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June 1, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The odd beast

A lesser study than Aristotle’s “Inquiries on Animals”.

Only humble observations of what was seen stretching and blinking in Tuesday’s rare sunlight.

Keep up now.

ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted.Houston Medical Center with crane overhead. Copyrighted

In the heart of the Houston Medical Center, a stately crane builds yet another nest of hospital rooms. ©

There. A sighting of the “Official Bird of Houston” high above the buildings: a crane.

Not an endangered Whooping Crane, but a whopper crane.

The whopper cranes seem to call to each other. Years ago one tested the ground, then suddenly there’s a flock of them nesting downtown, the Medical Center, and even starting outlying colonies in the suburbs.

Local residents are a bit wary of the towering creatures who are fond of swinging, swaying, and abruptly jumping up once in a while. As long as the cranes are acting in a constructive fashion, no one’s really going to squawk about it.

ALL rights reserved. A pink plastic flamingo (Copyrighted)carrying two lizards NO permissions granted

They ain’t heavy. They’re my brothers or so The Hollies said.©

Downsizing and out to another source, two champion specimens of their tribes.

There seems to be a territorial truce in order to share in the bug buffet.

An “Ebony and Ivory”moment: Ultra modern emerald smooth and rough prehistoric brown. Unconcerned with the obvious.

Probably influenced by the pink flamingo who is facing extinction, but still shouldering on. An example of knowing what you are made of, and, thus, able to outlive ridicule and scorn knowing your time in the sun will return.

Luckily, no water wings needed today.

(Sorry, Aristotle, you do have some history with those little beasties)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

. ALL rights reserved. Close up of green and brown "lizards" (NO permissions granted) on pink flamingo copyrighted

What’s the plan? Opposites attract dinner? One elegantly ruby-throated velvet and one lumpy with dinosaur-like ridges down his spine. Picture perfect sun bathers©








  1. easyweimaraner / Jun 1 2016 6:31 am

    we currently have such a moment here … one giant tractor, one excavator, a caterpillar and a steam roller… I thought they will build the city of rock n’roll here, but they only make a driveway for our neighbor :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 1 2016 3:21 pm

      it sounds like that driveway job called in machines like a popsicle truck calls kids in the summer. (Wonder if one of these whopper cranes could get hungry enough to pick up one of those caterpillars? That wold be a sight to see!)
      Thanks for herding a comment this way


  2. Paul / Jun 1 2016 7:09 am

    Some of those cranes are huge. Around here it has become a challenge who has the best decorated crane at Christmas – They cover the booms with Christmas lights, We’ve gone condo crazy here and there are about 15 cranes within a few dozen blocks downtown as they build more condo towers for the aging demographic that wants to live downtown within walking distance of everything and has lots of money. I tell you it is hard to get those pink plastic cranes stuck anywhere in the concrete. Ha! I actually wrote a short story a while back (can’t find it now) where a body was found on the terrace of an apartment that was locked with no way in. The puzzle was solved when the investigator realized that a crane from two blocks over could rotate over the balcony and had in fact dropped the body there.

    Happy Crane watching Phil.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 1 2016 3:56 pm

      Hey, find that cool story – there are contests to enter! (It’s packed somewhere….maybe after the move?). Whopper cranes are so perky when decorated..they seem to preen a bit then. NASA has a giant crane on their property – either they are building or rearranging some of the space vehicles/rockets stored there…or maybe the NASA deer wanted an amusment ride/observation deck for the summer?
      There’s a lot of giant developments/condos going up around here for the same reason. They range from the micro size residences (designed for young career/med students or docs in training/investments as rentals) to the giant luxury versions. Shops and eateries being built on the first floors…what they need is a good grocery store! The problem with condos is that here the monthly maintenance/owner association fees are often as much as the mortgage and there’s no limit to how much it can go up – and all those people in one area. Sound proofing and garage space is probably better in the expensive ones….but you can’t exactly grill outside your back door.
      Apparently there’s a perfect storm weather pattern setting up for the next 3 days. Rivers are at unprescendented level ( records for over 150 years on some of those). Retocked the pantry and Molly has run her little paws to exhaustion with friends in the field this morning, so we’re set. And maybe I can get caught up on my blog reading. (Haven’t forgotten!)
      Here’s a happy dog story
      Now safe and dry at the Humane scoiety – and renamed after the man who rescued her, she’ll be getting a new and better home.
      Just thought you’d like that story. Thanks building a comment to leave in this construction zone!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kate Crimmins / Jun 1 2016 7:27 am

    I think it’s a “hospital campus” thing. (That’s what they call them here.) They attract construction birds which multiply buildings. Currently we have two mega huge hospital systems and they rank as employer #1 and #2 in employee count. Wonder what that says about our area. The problem with cranes is all that racket! Oh yeah, and the poop. I’m not cleaning that up!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 1 2016 3:18 pm

