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October 22, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

A haunting. Ending in waves.

No walk in the park. It’s almost Halloween.

No soft playful breezes.Winds demanding attention. Sending a message.

All those waves. Endless waves.

She smooths the wrinkles in her damp skirts. Time for that little chat with the neighbors.


Let the Sun turn towards others eager to worship and bake. (She’s cooked enough).

Fine. It’s almost Halloween.

Every lady guards her little secrets.

The Invalid (Lang,1814-1893. Brooklyn Museum, Public domain: life of artist+100yrs/photo reprod.

Beauty is always a little mysterious. (Lang,1814-1893/USPD/

Becoming a ghost town. Perfectly seasonal. Hauntingly quiet.

No walk in the park now.

When the water turns blue-ish….

When the seaweed is pretty much gone….

When the birds greatly outnumber the people….

When the circus has left town. The tacky trinket shops boarded. Carnival rides, silenced.

When the dunes sigh in relief.

Now is the time for the beach. By quiet invitation only. 

Don’t worry.

We’ve told her you’re with us. Molly will vouch for you.

Beach permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Path through dunes covered with blooming sweet-smelling plants.  ©

After the summer season, you can drive on some Galveston beaches. This van was a family with home schooled kids. Wonder which treasures they discovered.

empty beach. No permissions granted. ALl rights reserved. Copyrighted

Ah. There is it. True luxury. Long stretches of empty beach. ©

This coloring is pretty accurate. The water more blue with a north wind. Summer brings muddy river runoff and sandy coastal shelf stirred up by Gulf storms – so the water is trendy wall paint beige.  Even better, the water is no longer as warm as a baby’s bath. Cool damp sand is the perfect track.

waves on beach. no permission granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Hear the waves? Or are those whispers of watery graves. ©

Normally Molly loves to swim, but she refuses to put one paw in that water – not really trusting the wet sand. Although a scampering little crab is worth chasing into it’s home…and “What? Drop the jelly fish? No? A tiny bit of seaweed? Unidentified object as souvenir?”

Shorebirds wading. All rights reserved. No permission granted. Copyrighted

Appetizers are served. (And litter dropped inland washes down and ends up here. Guilt trip: Look at those little birdies!) ©

Look on the horizon. See that white dot? That’s the anchorage where large vessels wait for a Ship Chanel Pilot to come on board. Or to wait their turn to enter the Houston Ship Channel. Or to wait until your cruise ship passenger is cleared from having Ebola and the boat can sail up to the docks. (How’s that for a scare?)

Gulf Waves on Galveston beach. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

Endless waves. Over and over. hauntingly relentless. Is that a tanker anchored out there or a ghost ship? ©

Not scary dolphins live out there and will swim along with your boat. The shy small sharks are rarely encountered by people unless you step on them accidentally near the shore. Not really Jaws material.

There are nightmares though.

Offshore rigs are annoying visually and if sailing offshore you need to note their locations – especially at night. But they are rather large, don’t move, and underwater environments develop around them.

Good spots for fishermen. If you find yourself on a sinking boat – or pulled offshore by undertow/current – swim towards a rig. They’ll manage to get you out and call  for transport. Meanwhile, maybe they’ll feed you. Off shore cooks are some of the best. Face it. These guys are stuck out there. There has to be perks. (Lovely ear muffs, too. Terribly loud)

Flock of shore birds along Galveston's sand dunes. all rights reserved. No permission granted. Copyrighted

Dinner time? The birds were all busy and not at all distracted or disturbed by other creatures – even if they looked funny and seemed to snuffle and shuffle rather than fly©

Seaweed invasion? Not much left. The birds seem to delight in it, though.

If you look really really hard, past the sand dunes, there are several large construction cranes working to enlarge the UTMB-Galveston Medical School and regional hospital complex.

Don’t worry. That’s on the higher back side of the Island near the Strand. If there’s a hurricane, those buildings are where you want to go for shelter – even the parking garages. (Although the cars do bounce and get shoved around by winds) Survived multiple hurricanes over the years. Built for it.

Great ER, too – as lots of tourists find out. Many of the Texas prisoners are sent here for treatment. Quite a range of interesting clients.

Established in 1891. Ashbel Smith building called Old Red. UTMB-Galveston ( screenshot)

Ashbel Smith building, called “Old Red”. Galveston’s Medical School was established in 1891.(

Talk about horrors worthy of a movie script.

