug 1 2012 12:58 am

    We’re in “abnormally dry” conditions, and the grass around here shows it. Sad and scruffy, but the water is needed elsewhere. If we all landscaped with more native plants for our areas, they would better survive the tough conditions. (And cost a lot less money and time to maintain, too!)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 1:26 am

      Using hardy/native plants is so much easier…the”flowerbeds” quietly grow each year while the lawn shrinks. Neighborhood groups need to get over that yards and yards of open green grass requirement. Thanks for growing the chat.


  3. rumpydog / Aug 1 2012 1:38 am

    Oh Dog! Poor little grasses!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 2:51 pm

      Can’t brush them aside – they are alive, too! Hoping for some rain ( but not a full attack by a hurricane!) Thanks for visiting and “watering” carefully!


  4. belocchio / Aug 1 2012 4:18 am

    Far too many lawns. Far too many golf courses . Not enough flowers for the bees. Virginia


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 2:52 pm

      Isn’t it interesting how the plants and flowers that bees need tend to be natives and hardy? Bees need all the help they can get these days. Thanks for planting those ideas here


      • belocchio / Aug 1 2012 5:01 pm

        In my posts Chronicles of Oswald, Gentleman Rabbit, he and his friends are working on this “bee project”.


  5. EllaDee / Aug 1 2012 4:28 am

    Isn’t there a famous saying that goes something like “only rich people have lawns”? I don’t care much for lawns. I inherited a lawn (which is the jurisdiction of the G.O.) with my current house, but my previous house which I had built & for which I “designed” the yard, had no lawn, rather native bush and cottage garden. Good post. Good point.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 2:57 pm

      Not sure about the “rich lawns” quote, but here it may soon be “only the rich have water”. Water costs are very high here. Guess open green lawns became the “rule” when subdivision developers got so big. Not too long ago people used to sweep the dirt in the front of the house to neaten it for visitors. Thanks for cultivating the chat here today!


  6. roughseasinthemed / Aug 1 2012 11:52 am

    Lawns are nice and very British, but I never remember ours needing water (unlikely in the UK). And anyway, I always carved half of them up to make vegetable plots which I figured was more use. No lawn in Spain. Just terrace and plants. Preferably ones that survive the hot Mediterranean summer.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 3:04 pm

      The pots of flowers on the walls and hanging in the atriums/patios in Spain are so beautiful and practical. I guess you are right about the British lawns – had forgotten (then there was the competition with the French aristocrats and their decorative gardens?) Quite a few books written about proper lawns and gardens by British architects/landscapers – Victorian times to now?
      So glad you wandered over to plant those seeds of thought!


  7. Jeannie / Aug 1 2012 2:23 pm

    Xeriscape! Let’s talk about the lack of water in Colorado sometime, much like it is elsewhere. Except, here where I live, the rain that falls from my roof into my illegal rain barrel (I’m a renegade wanting to water a few measly flowers!) belongs to Denver–where they wash their cars in the driveway and hope to save their lawns. I do no such thing here. It is what it is…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 3:24 pm

      Austin, central Tx – and even some around the Gulf Coast have been preaching xeriscape for some time – but after last summer’s drought, the idea has become more popular. Subdivisions are going to have to modify their landscape/lawn requirements to be realistic.
      Oh, last summer here everyone was using dish water – and even catching water in the shower – trying to keep outdoor plants alive.
      Rain barrels are illegal there? Why? Danger to kids? Or mosquito issue?(They have bacteria tablets that can help with that problem.)
      Wishing you showers without lightning. (and what’s with that high altitude tornado in the mts this year – now that’s odd)
      Thanks for sprinkling some thoughts over here


      • Jeannie / Aug 1 2012 3:46 pm

        that tornado was odd! About 20 miles from our house! The weather IS crazy!! LOL

        The rain barrel issue has to do with Colorado Water Rights laws.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 4:15 pm

          A lawyer told me a few years ago the next big occupation would be lawyers for water rights issues. TX is beginning to eye regulations – and it’s already unpleasant.
          WOW that close to you? The pix I saw or the twister were astounding. Never even knew that was possible….(great something else to worry about when the afternoon clouds build during a hike)


          • PiedType / Aug 1 2012 5:49 pm

            Water. The biggest legal issue in the West, period. Our corn farmers recently lost all their surface water access because of laws saying it had to be sent downstream to other states. I can see sharing it, but not cutting us off completely. Crazy.


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 8:14 pm

            Things have gotten so out of whack. Water must go to a state’s agriculture first. Just like corn/grain/soybeans/crops should go for food/ ending hunger first – not fuel for vehicles so people can go shopping and feel trendy.
            We’re suffering from lack of commonsense


    • PiedType / Aug 1 2012 5:46 pm

      Hey, Jeannie, I’m in the Denver area too! My little yard is about 1/3 river rock. It’s taken me some time to get used to it (I grew up with wall-to-wall lawns), but waterwise, it sure makes more sense. I didn’t realize rain barrels here were illegal, but there’s not enough at my place in Thornton to make them worth having.


