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July 18, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No bones about it.

Eerie person in antlers and spooky lighting.Zoe Jakes performing. Danecarney, 2012.(PD.

More out there than what meets the eye.(PD/

Nothing was better.

Running ahead up the stairs and to the balcony rail.

There. Staring. Giant empty eye sockets. A head as big as me.

Nose to nose with a two-story dinosaur unwrapped.

Real. Solid. Bare bones essence of animal magnetism.

No extra needed: no recorded sounds, period correct landscapes, or thoroughly researched hides that flexed and stretched by mechanical motors.

Filled in the blanks without tech assist.

Exhibit of dinosaurs in Morian Hall of Paleontology,

This is the “new” Morian Hall of Paleontology. Modern. Glossy. But there was something about running up the limestone steps with fossils in them, between the towering Roman columns guarding the door at the old entrance that made it seem like going back through time. (

Everyone loves dinosaurs at some point.

Really young kids, like 3 or 4, are fascinated by skulls and bones and the thought that that’s what’s under their own skin. They handle and closely examine them as only a little kid can.

They only get spooked by bones when older – after adults show them that.

No bones about it. Sticks with you.

Robotic irrigation machines in a field.(ALL rights reserved.) West Texas (NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

And there they are:  like a bare bones wagon train rolling across the plains. So plain. ©

One of the coolest things about traveling the Panhandle is spotting The Walkers.

A bit like the White Walkers in Game of Thrones with their mindless march onward. Taking direction from the one.

Actually they are robotic irrigation devices carrying a row of sprinklers and slowly roll, pivoting in a circle.

They have a few tiny lights on them so if you look hard, they can be spotted at night. Useful to keep from getting knocked down by a uncaring Walker at night if monitoring water usage.

The area was unusually green this time, so The Walkers seemed to be mostly sidelined and waiting for the coach to call them up. Dependable, loyal, and true, they don’t mind waiting their turn to roll.

 Robotic irrigation machines watering a crop in West Texas(ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted)

Another field. Another crop. Another obedient well-trained lineup.©

For some reason, The Walkers remind me of a line of dachshunds harnessed one in front of another.

There’s an elemental relationship to the Strandbeests.

Or maybe like some ancient dinosaur who woke up, shook off the dirt and is slowly testing it’s ability to move.

No bones about it, there’s stuff out there to be seen and to be considered.

Anyone up for a game of I Spy or What if?

Everyone can play. Even if over 3.

Who knows what walks.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

View of water coming from robotic sprinkler system in West Texas field (NO permissions granted. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted)

Highly entertaining: a sprinkler you could bark at and chase. No doubt Molly Malamute or a pack of preschoolers would be game for this.©




  1. easyweimaraner / Jul 18 2016 7:10 am

    I agree and you are totally right with the dachshunds :o) as I was a little girl I always thought the berds who sit on the lines are in danger and will get electro-roasted… I spend hours with chasing them away from power poles :o))))


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 7:40 am

      How do those birds sit there without toasted toes ( I looked it up once in a book and it’s the size of contact and weight or something – but still – they are sitting on powerlines. You’re a good soul to chase after their follies, Easy) Thanks for the big woofs in comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Crimmins / Jul 18 2016 7:26 am

    You only need a creative mind to find interest in stuff sitting around. Never saw “walkers” before. We have a different form of irrigation here. Mostly we don’t need it except in a drought year and sometimes in August (our drought month).

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 7:49 am

      Trained from childhood road trips, my favorite way to travel is without the radio or screens on. (Always got car sick if trying to read…limits activities so all that was left was daydreaming out windows).
      It was good to see the farmers having a good growing season this year. The tiny lights on the walkers at night can be rather eerie along with soft swishing sounds….there are dino fossils in that area – who knows what wanders at night. (And now time for another Twilight Zone repeat HA HA)
      Thanks for walking a comment this way

