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January 31, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Spring Break Preview

Eat your heart out, ones being held hostage by the Polar Vortex. Seriously. That sounds like something out of Harry Potter. P.V. no doubt resides in some lush elevated estate surrounded by his chill of White Walkers.

Waterfall and hill at McGovern Centennial Gardens. Houston, TX (© image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted )

Waterfall and hill at McGovern Centennial Gardens. Houston, TX Jan.2019(© image)

Not like the villain hasn’t made forays here. Those plant browning fists. Just shorter duration. These pictures from a week ago when everyone traded wool socks for flip-flops. If it makes you feel any better, today is overcast 54°F (12°C) with fog and showers…and probably will stay that way for days. I know whining about nothing.

T-Rex pictured here in April, 2018, says dogs whine only about important things:  like the toy is out of reach under the couch. (There’s bound to be a metaphor for human life there, but…)

 However, he is hoping you will stretch a bit and click over to vote and give him the honor he deserves he deserves. He’s a bit shy about asking being the stoic type…you know, the 3-legged thing…forced career path change….Oh, what? It is not a pity party. He’s realistic about what it takes to win. (Post with his story here.)

Rule of Dog: “Work hard. Play Hard. And kill the tennis ball.” (HPD K9 officer T-Rex in April, 2018/ T-Rex Twitter feed)

Guess those NFL Super Bowl Fans in Atlanta are wishing for a return to the semi-tropics for the event. We generally are lucky here with winters mild by comparison and mostly over right after Valentines. So much grey and dreary punctuated by sunny warm days between fronts.

So a change as little tour of parts of Herman Park which sits between old downtown and the medical center complex.

Water feature at Houston Park. The McGovern Centennial Gardens. (© image. All rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted )

Fountains of The McGovern Centennial Gardens. Looking west here with the round building on the right being Park Plaza Hospital – the very edge of the Med Center. Directly behind the man-made hill…yes, we have to create hills so kids here know what they are – is the wonder filled Museum of Natural Science. No, you cannot swim in the fountains…maybe T-Rex is allowed and the HPD patrol horses. The green is pretty crowded on weekends and sunny days. Great for kids, dogs, bubble wands and musicians. They do story time for kids with a gardening or nature activity afterwards.(© image)

Path along the green from pavilion and fountains to hill. at McGovern Centennial Park (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Walkway along the green. Yep, it’s designed to look like an Aztec monument. A favorite spot for locals meet and wind up the spiral path to watch the sun set in the west.(© image)

designed to be really loud, the waterfall helps to create a sense of solitude and an oasis in the city ( image: all rights reserved, copyrighted, NO permissions granted)

Designed to be really loud, the waterfall helps to create a sense of solitude and an oasis in the city. Lots of people linger on the bridges just for that reason. Soothing even on a hot summer’s day.(© image)

Dog eating Ice cream! Doggone it, the pavilion has snacks. So do the food trucks, but duty allows a chill, but maybe not tacos.. (Belgium Malinois HPD K9 T-Rex. Birthday ice cream is the best (Image T-Rex Twitter feed)

“Ice cream! Doggone it, The park pavilion has snacks. So do the food trucks, but duty allows a chill, but maybe not tacos… will you’re chillin’ you could click over and vote for me…that would be sweet” (HPD K9 T-Rex’s Birthday ice cream. Image: T-Rex Twitter feed)

Aerial view of one corner of Herman Park. (Houston Parks image)

Aerial view of this small corner of Herman Park. The little brown structure at the top is Miller Outdoor Theatre where all sorts of free shows are performed. You can go by the day of the performance and get free tickets to sit in seats under the roof or bring kids, dogs, coolers, and blankets and sit on the curved hill. Yes, we built another hill. It’s used for running up and down, rolling down or using cardboard to slide down. Built a long time ago. More explanation about the McGovern Centennial Gardens – and all the specialized garden areas Arid Garden, the Rose Garden, the Celebration Garden, and the Woodland Garden, the Pavilion (designed by the Apple stores’ architect), and an educational Family Garden, which produces seasonal vegetables, herbs and fruit trees, check out the map here or the park’s information page here. It’s on Trip Advisor! (Houston Park. image)

Now, don’t you feel better just looking at a sunny day? (and of course that cutie HPD K9….hint hint….)

Ok, returning control back to the snow show (and it’s raining now…sigh)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Friendship Pavilion given by Houston's sister city Taipei in 1976 and refurbished by Houston-Taipei Society in 1995 (image from Houston Parks)

Friendship Pavilion given by Houston’s sister city Taipei in 1976 and refurbished by Houston-Taipei Society in 1995. (image from Houston Parks)


  1. easyweimaraner / Jan 31 2019 11:29 am

    I feel better with some photos of the warm season… we have siberian temperatures, to become a bear and to sleep till spring looks like a good option…


  2. Anne Mehrling / Jan 31 2019 3:12 pm

    I love the idea of that loud waterfall.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2019 7:19 pm

      It’s always a surprise how loud it is – but it’s like a giant curtain over the area – so you can forget all the daily noises and just enjoy the sights and sounds of the park.