Most people were totally unaware this is one of the major infectious disease research labs. Ebola? That’s nothing. The Galveston National Lab, a 10-year-old Level 4 Biosafety Facility, has the most interesting construction and closed air system. No problem incinerating toxic materials/wastes. As one expert said ” If the people and equipment at UTMB and the Galveston National Lab can’t handle Ebola, God help us all.”

UTMB's Galveston National Lab (

UTMB’s Galveston National Lab (

Today UTMB-Galveston was designated today as one of the two Texas Treatment and Bio Containment Facilities for Infectious Diseases. This complex has always had a specialized isolation treatment unit/room right off the ER – completely isolated from the rest of the hospital. That’s being expanded. Ebola cases in TX will be transferred to Galveston or Dallas’ UT-Southwestern (With their infectious disease research labs/Parkland Hospital).

shore bird in Galveston surf. No permissions granted. all rights reserved. copyrighted

Shore bird considering Galveston’s afternoon surf ©

You can surf in Galveston. Maybe not here today, but there are places. (No, I will not reveal where. Crowded enough.)

Victorian beach house in Galveston. No permissions granted. All rights reserved. Copyrighted

One of the new build Victorian beach houses in Galveston’s Beachtown area. (It’s not leaning, Molly was pulling the leash. But it does look more spooky this way.) ©

What’s this? Movie set for some chainsaw slasher film?

Actually this architecture isn’t out of place.

Galveston is loaded with old Victorians houses and cottages that have been restored – or at least saved. Lots of them have ghosts. Not only have hurricanes stormed in, lots of social/family dramas played out over the years. And there were pirates. And cannibal Indians (Although it’s said that was all ritualistic, not dietary. Who would know? Chatted with any Karankwans recently? Fierce tribe.)

Anyway, there are walking tours of haunted places like the Strand and the Opera House. Spooky visits to large haunted mansions. And terrifying tales aboard the tall masted ship, Elissa. Galveston is Halloween’s port of call. Rumored to be the Most Haunted City in America.

Beachtown development is on East Beach – outside the sea wall right on the beach. Being outside the Galveston’s seawall would scare me as a home owner, but great for tourists’ rentals. This part of the island is actually growing beach every year. Has to do with the currents, jetties, and Houston Ship Channel currents.

Galveston beach. No permissions granted, all rights reserved. copyrighted.

Wind always comes up in late afternoon. The wind surfers and sail boarders appear after work. ©

Time to head back before it gets too late.

Things lurk in the dark. Ouchie on bare feet

Galveston’s one of those dangerous exotic ladies whose charms easily entwine.

“The coast is clear, please return. The water is blue. The seaweed gone. And the birds out number the people.”

Nothing like sea and shore in October.

Endless waves endlessly calling.

One of my favorite haunts.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Afternoon at Galveston's beach. All rights reserved. No permissions granted. Copyrighted

Endless waves. Good as a walk in the park. Healthier than Prozac









  1. Fearless Leader / Oct 22 2014 12:35 pm

    I lived on the Sinkin’ Sand Bar many years ago and I loved it, even though I am not a B O I. There’s a park there (Galveston State Park maybe?) that has a freshwater pond I used to catch some nice bass out of. I think my family would like it there.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 22 2014 12:42 pm

      The Island has many unexpected places. Once the summer season is over, it’s perfect for roaming and discovering. (THere’s going to be an Ice cave with sculptures at Moody Gardens in Dec…how’s that for irony?) Thanks for floating by


  2. shoreacres / Oct 22 2014 1:00 pm

    You’re right. It is time to get to the beach. And if you’re really in the mood for some scary Halloween reading, try “The Blood Notes of Peter Mallow” by Paul Boor. Boor is an honest-to-goodness doc who works in the hot lab at UTMB, and his book involves a virulent strain of virus, a crackpot or two, plenty of Galveston atmosphere and a hurricane. No, it’s not Stephen King quality, but it’s a great, quick read with lots of things to hold your attention. Besides, Dr. Boor wears a bow tie.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 22 2014 4:45 pm

      Ah, you just solved a holiday gift quest. Surprising how many docs are also published fiction writers. You have to have a bit of a sense of humor to do everything they do.
      That whole medical complex has such interesting architecture/construction. Wonder if their security gets nervous if people start taking pictures. One thing I know is we don’t need a NLG terminal on Pelican Island – BP backed off, but a Houston firm is moving on it. (See if you can google the Chronicle article “Galveston again attracts an LNG proposal”) Environmental groups are organizing – some public meetings were skipped. And then there’s UTMB who spoke up saying maybe it’s not a good idea to have an explosive situation right by their infectious disease labs….but you know Galveston.
      Thanks for surfing by! (It’s so pretty, I’m having trouble staying in blogworld! So behind….)


