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February 21, 2019 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Twins under the sod

They are much alike – despite the long distance relationship.

Both well aged. The feeling of isolation and melancholy that cloaks them created by vast skies and local color. Desolate to some; simply a challenge won to others.

This time of year, Pine Gully always seems so close to Wyeth’s painting of Christina’s World.

weathered tree at Pine Gully Trail (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Weathered Christina of Pine Gully. (© image)

Pine Gully is a local trail among marshes and wetlands towards Galveston Bay.

Walking the loud crunchy gravel path, you can actually feel like you are far from the chaos of city and traffic.

Wild life enjoy the refuge. Right now it’s good time to go between rain storms as spring green is already starting – much to the joy of the wild brown bunnies and deer that live in the thick brush.

Not really warm enough yet to energize the gators looking for a date…uh, I guess that would be date as a snack as well as one night stand relationship.

There were a few hours of sun. This trail is almost always dry, and Molly Malamute said we all needed to get outside while we could.

Winter colors of Pine Gully's side trail (© image: copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Winter colors of Pine Gully’s side trail. The bare tree branches waved and looked happy to see some visitors.(© image)

The trail is maintained and wide on either side for a reason. To the left is a lovely brushy slope down to a side waterway just perfect for gator snoozing. Why does the gator cross the road? To get over to the wild area on the right with tall trees and heavy underbrush favored by deer and other creatures.

Marsh looking towards Galveston Bay. Pine Gully Trail in winter, 2019 (© image All rights reserved. no permissions granted)

See? There’s even a big old grey house like in the painting. Marsh looking towards Galveston Bay.(© image)

Marsh grasses of Pine Gully. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted )

Marsh grasses nervously blocking entrance to the recovering habitat. (© image)

March with palm. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserved, No permissions granted)

Native palm and the hurricane stripped trunk guard this area’s ancient stories and archeological history.(© image)

Wood walkway through Pine Gully Marsh. ( all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Just to the left of this elevated walkway is a very old cemetery with some lovely angel sculptures. Despite the passage of time and storms, it exists and is well maintained.(© image)

Tall cane plants of Pine Gully. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

It’s just like a horror movie. (© image)

Towering cane plants – 10-12 feet high – crowd both sides of the trail just it opens up to the bay.  You can’t see around the bends. It’s shady with the light blocked by the walls of foliage. Oddly, the wind always comes up making the plants shake, rustle and seem to lean towards you threateningly. Note the clouds gathering…

Or maybe it’s just like tall, heavy velvet curtains lining the hallway entrance of a grand stage.

All depends on which walk you envision.

Art of the eye of the beholder

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Flowers. Texas Stars wildflowers , Pine Gully, 2019 (© image all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Texas Stars wildflowers are early bloomers. Add a bunny sitting among them, and you’d think you’d found Spring.(© image)

Wild flowers Texas Star blooms along Pine Gully. (© image all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permission granted)

Maybe these blooms are ready to greet Mardi Gras.(© image)



  1. Kate Crimmins / Feb 21 2019 11:53 am

    Flowers are gorgeous. Not wild about encounters with alligators. I may look like lunch.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2019 4:02 pm

      We were surprised at how bright and bold the early wild flowers already were. With the happy bunnies in the middle , it was like a preview of a giant Easter basket.
      Right now the gators are still saying see ya’ later – which is fine with us. Thanks for skipping along

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sustainabilitea / Feb 21 2019 11:58 am

    Looks like a great place to walk, other than alligator encounters of the bad kind. 🙂



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2019 4:03 pm

      It’s pretty early for gators, but looking at all the lantana, onion flowers, TX Stars, and emerald tree foliage, Spring may be about ready to debut….hope this weather will count as Spring showers – enough already! Thanks for hiking along

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres / Feb 21 2019 1:07 pm

    Lovely — and an apt comparison with Christina’s world, I tried accessing the pdf trail map Seabrook puts out, but it froze my computer hard as an ice block. Can you access the paths down there on Todville just before you’d turn to go to Maas Nursery? I think I remember a parking area on the other side of the road not far away. Those little pink gems are oxalis, by the way. There are both pink and yellow, and for years I kept confusing the yellow ones with buttercups. At least I have that straightened out.

