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December 9, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dastardly Bushwacker (Santa knows, Dude)

Is it genetic, environmental, or cultural? Those pinchy fingers. The shifty eyes sweeping to see if anyone’s looking. A destroyer gene or a learned self-righteous behavior? When unexpectedly encountered, there’s always a smugness. Or is that a birth defect facial expression? One which forced them into a life of shadowy plant pinching.

Simply naive or secretly anti-monarch?

Couple staring in fear at man (1921."Luring Lips" / Oct 1921 Jul-Dec Photoplay Mag/Universal Films/

“The monarch is a butterfly, not a form of government, you Dunderhead!” (USPD/

In any case, monarch butterflies still dawdling in the area are at risk.

Not asking for much. Only a blossom or two for a sip. They aren’t big drinkers.

True, the endangered fliers are rather picky. Not just any flower will dew.

But native Lantana enchants them.

Eat up and move on south. Quickly.

Winter’s had a short preview here, so the Lantana is ready to call it a season. Ready to go to ground.

The always obliging plant has gutted it up and pushed out a few new leaves and flowers on the very tips of their overly leggy end-of-summer branches.

Sprawling arms, are not the plant’s best look, but hey, the butterflies are depending on the plant. (Lazy moochers, move on!)

Lantana blooms. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permisssions granted

Lantana: the ballerina of the flower world.©

Their “unkept” landscape look appears to be galling someone in the neighborhood. 

Under the cover of darkness, The Pincher is creeping into the yard and breaking off 4-5 inches at the end of Lantana’s branches. Leaving the evidence on the ground or hanging. Poor little branches with flowers desperately trying to hang on, but shriveling up and dying.

Innocent branches that have lived only to provide for the needy. 

Perhaps looking a bit bedraggled, but pretty is as pretty does!

Heartlessly broken for no reason.

Not extending over sidewalk, street or near any property lines.

Mr. Pincher, it’s not exactly prime time for landscape design.

Starving butterflies!

That’s it.

Getting an early Christmas present for myself: GoPro camera with motion detector.

man and woman boxing from 1919 film. "Peggy Does Her Darndest".Metro Pict.Corp./ Feb.8,191 Movie Pict.World Mag/

Afraid to take on one from your own species? (USPD/

FYI, Mr. Pincher. Santa knows.

(And his reindeer aren’t too happy about it either.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Fans of these flighty ones? Read more:

Monarch butterfly on flower./ Luis nunes alberto (

Monarch at brunch. (Luis nunes alberto/








  1. Catherine Hamrick / Dec 9 2015 2:09 pm

    Cool combo of pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:22 am

      Thanks. The whole situation is so amusing, hilarious picture had to be located. Appreciate you giggling along


  2. easyweimaraner / Dec 9 2015 2:09 pm

    I wish Santa would bring such a cam to my crib :lo) I could use it for all our diy disasters :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:24 am

      Molly thinks with a GoPro camera, she could capture all the movie awards..especially the “Most overly dramatic” and “Most ridiculous comedy” Thanks for bringing a comment to the stage


  3. Kate Crimmins / Dec 9 2015 2:15 pm

    Get the camera. It’s a hoot and solves many mysteries….like why are the birds eating so much sunflower seed (the answer is that the raccoons are having a smorgasbord every night complete with a band and party hats!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:26 am

      I love your raccoon bandits! (They are such sneaks) Must add that camera to Santa’s list. Thanks for giggling along

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Littlesundog / Dec 9 2015 2:21 pm

    Our Lantana is dormant now. I’m still seeing a very few sulpher butterflies but no Monarchs. I would hope by now they’re way down south your way or in Mexico! What the crap?? Do you think the culprit is a varmint of some sort? I’ve been wanting a GoPro for years… and I hear the latest models are just awesome.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 2:11 am

