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April 6, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fan dancers and the broken staged

Dancing Russian woman. Frog Tsarevna. Fabel illustration by Vasnetsov. USPD artist life/reprod of PD work/

Oh finally, recognition. About to dance with joy. (USPD/

Sudden popularity – (OMG, could this mean deemed worthy of the elusive “trendy”?) – always thrilling.

(Inset: awkward shuffling accompanied by embarrassed “Gee-gollies”)

You try and try. Then, once hope’s gone, completely unexpected, that rare nod.

Then visitors – stylish ones – those reclusive elegant elites – like an Award show runway.

It’s just so rewarding.

A well-tended garden staged doesn’t guarantee they will come.

(Should I offer refreshments? A gnat or two? Might appear a little too overly eager…I’ll just step back. Available, but not slobberingly gracious…)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Green lizard on fan palm frond. Ambassador from the famous Emerald City of Oz? (© image copyrighted, no rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Ambassador from the famous Emerald City of Oz? No doubt sent ahead to judge garden suitability. (© image)

Garden Lizard...or advanced scout judging suitability (© image coopyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Something of a fan dancer himself, he’s encouraging his girlfriend hiding on the other side to stop being so shy. A fine tango on a fan palm. What could be a finer on a Spring stage?  (© image)

Bird. Large Yellow-crowned Night Heron perched in branches at dusk (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved No permissions granted)

Even as the sun sets, another. A recluse arrives: an elegant large Yellow-crowned Night Heron perched in crepe myrtle branches.(© image)

Bird in tree at dusk. Yellow-crowned Night Heron evaluating available tree branches. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Oh, my! He’s evaluating available tree branches. Our tree branches are being considered! It’s nesting time. Obviously his proposal was considered decent and accepted. Now the must keep her favor and build that mansion in the sky as he promised. All the male night herons may promise to select only superior branches and construct exquisite nests for their chosen mates, but she picked him! No stolen twigs from lesser bird nests or squirrels for her. Only the freshest and best. He shall not disappoint.(© image)

Bird with stick in beak. Yellow-crowned Night Heron gathering nesting material. (© image copyrighted. all rights reserved. no permissions granted)

His selection made. Now to get it back in one piece for the grand presentation. Careful beak – she’ll notice dents, bends, or cracks that might prove too weak and too dangerous to weave in. It may take days, but he’ll earn the right to be called a proper dad and provider.(© image)

For lovely pictures, their bird calls, and interesting facts:

Houston Audubon’s bird gallery here.

All about birds by Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Yellow-crowned Night Heron here.


  1. Susie Lindau / Apr 6 2022 6:56 am

    I’ve never seen a heron in a tree. Here’s to a little bit of dancing in your day! 😎

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 6 2022 7:01 am

      Later a red-tailed hawk came by in addition the regular Blue Jay….(quietly: remember the movie The Birds? Dance or run? HaHa)
      Thanks for cutting over to chat


  2. shoreacres / Apr 6 2022 7:02 am

    I just realized I’ve yet to see a lizard of any sort this year. I’m glad Mr. Green Genes has graced you with his presence. You’ve also reminded me I’ve yet to get over to that park in League City whose name I can’t even remember now. (Just looked at the city website — I think it must be Heritage Park)
    At least now I know where the yellow-crowned night heron that used to probe for crawfish in the median on SS Blvd has gone; he’s in your trees!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 6 2022 7:31 am

      A lively hawk also came by (lots of humming birds, Blue Jays and some little bird that has a big voice – Birdtopia?)
      Been 10 years since the Big Compton Oak relocation – it’s looking pretty good…interesting how city council and mayor taking credit when it was quite the opposite…
      Thanks for chirping along.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean / Apr 6 2022 7:39 am

    I think of herons on the ground. What’s up with this guy? Striving to be the best, I suppose.

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 10 2022 6:35 pm

      After spending all day posing for tourists, the herons slip back into the neighborhood’s trees…and maybe a shower in the sprinklers. If on the ground they sometimes get annoyed as we walk past with the dog, so they squawk and complain overhead.
      So far none have signed a lease for any of our trees…so how big a housing shortange can there be HAHA
      Thanks for perching a comment here

      Liked by 1 person

  4. disperser / Apr 6 2022 8:34 am

    I imagine it would be egg-citing having a large avian nest on the property (especially a raptor).

