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September 1, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

First read

Scarlet leaf nestled among Lantana branches. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. No permissions granted

“A jewel in hand is… WHAT? We did not steal it. They dropped it. Finders Keepers. Stop calling us mean girls!”©

You know how it is with some: always taking credit for another’s work.

Just like cheerleaders shaking pom poms for attention, the always helpful Lantana petaled over, picked up the significant piece, and pushed it up by the window.

“Here. Look. Thought you’d want to know.”

The first red leaf – borrowed from their neighbor – not their own.

They still insist some credit is due for seeing Fall’s reservation sent well in advance.

After a baking July, followed by the wettest August since 1914, September has arrived – with style.

Color, lower humidity, and nightly temps just under 80 F.

We’ll take it.

But realistically, only wishful dreaming of fall…a traditional chilly one like in the picture books or fashion shows.

You haven’t lived until you’ve been a kid in this area spending Halloween sweating like a fountain behind a full face plastic mask with only two eyes and a mouth gap for ventilation on a typical sweltering trick or treat night.

Between heat stroke and sugar overload, kids were usually a wreck the next day.

Ah, but companies learned that lesson and adapted to the regional weather, right? Starbucks spices autumn up with latte specialty drinks either hot of cold. A little Chile Mocha, too.

First red read.

Ready for more

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

(Back on regular posting schedule soon. It’s mild enough to get outside and mostly dry – hope it is there, too. Enjoy the weekend! )

flowers and red leaves on bush. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

Now this is the source of the scarlet better. A bush that not only has showy fall leaves, but also pink blooms most of the winter. And berries “Show off!” complains the spring plant crowd.©


  1. shoreacres / Sep 1 2016 5:48 pm

    What’s that pink-leaved plant at the bottom? I don’t think i’ve seen that before, but it surely is pretty.
    That pumpkin spice latte was trending on Twitter today. Good grief. I do like them, but the temperature’s going to have to drop about 40 degrees before I’ll go for one!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 2 2016 10:43 am

      Several came with the house. (all planted inapprorpriately by “professional landscaper” the previous owner paid far too much money to – in too small a space so they required constant pruning) These 3 were moved and are apparently much happier being allowed to grow big. The new leaves are a pale silvery/tan color then change to dark green. At the end of the stem/branch these brigh pink tubular flowers appear each fall along with scarlet leaves. Birds, squirrels, and butterflies love this bush – I’m still trying to determine exactly what it is. You’ll have to come by and help.
      The whole latte mania is amusing here with the sweltering season still on. Do you remember when Starbuck was pondering entering this market area – wondering if people who were awash in ice tea would be interested in hot coffee year round?
      It’s not chilly (or time for that Chile Mocha) but the mornings are finally tolerable enough I’m back to morning dog walks again….Molly isn’t the only on who’s packed on a pound or two hinernating this summer. RC Cat is also please with the blinds being open and sunny spots in more rooms now. Thanks for poking a plant comment over this way!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sustainabilitea / Sep 1 2016 8:54 pm

    In Cleveland, we rarely worried about it being too warm at Halloween! Usually all the little princesses were either wearing heavy coats or shivering in their slippers! I’m loving the cooler weather and sleeping temperatures.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 2 2016 2:51 pm

      Roasting climates are not good for sleeping. How did we manage as kids without AC in this climate? So much was different then…and Halloween was such a night – without organized the parties except for teenagers (whose parents were trying to keep them from doing Halloween pranks since at that time no one over 5-6th grade woul dbe caught doing kid stuff like trick or treating…not above stealing candy from younger family memebers.)
      We did have a cold Halloween once when I was little – luckily clown costumes cover the heavy sweaters without being seen! Mom loved clown costumes – easy to make and she could pass them down each year and nobody could complain and scream “that’s for girls/boys”. Thanks for clowning around here with a comment


  3. roughseasinthemed / Sep 1 2016 10:57 pm

    Lantana is stinky poo. When I was gardening for someone they had an overgrown straggly one that needed pruning right back. Vile job. Hate the stuff. Cooler here in the mornings. Warm during the days still. Sleepy paw waves from the boy and the girl.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 2 2016 2:45 pm

      Those sticky grabby branches of lantana definitley call for battle gear if it’s left to grow wild and free. Between the thorned bougainvillea covering the fence and the lantana bush in front, few will try to get over the fence in that location. Sad when you have to grow defensive plants.
      Yes, it is cooler and we are back to 3 dog walks per day. (early, late, and even later). My favorite time of year coming. (Need road trip with pup….) Thanks for braving the jugle to leave a comment.