      Our weather has been so warm this past week, the lantana is struggling to put on new blooms – and a couple of monarch floated by this morning. Leave, guys! Winter is coming…tomorrow…sort of…maybe. Costco has GoPros. I’ve been looking at them for years, too. RC is whining that I am keeping her from reaching her full potential as a film star. Bob, of course, wants to direct…shorts.
      I thought the first break was probably a squirrel as it was the top foot of a very tall branch leaning up against the tree trunk like a flag pole, but the recent bends and breaks are all suspiciously on the sidewalk side at about hand hanging level…none on the other sides or even the lower branches. Probably the neighbor who has way too much time on his hands and wants to instruct people on landscaping methods…one time he walked through the neighborhood and made notes of all the leaning trees in yards and wanted the HOA to insist all the homeowners pay to have the trees straightened up proper. It really is a bit funny. Lantana doesn’t care – it just sprawls more and keeps growing. (He’ll probably choke when I hack it back to the ground in january…you have to trim them here or this variety will grow as big as the thicket around Sleeping Beauties castle.
      Sorry to respond so slowly, but trying to unplug a bit ( only funny stories keep popping up) Hope you are having clear skies so you can enjoy the stars this time of year. Breathless sight. Thanks for adding a blooming comment!


  5. Esme upon the Cloud / Dec 9 2015 2:49 pm

    Ah those butterflies that flutter-by, all hail those kings and queens say I.

    – esme upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ally Bean / Dec 9 2015 4:49 pm

    I’ve been on about Milkweed for Monarchs all year. Lovely to know that they will be more of them in the future. Ones, perhaps, you’ll be photographing?

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:48 am

      Butterflies and hummingbirds so far are only blurs in my pictures to far. It would probably help if some large dog wasn’t dashing up to see them. How’s your milkweed coming along? Not sure I have a spot here it would like, but groups are planting it in parks and on city owned property. Who knew monarchs were hiding out in the NW so much?
      Thanks for perching a comment over here.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Carrie Rubin / Dec 9 2015 6:17 pm

    We’re having great weather (up to 60 degrees in NE Ohio this weekend; put that in the check-column for climate change…), but no butterflies. In fact, I don’t ever see too many of them, even in the summer. Perhaps I’m just not looking.

    By the way, I sought your wonderful advice about my upcoming book signings and ordered some props: a 5# muscle model and 5# fat model. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier. I’d already made up a poster highlighting the many forces behind obesity, but I didn’t think about the models. Until your comment. So thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:44 am

      Sounds like all the Monarchs summer in the NW territories. Who knew.
      Your props sound so cool! Bet your sons were impressed…but they won’t tell you HA HA. Loved seeing the smiling faces in your book signing pictures. Fun is the name of the game.
      Hope the holiday rush eventually hits “pause” letting you enjoy all the sights and sounds. Merry on!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. jubilare / Dec 9 2015 6:21 pm

    😡 … dastardly.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Eagle-Eyed Editor / Dec 9 2015 10:42 pm

    Arrrgh. Get that GoPro and defeat that dastardly villain!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. EllaDee / Dec 10 2015 5:20 am

    Lantana is a weed here but it’s pretty and also nice to know good for the butterflies. Get the GoPro… we’ve been mulling over a #5 but in the meantime put up an ‘under surveillance’ sign.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 11 2015 3:01 pm

      It’s a hardy native here. This plant actually came from a cutting from a very old homestead in Galveston. Flood waters, wind – it just keeps on blooming. My kind of plant.
      Both RC and the Molly are insisting the Realm needs a GoPro. For security, not for amusement at all, sniffed RC.She was quietly muttering something about instructional videos for dunderheaded staff…
      No doubt if I put up a”Keep your pinchers off the plant” sign, the HOA would be so annoyed…so that does sound like fun. Thanks for adding a watchful eye


  11. shoreacres / Dec 11 2015 3:14 am

    Honestly, I wonder about a critter. Are there seeds as well as flowers, that birds might be interested in? On the other hand, lantana seeds can be toxic to kids and pets, Could someone have confused that information in their mind, and be going after the flowers? It’s a strange one — nearly as strange as the critter that ate a hole through my car. At least it left teeth marks (or claw marks) so I know it wasn’t human.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 11 2015 2:12 pm