    This weather is driving me crazy. So, I decided to come over to Mac Haik and get my 90K service done. It’s about a two hour commitment, but what else am I going to do? Go out and walk in the rain? (Grumpgrumpgrump)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2019 3:55 pm

      It’s the bleak colors, grasses and sky that always reminds me of that painting. Just before you go over the bridge on Todville, there’s 2 parking spaces on the west side of the road. There’s 6-8 parking spaces by the little gazebo area /Robinson Park (I think that’s the actual name) just before the parking at the bridge. Both are listed on the Bird Watching Trail. Sometimes we park down by the tennis courts a block past the field that’s across from the gazebo – there’s a crushed gravel path you can take to Pine Gully – it also goes back the other way to anther little hidden park area (usually shady and often damp). There’s more parking down that street perpendicular to Toddville (between gazebo and field) but the gate area is difficult to spot, it’s rather isolated, tends to be muddy (goo place to spot deer, though) – but it does connect to the far end of the trail away from the bay. They keep expanding the trail and if it ever stops raining…. Even so, the trail is remarkably dry and well used after school and on weekends. (We saw some sailboarders probably out of Houston Yacht Club on the bay. No dogs allow don the fishing pier…which is fine with Molly). We do need plan a hike, but this weather is so grim.
      Waaaaaah with all this drizzle and cold. It’s so bad the dog runs when she sees me coming with the leash…which I need to do again now.
      As kids we always loved those little pink stars – we always knew it was time for rodeo – and TX Independence Day when the pinks showed up on the playground.
      Thanks for day dreaming of sunny weather, too!


  4. Anne Mehrling / Feb 21 2019 2:42 pm

    Loved your words and photos.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2019 3:57 pm

      Glad you enjoyed one of our favorite spots – especially when most are in school or busy at other places. Thanks for wandering along

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean / Feb 21 2019 3:30 pm

    Pine Gully looks relaxed and carefree. Not at all like the chaos of daily life. Nice place to walk, I’d say.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2019 5:06 pm

      This trail is about 15 min. from the house, but when you are there the natural setting is so dense, it somehow blocks all the human noise and you feel worlds away. (unless it’s the weekend – well, loved is an understatement.) Good to have a spot to escape to. Thanks for wandering this way

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Spinster / Feb 21 2019 5:26 pm

    Looks so nice & serene. Could definitely use this right about now. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 21 2019 5:33 pm

      We had 3 hours of sun on Presidents’ Day – and we ran outside while we could – been grim ever since with sea fog or cold drizzle all day today. We are going to end up with webbed toes! Thanks for sloshing one this way to chat

      Liked by 1 person

  7. LordBeariOfBow / Feb 21 2019 6:47 pm

    It must be nice to throw off the winter and welcome the spring, as you obviously do; that’s one thing we don’t have, our seasons just kind of drift in and out imperceptibly, one might say it;s quite boring, one might 😦


  8. angelswhisper2011 / Feb 22 2019 1:51 am

    Looks like you and Mollie had a wonderful walkie talkie 😀 The weather is changing drastic, we already have flowers too, just saw it yesterday and this weekend we’re having an early Summer, maybe only for the weekend, but still😺Lovely pictures ❤ Pawkisses for a Happy Weekend🐾😽💞


  9. dogear6 / Feb 22 2019 9:11 am

    I love how you captured the beginning of spring, both with your writing and your pictures. Both were a great start to the day!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 25 2019 5:18 pm

      Oh, we are ricocheted back to cold rainy winter today – we’re like kids that run out at the first snow flake – only it’s with sun! But the flowers are confident Spring is coming. Thanks for wandering this trail

      Liked by 1 person

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