  4. roughwighting / Sep 2 2016 5:15 am

    I feel a sense of dread when I spy the first reddish orange leaf in the neighborhood. Noooooooo! I want to scream. NOT YET. Because here in New England, when the leaves turn (and it is as amazingly beautiful a scene as described – perhaps even more gorgeous than any photo can show) it means my feet start to get cold. Yes, cold feet is what I hate, and in a month, I’ll be back in thick LL Bean socks morning noon and night. Give me your warmth, your sweaty face inside the Halloween mask. Most likely, I’ll be walking the grandkids in the neighborhood on Halloween night wearing scarf, hat, and mittens. Oh, and thick socks.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 2 2016 2:39 pm

      There has to be some middle ground somewhere. Lottery dreams: nice homes with one in a cool spot and one in a warm spot? (My mom used to get cold feet in the mountains. When we camped, we would heat up bricks for the bottom of her sleeping bag – in July! Christmases brought a series of footwarmers and handwarmer inventions)
      Oh, put on double socks and go out and kick leaves when you can…we’ll hand on to our flipflops and kick some sand dunes in your honor!
      Thanks for taking the red warning seriously.


  5. susielindau / Sep 2 2016 7:43 am

    I’m beginning to see the flicker of red too!


  6. easyweimaraner / Sep 2 2016 7:50 am

    I agree wit you for the halloween costumes. I had a boyfriend who wore an Alf costume and he swooned and we spent halloween in ER :o) they cutt of all that fur stuff and then they not even offered him a scrub or such a night gown to drive home… but at least he won first prize that year :o)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 2 2016 2:26 pm

      Alf costumes would qualify for winter artic wear. (Molly Malamute just shrugged and says Humans are such whimps in hot weather.) Thanks for tossing a comment over to decorate the comment basket


  7. Kate Crimmins / Sep 2 2016 7:51 am

    Our biggest Halloween problem here is getting costumes that fit over snowsuits!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 2 2016 1:41 pm

      We’ve heard myths about that. One of the biggest problems for Princesses or ballerinas trick or treating here is worrying over “no smear” make-up that is dripping onto their costumes.
      All those Starbucks special fall lattes sound lovely – as long as the AC is on high!
      Hope any tropical storm bands swirls though quickly and leave some nicer weather for your long weekend holiday

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Robin / Sep 2 2016 9:02 am

    I found my first red leaf yesterday, and I’m also looking forward to some cooler weather (although with Hermine headed this way, it’ll likely feel tropical for a few days).


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 2 2016 1:33 pm

      It seems much too early for red leaves here. Oddly, Hermine is probably responsible for our cooler, less humid weather as the system is sending air current patterns from the N/NE to us. It may not be a big category storm, but what a big bunch of rain and what a path it’s taking. Hope the system moves through eerywhere rapidly. Hang on! Thanks for sending a signalling comment


  9. Paul / Sep 4 2016 2:55 am

    Gorgeous flowers. It has cooled here a lot – to abut 60F this morning but we often get temps over 90F for a week or so in September. The university students were all busy moving back in this week. The energy is great!

    As an aside Phil I did a guest post over at Mark Bialczak’s . I would be honored if you had the time to drop by for read and comment. Thank you.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 4 2016 9:13 am

      One of the nice parts about living near a university is the movement of people and fresh ideas. Better when it’s cool enough in the mornings or late afternoons so you can sit outside and enjoy it. Glad you are back home and able to rejoin the scenery. Thanks for stopping by to let me know you had posted (and what a time…you do take the oddest most difficult “vacations” HA HA…you’ll have to warn staff next time we will hunt them down for news if it takes too long….and you want a new iPod, too.) Cheers for every morning you greet. Appreciate you coloring in a comment to leaf

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Littlesundog / Sep 5 2016 10:32 am

    We are seeing some yellows, golds and reds dotting the path through the woodlands. I love the carpet of color this time of year. Daisy and Rooben (I’ve finally named her buck since I am tired of simply calling him “buck”) must love gracefully walking the woods while grazing. We’ve had enough rain to keep the eats in good condition for the wildlife. It should be a spectacular autumn. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 6 2016 7:44 am

      The best time of the year is arriving – delights of sights and sounds. Wildlife and kids have the right idea during autumn: time to run and jump. (Snow at the northern border? Maybe a cool dive of a front next week? YEA)
      Good name choice – he deserves 2 syllables to match Daisy.
      Hope the land is a bit less jumpy for you this week. Your guests got a more unique experience than they were expecting. (By the way, that email could be copied and plopped into a post – fasinating about the birds! (We’ll be happy to just witness it all from a distance on these mud flats) Thanks for dropping a leafy comment

      Liked by 1 person

      • Littlesundog / Sep 6 2016 1:25 pm

        I will sneak a post in this week if I can. I got good video of Sissy Jo feeding the fawns. That way I can update about them too! Things should be winding down here but I feel just as busy as I have been all summer. I thought of you when I walked down the woodland path last night. We have a golden path for sure now!! BEAUTIFUL!! Leaves rushing down in this wind!

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Carlos / Sep 6 2016 6:22 am

    Your post gave me the chills. With fall coming, that means winter is coming!!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 6 2016 7:34 am

      Welcome back to blogging. Quite a few Halloween commentaries here over the years. Obviously it’s your favorite holiday. Good luck with your new venture. Thanks for stopping by to leaf a comment


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