  3. Curt Mekemson / Jan 31 2019 5:30 pm

    Okay, I went and voted for T Rex. He sounds like one heck of a dog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sustainabilitea / Jan 31 2019 6:52 pm

    Ha! Harry’s little magic wand would be frozen solid here and thermal cloaks would have to be the order of the day (or Order of the Day.) We’re thawing about a bit tomorrow, although we’ll still be below freezing. This weekend, the heat and flooding will arrive. Never a dull moment in the Midwest. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2019 7:09 pm

      I saw one poor family’s front door leaked air so badly they had snow and ice inside on 3 door sides.
      Now that’s roughing it without wanting to – a worry the power/heat will not stay on.
      Hang on to that thermal cloak – as you say, never a dull moment. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

      • sustainabilitea / Jan 31 2019 7:15 pm

        Fortunately, our furnace is working away. It will be relieved when those 20’s arrive. It would be horrible to lose power right now. The poor and the homeless are certainly at risk in this sort of weather.

        Liked by 1 person

        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 31 2019 7:23 pm

          Hopefully those mavericks will have enough sense to come out of the cold – and shelters have a place for their companion animals too.
          We’ve insisted/added on a fireplace for the last 3 houses – only thing that kept us warm one winter in the mid ’80’s. when temps were in the teens for over 10 days – houses here not built for that. That firewood we cut on the ranch that fall, that lovely lodge style fireplace and our camping sleeping bags by the “fire”.
          Hang in there

          Liked by 1 person

  5. LordBeariOfBow / Feb 9 2019 7:56 pm

    That’s a very pleasant park; I went to Google Earth and had a bit of a wander, Couldn’t get close enough to see who was on that horse Thought perhaps Big Sam Houston ,

    I asked the lady standing close by and she said she had no idea she was lost too and she was looking for her dog, I asked if her name was Phil she thought I’d gone bonkers

    It’s seems a very pleasant peaceful sort of park, but then they probably took their shots of it early Sunday morning.

    T-Rex missed out which is a shame, he’s a great dog. Then again they all are.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2019 6:23 pm

      That’s a very old park, but over the past few years the city discovered the original architect’s plans and they have done a great deal of work revitalizing the entire park to its’ historic plans. It also features the zoo (which is not supported by the city, but by citizens/donations…fortunately very active volunteer groups and some wealthy patrons.It’s mostly a “habitat” zoo with open areas of multiple species in each “region”. Much nicer than old zoos. Also a big partner in saving/breeding endangered species)
      The horseman is Sam Houston pointing to San Jacinto where the final decisive battle for Independence from Mexico. Sam is riding a small horse because people preferred the hardy wild mustangs. To the north of Sam (past the fountains and traffic circle) is the Museum of Fine Arts complex with the Museum of Natural Science across the street to the East. That’s the beginning of the museum district…we have lots and all sorts. Across the boulevard with the old oaks to the west is Rice University. To the south is the massive Medical Center with multiple hospitals (I always thought it was nice the patients of Herman Hospital could look out their windows and see into the zoo and also the park’s children’s area with sculptures and playground. There used to be stables where you could rent horses and ride along park trails, but those closed. A bit sad. East of the zoo is a city golf course that is now getting a big makeover in preparation for some giant important golf tournament which had been playing on courses outside of Houston. About time they focused on that part of the park. It’s a well used park with places and attractions for everyone (Sundays are a mad house there -easier to bike in than find a parking spot. People cook out and picnic or even fish in the lake …it’s kept stock and the Parks and Wild Life dept likes to introduce kids to fishing there). You can always rid the train that circles through. We hope to get back down there with Molly to walk around before it get hot…but it’s have to stop raining first.
      T-Rex knows he’s a winner anyway. At least he made a good showing! I guess I should have reminded people to vote more often, but the I see him working events I’ll tell him you said “hello”
      Thanks for visiting these grounds (sorry for the lengthy response – but you’d enjoy this park, too)

      Liked by 1 person

      • LordBeariOfBow / Feb 11 2019 10:22 pm

        I loved the lengthy response, how else will I know whats is what there? I really would enjoy that park; probably get stuck on the train going around and around though. I’m a big kid when it comes to trains and parks 😛
        T-Rex is probably happier now that he’s enjoying his retirement. There was talk by our vet sometime back that my Coco might lose a leg, and the Vet says that they cope very well and get used to it much quicker than the dogs people do. Fortunately he still has the 4


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 12 2019 8:15 am

          A friend’s dog, Duncan, around the corner lost a leg after being attacked by pit bulls. He was a bit traumatized about other dogs at first but now he’s up and running and romps frequently with much larger Molly.Dogs don’t fret so much about life – they just get up each day and seem to go “Well, this is it today, so let’s go.”
          I haven’t posted pix of T-Rex in the arms of his handler’s little daughter as I don’t think kid’s pictures should be on line, but he certainly looks pleased as punch (Does any one use that phrase any more or know what it means?) Just glad he made a good showing in the contest.
          Paw waves to Coco! Maybe sun today and if so, we’re off to play with dog friends in the (muddy) field.


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