  3. Paul / Oct 22 2014 1:08 pm

    Nice pictures Phil – I love the time of year when the beaches are empty except for the wild life. There’s a feeling of cleanliness and a breeze of nature.

    Mellow post.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 22 2014 4:47 pm

      This time of year at the beach is the payoff for the summer crush. It’s just wonderful. Thanks for enjoying the enchantment


  4. katecrimmins / Oct 22 2014 1:28 pm

    This is exactly how I feel about the New Jersey shore in the fall. Schools are starting earlier so “off season” is starting the last week in August. By the time we go in September, it’s almost a ghost town. I love ghost towns. No noise, no noxious humans, just warm water, wonderful birds (trying to steal my lunch) and stunning scenery. Enjoy, summer season will be here before you know it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 22 2014 4:50 pm

      It’s a whole different world…a bit like OZ. You are right – show up as much as possible now before it’s back to frenzy. Thanks for strolling along

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dogear6 / Oct 22 2014 4:31 pm

    I loved the pictures and seeing the beaches / town with you! Poor Molly. She just can’t escape trouble, even when on leash!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 22 2014 4:53 pm

      Molly loves the sand and watching the birds – but those waves and foaming water inching towards her – no way! No need for the really long leash. She’s staying close by…those seagulls are gathering and look like they are up to something. Glad you enjoyed strolling along


  6. bulldog / Oct 22 2014 5:35 pm

    Your photos this post are just moreish…. love the sea shot…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 22 2014 6:34 pm

      Whew. Was worried people would find them dull. The sea and shore are ever changing in poses, design, and colors to me.(someday maybe I’ll use the real camera….without a dog leash attached) Appreciate you washing up with an encouraging comment


  7. EllaDee / Oct 22 2014 10:57 pm

    I’m so pleased you asked me along, so evocative were your words and photos, even experienced virtually a walk along the beach with you and Molly triggered the soundtrack in my head “Galveston, oh Galveston, I still hear your sea winds blowin’…” and for a few moments time and space opened up. Sigh. I look over the harbour every day from my office vantage point but it’s not the same as being there, sand on damp feet (and legs usually!) refreshed by the breezy salty air. Thanks 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 24 2014 6:38 pm

      The beach somehow loosens the mind’s leashes. We wander to the lake and marina where the boats chime, jingle, and call – sea memories are strong magnets. Thanks for strolling along


  8. wiseabundance / Oct 23 2014 8:46 pm

    Beautiful images and prose. You captured the wistful feeling of a resort town after tourist season is over. 🙂


  9. Robin / Oct 24 2014 12:09 pm

    Lovely walk on the beach. Thank you. 🙂 I’ve never been to Galveston. I’m reading “Isaac’s Storm” right now so it was good to get a glimpse of it.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 24 2014 6:41 pm

      Now that the crowds have thinned, maybe we’ll be able to head down to west beach and the state park there. Lots of birds are arriving to winter there. So nice not to bother with traffic and endure summer noise. Thanks for wandering by


  10. jannatwrites / Oct 25 2014 7:46 am

    I’ve never been to Galveston, but it seems like a nice place. I had to laugh at not divulging beach locs because of over-crowding. Locals do tend to withhold that kind of info 🙂


  11. Aquileana / Oct 25 2014 5:03 pm

    You write beautifully…. I love the sentences coming below “Becoming a ghost town. Perfectly seasonal. Hauntingly quiet”… Mesmerizing!… All the very best to you, Aquileana 😛


  12. Kourtney Heintz / Oct 28 2014 11:44 pm

    Wow those waves and beaches are gorgeous! 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 29 2014 4:41 pm

      One of the best reasons for putting up with the summer and seasonal crowds. Not Florida for sure, but plenty nice. Thanks for splashing down for a bit


  13. jmmcdowell / Oct 30 2014 10:42 pm

    I love being able to walk on a beach when there aren’t many people around. It’s an amazing way to connect with the planet and recharge.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Oct 30 2014 11:46 pm

      We go to the beach a lot once the summer season is over. It’s always different. And there is something about restorative there. Molly is too suspicious and will not get near the waves. Working on that… Thanks for splashing along


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