      Liked by 1 person

  3. RKLikesReeses / Jul 18 2016 8:01 am

    Ooooo!! I’ve seen those! Not moving and not quite as large, but the same neat things. LOL…you’re right, they do look like some kind of conga line. I wonder what the folks a few hundred years from now will think of the metal “bones” we leave behind. This is a gem of a post – fascinating ideas/observations beautifully intertwined. Brava!!!! 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 8:19 am

      Hope the future ones have a big sense of humor. We are so careless about discards. What a jumbled message this era will leave. Would love to know what the ones-yet-to-come fill in the blanks with: see these years as a comedy or horror show? Thanks for picking through the bare spots and leaving a comment

      Liked by 1 person

  4. D. Wallace Peach / Jul 18 2016 8:20 am

    Beats carrying buckets! 🙂 I wonder if these things helped kill the family farm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 8:33 am

      Hilarious observation. Maybe a cause in some areas, but here it’s a real possibility that these creative machines helped saved the family farms allowing the level of production the owners need to hold onto the land. (some also benefit from money gained leasing bluffs for windmills) These plains are huge historic ranches/farms that have been in families for years – not factory farms. There’s been irrigation canals/wells out here forever, but with the circular walkers, in some dry years you can see green crop circles tended by walkers growing well – enough to get through a bad year (The regional water table is monitored for usage and each owner can only use the assigned amount)
      Actually it was encouraging to see the walkers so still and the fields growing mostly on available rainfall.
      Thanks for pouring in a watery Comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • D. Wallace Peach / Jul 18 2016 9:58 am

        Well, that’s awesome if they’re helping family farms and it sounds like the water supply is being responsibly managed. Kudos to the region for monitoring. And windmills – thumbs up to that too. I’m surprised that environmentalists, farmers, and ranchers don’t combine efforts more frequently since it can work to everyone’s advantage.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 10:51 am

          A few windmills are sculptural, useful,and necessary until a better energy source is discovered – and army of them everywhere (TC has the largest number of wind farms in the country)…especially when over 1/3 are not being used in what is peak enegry demand time – while even more being tossed up in mass..have to puzzle over that.
          There’s a real and solid questioning over the impact of windmills from farmers, ranchers, and environmentalists – includeing the Audubon Society concerning 1.unpredicted big numbers of eagle/raptor/migratory bird kills (odd the gov. allowed windfarms to be constructed in protected migratory paths in contradition to the Wild Bird Migratory Protection Act. Oopsie..who paid off whom?), 2.unpredicted bat kills (Big numbers here.They are needed for insect/mosquito control and agricultural pollination), 3. unpredicted constant low level annoying hum driving those living nearby nuts, 4. unpredicted ground vibrations bothering those in the area (local animals aren’t talking publicly) and 5. the unpredicted visual blight of large numbers of wind turbings with their monstrously sized power transmission lines. People are trying to find compromises and to improve the turbins so everyone can be happy and healthy. It’s a learning process. Responsible progress is good.

          Liked by 1 person

        • D. Wallace Peach / Jul 18 2016 11:07 am

          No easy answers are there.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 11:09 am

          Yep, we just have stumble on the best we can…and make plans to remove mistakes or outdated useless objects. HAve to hope the balance sheet at the end is good. Thanks for spinning the conversation!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean / Jul 18 2016 11:58 am

    We don’t see The Walkers around here often. Maybe the fields get enough water from rain? Or maybe our farmers don’t like newfangled things! Difficult to know, but when I see those machines, I’m intrigued. Kind of cute moseying around out in the field.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 3:10 pm

      They are kinda lik a conga line, Simon Says or Follow the leader….a watery May-July Pole Dance? Thanks for sprinkling a fun comment here.


  6. robstroud / Jul 18 2016 12:26 pm

    Very interesting linkages here (as always). My grandkids love to pour out the big dinosaur bin quite often, and I enjoy looking at the creatures, which include among them four I received as a present after a tonsillectomy at age five… nearly 60 years ago.