    Liked by 2 people

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 10 2022 7:14 pm

      There was one down the street last year – right above the guy’s routine motorcycle parking spot. You’d think all the rev-ing and motor noise/vibration would encourage the bird kids to leave the nest, but no. Maybe they thought it was like one of those old motel coin operated bed massagers?
      They keep the local eagle pairs’ nests on critter cam, but the actual location (not far from here) secret. Nothing like spotting one of the parents fishing or hunting. Raptors are so vary cool
      Thanks for the flighty comment

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anne Mehrling / Apr 6 2022 10:08 am

    I enjoyed your yellow-crowned night heron. I saw a few of those on Long Island, always fun to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 11 2022 1:15 pm

      They are such funny birds – big personalities – and not shy at all if they know you…grumpy if you disturb their stalking dinner…and loud about it. Thanks for flying in


  6. SusanR / Apr 6 2022 10:13 am

    You do have some interesting flora and fauna down there. That lizard looks like the kind I used to buy at the State Fair Midway when I was a kid. I had no idea crepe myrtle, which I love, got that big (always pruned mine way down every year). And I’d never heard of yellow-crowned night herons, only great blues. On the other hand, I have mountains …

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 11 2022 1:25 pm

      There seem to be 3 sizes of crepe myrtles. I grew up with the ones with rough dark brown trunks and watermelon colored flowers. These came with the house – as they get older they shed bark strands like birch bark and have smooth silvery sculptural trunks. and white flowers. Sometimes they fall and it looks like a snow storm. Pretty, but one neighbor hates it as he just got a pool last year and didn’t realize the work keeping it clean. He gets really upset about the trees and wants them removed. Seriously dude. Some cut the branches down each year, but these now tree-size shade most of our backyard and house which really makes it a whole bunch cooler in the summer – and then provide some rare red/orange fall color before kindly losing leaves in winter providing nice sun to sit in.
      The lizards seem to have gotten the word that it’s all organic here and there’s lots of activity/lunch. Despite the hard freeze, we still have multiple varieties(and sometimes they fight. Who needs TV?) – these green ones are such an emerald green. Spring should be heading your way – we’re close to summer, so trying to get yard shaped up because it’ll be time to retreat inside shortly until Halloween!
      Thanks for flying by


  7. sustainabilitea / Apr 6 2022 7:37 pm

    You’ll have fun watching as the little herons are born. We won’t have anything like that with the size of the several trees in our yard (small!) but we do have a lizard or two out and about now that it’s warmer. Just saw one this afternoon as a matter of fact. They’re fun to watch.


    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 11 2022 1:29 pm

      Apparently our yard it simply the bird equivalent to Lowe’s Building Supply – all sorts of critters are dropping in and picking up what they need to build. I think this one’s nest is aa block over as I’ve seen him grab lumber and swoop off in the same direction multiple times. As messy as those teenagers are, I’ll just as happy to walk over and watch them in someone else’s yard like we did lat year. They are pretty funny when almost but not quite ready to fly…lot of branch walking and flapping.
      Real life is pretty entertaining.
      Thanks for perching a comment here.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. easyweimaraner / Apr 7 2022 1:50 am

    we had to look twice to see the green guy… that is perfection… in blending in…

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 11 2022 2:49 pm

      Sometimes it’s best to blend in and not be noticed….like when the last cookie has disappeared off the plate….
      Thanks for looking for the hidden


  9. Kate Crimmins / Apr 7 2022 7:19 am

    Awww, you may be landlords! We had a nest next to our screened porch for a few years. Always eggs but they never hatched. The birds would sit on them for like two weeks, then leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Apr 11 2022 2:54 pm

      We maybe just be the closets Bird Home Depot for building materials. He carefully makes a timber selection then flies like crazy between the houses behind us to a tree a block away. May be just was well, lat year there was a nest right over a friend’s motorcycle parking spot….and the teenage birds were either very bored and daring each other to take large practice – or they were very very messy kids. 😮
      We’ll be happy to just provide nest sticks…although “our” squirrel is not very happy with the construction material supply competition – gets pretty noisy during their face-offs.
      Hope any spring mice are partying far and away from your place…caaats can find other amusement!
      Thanks for branching out with a comment

      Liked by 1 person


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