      • Jeannie / Aug 1 2012 7:22 pm

        Hey there! I live up in the mountains SW of Evergreen and we aren’t even allowed to do any kind of outside watering here. Have you seen in the news that some have taken to painting their lawn green? LOL I grew up with green lawns and plenty of water to keep them growing but it sure isn’t that easy any more. Especially here in Colorado. Yep, no rain barrels. According to the water laws the only exception up here is if you have a well–which I don’t understand what difference that makes. Like I told pmh, I’m a renegade and have one. Don’t tell the water police! 🙂


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 8:18 pm

          The Evergreen area is usually so pretty. Did see the green paint – but haven’t people done that for years in AZ and NM? Hope it isn’t their subdivisions leaning on then to fix their ugly lawns…that actually happened here last year: strict water rationing and then subdivisions fining home owners because their lawns were “neglected” and brown. Insane.


          • Jeannie / Aug 1 2012 8:26 pm

            I vaguely recall such goings on. I don’t understand fining people during a drought. That’s insane! You would think reason would prevail. Maybe?

            Up here where I am not too many people have lawns; we just let nature do it’s thing. It was scary for awhile with it being so dry as the threat of wildfire was high. Now we’ve had our rainy season come in and the fire bans have been lifted. What our talk centers around more is fire mitigation. Really though, living in a forest, even if we cut all the trees and brush down surrounding our property, we would still burn from the embers alone. There’s really no way to avoid it unless you move and face a whole new set of issues.

            I guess this means there is no safe place to hide!


          • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 9:38 pm

            My dad always kept the land around the house (in the country/ pine forest) and clear of brush and grass was kept cut short in fire season. Anything dead got cut down and removed. In some years we had wide dirt fire lanes around “homestead”. With a well, plants were kept from crisping up – but not much as the well could go dry.
            But winds and tall trees still can send flames. It’s just luck. You do the best you can (I know people who left lawn sprinklers on their roofs)
            But living in the woods/mountains, you just have to not get too attached to stuff as a trade off for location?


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 8:11 pm

        River rocks are wonderful – really helps with drainage here as well as replacing dead grass…and you can pretend to be in CO.


  8. braintomahawk / Aug 1 2012 2:56 pm

    Brilliantly done! The words were perfect, along with the pictures. You had me wondering if it were metaphorical or literal. Yes!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 1 2012 3:28 pm

      What the fun if there’s no mysteries or puzzles? Glad you got a chuckle.Appreciate the kind words.
      Thanks for marching along.


  9. jannatwrites / Aug 2 2012 4:47 am

    I live in AZ, and yes, there are some people who paint their yards (and rocks) green. We just let our small patch of grass die in the summer. I never wanted grass, but we would’ve been charged more for desert landscaping. Go figure. We’re used to drought conditions, but I am concerned that so much of the country is also feeling it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 2 2012 2:38 pm

      Charged more for desert landscaping? Yikes!
      It used to be a long time ago doctors suggested people move to AZ to avoid allergies – then, they had to stop that because so many people came and planted non native lawns and landscaping – which caused the allergies to start with!
      Yeah, heat and dry weather is nothing new here – but the worry is the grain/corn belt. That area feeds most of the country in one way or another. (maybe it’s a wake-up call: crops are food – not fuel? OK getting off soap box now)


  10. robstroud / Aug 2 2012 6:18 am

    That’s not my lawn either. (Sure wish it was.) Actually, I justify letting my lawn go because the deer (two fawns this morning) sure enjoy munching on it. (We actually seeded several types of clover into the grass, just for them and the bunnies.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 2 2012 2:48 pm

      Actually my lawn has to fend for itself in the summer (between the heat and mosquitoes, I’m out of there). It would be nicer if deer and bunnies were munching it instead of cinch bugs and brown spot/fungus. Thanks for planting some conversation here


  11. CATachresis / Aug 2 2012 9:35 am

    The sound of parched grass weeping!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 2 2012 2:51 pm

      By the end of every August it’s hard to walk across the crunchy grass: blades in such agony you can almost hear them screaming. Even the dogs don’t like to put paws on the brittle lawns.
      Thanks for running over!


  12. Robin / Aug 5 2012 6:11 pm

    We’ve been lucky enough to get just enough rain to keep the grass from dying. After record rains last fall, I was surprised at how fast we went into drought conditions.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Aug 5 2012 6:33 pm

      We just had 30 seconds of rain – and the birds are doing belly flops into the shallow puddles. Maybe more will wander this way. Thanks for splashing over


  13. Beth / Aug 6 2012 12:50 pm

    In case I haven’t said it enough, I absolutely love your clever writing style!


  14. Sunshine / Aug 7 2012 4:22 pm

    heat waves can turn you inside out…time to flip the switch to autumn weather, pleease! 🙂


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