    Also, having lived a couple years in Lubbock, and residing in other agricultural areas, I’ve always been fascinated by the “walkers.” Those endless lines seem to extend across the horizon. And yes, when they are not watering the soil, they wait stoically for their orders.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 7:33 pm

      You’ve seen them – those walkers are the oddest things. Have to feel some affection for them. If water wasn’t so precious, maybe kids could have a wild time running in and around the big time sprinklers. It would be like marching with dinosaurs. (Cool you’ve managed to hang on to your dinos. We have a little bronze Sinclaiar dinosaur from an uncle who was a geologist for them. Always though that was an apporpriate mascot)
      Thanks for spinning a comment in this direction


  7. The Hook / Jul 18 2016 2:00 pm

    Love the meat of this post.


  8. The Coastal Crone / Jul 18 2016 3:40 pm

    We only have a few of those walkers around here but mostly the cotton and grain are dependent upon the rain god. Travel by car can still be fun for adults if you are observant to what one might see next. It was was a good way to entertain kids back in the days before every car/van had movies. Cheers for the week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 18 2016 7:22 pm

      And if the car trip isn’t a time sensitive death march HA HA. We used to have a blast as kids ’cause once in cooler states we would stop and look at all the historical markers, weird rock formations …but never the two headed snake or card playing chicken. Road trips rock. Thanks for driving along

      Liked by 1 person

  9. dogear6 / Jul 18 2016 4:16 pm

    Good as always – only you can take something so ordinary and make it into a lively blog post!



  10. the dune mouse / Jul 19 2016 8:25 am

    love your bones! and the walkers!


  11. Roxie / Jul 19 2016 11:09 am

    Yes! Irrigating walkers bring back memories! But to see them thru another’s eyes, as dachshunds, fantastic! Like you, I couldn’t read in the car, so I window-storied, creating characters from my backseat view. Oil rigs where reincarnated dinosaurs, ready to give chase. Gosh it was fun. 😃


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2016 2:01 pm

      Without radio or small screens, the window stories were abundant. Boredom is just another word for time to think up something to do – not such a bad thing. Thanks for leashing a comment in this caravan


  12. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy / Jul 19 2016 11:50 am

    I actually commented on an irrigation device yesterday – it was the first one I had seen all year around here that was on.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2016 2:08 pm

      It must be getting near August – The Walkers are waking. If there was a field that didn’t mind getting tromped, it would be fun to see what dogs and small kids would do among these devices. They are something like adults: tall, moving without explanation, and busy doing something but won’t say what. Thanks for spinning by with a comment. Paw waves to Choppy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sarah Ferguson and Choppy / Jul 20 2016 7:12 am

        We don’t have any of them close enough to check out up close and personal – or perhaps we could get near one and check it out (if we were careful).

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 20 2016 7:32 am

          And avoid mashing the plants (that leaves Molly out)

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sarah Ferguson and Choppy / Jul 21 2016 8:23 am

          Choppy is OK with larger plants like corn or beans – it’s those pretty flowers in the garden she has trouble with avoiding!


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 21 2016 8:37 am

          Choppy sounds considerate. Molly Malamute does not recognize obstacles including humans when she’s on a mission…amazing how much bruising a fast moving solid dog can cause HA HA


  13. Kourtney Heintz / Jul 19 2016 12:05 pm

    Those walkers are pretty cool. I remember as a kid being fascinated by the dinosaur bones in museums. To think something like that existed was so cool. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 19 2016 2:11 pm

      We were lucky as kids to have a museum with dinosaurs all wired together – even if low tech compared to todays’ – and then be able to find fossils in the wild of things from similar. It is cool. Science is fun. Thanks for digging up a comment to leave.


  14. Paul / Jul 21 2016 5:13 pm

    Fun post Phil.


  15. marthaschaefer / Jul 24 2016 2:59 pm

    Wonderfully imaginative and observant, Phil! Love this one!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jul 24 2016 4:22 pm

      Such happy little creations. Really nice at night to be driving in the dark with windows down (few cars and no street lights out there) seeing the the little lights in the fields and sometimes hearing the swish of water. You can just imagine the plants smiling..perhaps plants and their keepers chat in quiet conversations then. Nothing like a road trip. Thanks for riding along

      Liked by 1 person

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