      Seems there is a medical build-up going on these days – the smell of money (for hospital corporations, not doc, nurses or staff). Real benefits being in a city with big hospital campuses for jobs and care.
      That picture is from pretty much the center of The Med Center looking. when I was growing up this was a boulevard with wide lawns leading up to the hospitals. Every inch of space has been huilt on…and just when you think they are done, up goes more cranes. Right now there are 21 hospital systems’ flagship hospitals, 3 Medical Schools, 7 nursing programs, a dental school, a phramacy school and a bunch of research consortiums/groups along this road. Glad they were able to keep the oaks to make it more comfortable. Guess the whopper cranes aren’t much tree sitters…or I hope so. They’re certainly are as loud as a flock of gossiping grackles. Thanks for flying in with a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. heylookawriterfellow / Jun 1 2016 9:24 am

    I once owned a flamingo lawn ornament that would sing “Shake Senora” whenever a motion sensor was activated. My wife and son soon made sure that creature faced extinction in our yard.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 1 2016 4:14 pm

      Now that’s a lawn ornament. As good as that singing fish wall plaque. I’ve heard such items are said to be extinct, but still can be spotted lurking in garage sales waiting for the perfect time to return…
      Thanks for sticking around to comment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy / Jun 1 2016 12:50 pm

    Downtown Madison is a crane haven these days – though not as many as there once were. This also applies to the University of Wisconsin campus. Cranes love Wisconsin!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 1 2016 4:21 pm

      Cranes are a sign of good luck! They are proof one can be elegant as well as productive. Probably enjoy elevating ideas, too – so no wonder they cluster around universities. Thanks for lifing an idea into this nest

      Liked by 2 people

  6. shoreacres / Jun 1 2016 8:19 pm

    Never mind the cranes — it’s the lizards that are threatening to take over at this point. Green ones and black ones and brown ones, lumpy and smooth, little and big. What gets me is that they seem to be bolder, less inclined to run, than ever before. I came across one this morning, about six inches long, that just stopped and gave me the kind of appraising look you might expect from something much larger: like a gator.

    Speaking of which, I found a fantastic photo of Sawmill Road up Woodlands way. There was nothing but trees, and water. It looked like a bayou, which might help explain the huge gator that was swimming along.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 2 2016 7:53 am

      There is a lizard invasion – we’ve never had so many varieties before and some very unusual ones. I thought it was becasuse we don’t use poison on the yard, but could it be the SOS I’ve sent out over the anticipated mosquito plague bound to arrive soon? Maybe the gators have been offering skill building training sessions like the drill team/cheerleaders do. Somethings going on.
      The aerial views of west and north are quite stunning. More rain last night with more training.Good to practice for hurricanes, but enough already. Our old neighborhood in NW we know flooded – that house was on a “hill” and had stayed dry through many storms/floods and we had dug a massive drain system in the yard (Ourselves, mostly by hand – and of course in the summer – UGH) but not sure even that could keep with this many days of rain if the sewers/creeks were full and backing up. We were surrounded by yards with pools on all sides and before storms we’d have to go and remind new to the area neighbors to dump a good part of their pool water while they could/sewers had room for it so their water wouldn’t overflow into our yard. Always new stuff to learn about an area.
      Something weird: months after we left NOLA, both the house we lived in and the one being built had water over their roofs ( saw them on TV news) and pretty sure our last house flooded…is there a pattern? WIll anyone pay us to stay in this house out of superstition to prevent flooding here? HA HA. Thanks for the splashy comment with a bite!


  7. marthaschaefer / Jun 2 2016 5:24 am

    Watching your weather and wishing we could even things out a bit. We need rain, you need less. Keep your paws dry Molly!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 2 2016 8:01 am

      We wondered if the images were being shown outside the area. At this point it’s not just that it keep storming here, but the rivers are at historic levels (some 130 years high) and it keeps storming upstream in central TX – and it all flows down the rivers to the gulf. If ony there was somw way to retain/redirect excessive water to areas of drought. That should be a prize offered challenge as water management will be a big concern in the future for mankind.
      We are snug in a little area 2 blocks from the lake/bay/gulf so water drains very quickly, and we are not near any of the big rivers (by choice – there’s areason old timers said to never build in a river bottom/river plain. Makes lovely pastures, but far too risky) and there’s still open land/wetlands unsuitable for building, but to ready to absorb rain.
      Molly said we’ve had the German and Bella here over last weekend just to make sure they were OK and they may be back shortly. Like having a happy herd of buffalo in the house. Happy is what you ahve to focus on. Thanks for tossing a lifeline of a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ally Bean / Jun 2 2016 6:18 am

    Flamingo lawn ornaments extinct?! Not in this subdivision. There are entire flamboyances of them that show up unexpectedly on the front lawns of houses with good kids who do good things. There’s a mothers’ group that is charge of this silly, but cute, way of letting everyone know that a smart/helpful/charitable child lives here.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 2 2016 8:07 am

      A migrating flamingo crop! Cool. Here they show up for birthdays/retirements sometimes. (The flamboyant love parties!)
      Are they the Original design? We’ve seen the smaller bright pink ones, but a searching for the original design trying to find a companion for ours. I knew we should have bought all three leg and neck styles when the company issued one last batch. Who knew someone else wouldn’t pick up the icon? Foolishly I allowed an embarrased child to limit my flamigo flock. Thanks for leaving a bird without feathers an encouraging word

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Hook / Jun 2 2016 7:48 pm

    Nature rocks.
    Great post, old friend.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jun 2 2016 7:52 pm

      Life is where you look for it. Hope the summer rolls smoothly for you. Thanks for sliding by


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