      The first whack I thought might be a squirrel or other fur nocturnal creature as the branch was vertical against the tree – tall like a blooming flag pole – that one was hacked to the same level as the rest of the bush. Thought it might be dogs being walked as the leaves do settle tummies. But it’s consistently on the sidewalk side – at the same height: about hand level as you walk by. Actually I’m pretty sure who it is (and he’s probably dying to tell me how he’s helping me prune the bush properly…but let’s just drive him a bit crazier…besides he needs something to do.) He’ll be stunned when the bush gets hacked to ground once the leaves/blooms are gone. Different purposes for the landscape here. This lantana is one from an old homestead in Galveston so you know it’s hardy: neither wind, not sand, nor salt water floods….
      Car attack! Now that’s a topic for coffee. (Boat parade done, then bad weather early next week, so…?) If they are poisoning rodents near, they go nuts and have been known to eat car parts. (Yet another topic) Thanks for tossing in a comment of nibbles!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. roughseasinthemed / Dec 11 2015 7:36 pm

    Lantana? Oh. No. Stinky poo stuff. After spending the best part of a week cutting back the straggling, spiky, obnoxiously smelly stuff, I wouldn’t touch it in a million years. Well, apart from for money to cut it back of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:36 am

      Lantana has to be whacked often and kept under control or it will eat the house. I can’t grow butterfly weed for the monarchs, but will manage lantana in a back corner. But by Jan 1 it will all be hacked to the ground for the winter – only the one blooming in the front hasn’t had a preliminary haircut. I wouldn’t have kept the bushes except The German loves to nibble the leaves…so she keeps it trimmed up nicely for me. And it blooms without any work. The bougainvillea has infiltrated the area and seems to be smothering it out. Survival of the fittest! We’ll see what survives the winter. Paw waves from tired Molly! Thanks for adding to the bushy comments


      • roughseasinthemed / Dec 16 2015 9:22 am

        Ha! When I wasn’t battling the lantana I was fighting the bugie. The two together? Nightmare scenario 😀 I used to like bouganvillea before I had to cut so much back. And it grows so tall too.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 4:41 pm

          Oh, those bugies lure you with the blooms in the plant store. Then the reality. It is a nightmare. Almost weekly hacking in the summer, but we have them in 2 places along the fence/on a trellis. Better than barbed wire to deter fence jumpers.(I know a regional problem – not so there). Those thorny branches can really slash skin. Wearing gloves would take all the challenge out of it.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. heretherebespiders / Dec 13 2015 9:30 pm

    Ugh, who would do that? You don’t dead head while still in bloom…

    Send me some seeds? My ones from SC from seed didn’t last through our bad winter one year. Sigh. They are a weed, and I refuse to buy one from a local expensive nursery! Will exchange for tigridia?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 14 2015 4:48 pm

      Oh, the Pincher is the same guy that walked through the neighborhood and sent the HOA a list of houses with trees that he though leaned to much. Wanted everyone to pay someone to dig them up and straighten them.Far too much time on his hands – and he’s probably nuts I haven’t mentioned it so he can “educate” me on how to shape bushes.
      Will lantana grow there? They need so much sun and warmth. (I’ll email you this weekend) The birds are rapidly stripping off the berries, but I’ll grab a few of the remaining ones. I usually grow lantana from cuttings. This one came from an old abandoned homestead on Galveston Island (and had been through multiple hurricanes). It’s hardy. Will check in with you. Thanks for the blooming comment

      Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:27 am

      Fought the birds for a small box of seeds. More info soon (I am so behind with comments….guilt. guilt)

      Liked by 1 person

  14. jmmcdowell / Dec 16 2015 12:43 am

    Ugh, some people! Do you have some plants located safely away from pinching hands? No monarchs left up here, but I’m still seeing sulphers and cabbage moths with our mild temps. There are still quite a few flowers blooming here in December!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 16 2015 1:17 am

      That poor plant is struggling with blooms in the recent 80 degree weather. Saw a couple of monarchs flying this morning. Butterflies – go now! It’s for your own good! They never listen.
      Looks like those on the East Coast that want to ski are going to have to go west this year. At this rate beach towels will be the most requested present this year. Thanks for adding a blooming remark!



  1. Dastardly Bushwacker (Santa knows, Dude) | Elements Hyperlocal Journalism Photo-blog

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