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September 14, 2022 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The porch smelled like death.

The first cool wind was blowing in from the north, but that’s not what made it chilling.

Once we stepped out the front door, the hair on the back of our necks stood up.

Then that sound  – was that a mournful wail or a shriek of triumph?

Silly woman in garden (screenshot image from Lemmon's Gaardenline)

Ground advice. (image R.Lemmon’s Gardenline)

Jeeze, neighborhood owl, glad you are deliriously happy about your full tummy, but could we ask two things? Please quiet down and maybe try to avoid dropping late night snack leftovers in the flowerbed?

Stinks to high heavens. Something’s dead.

And now I feel really guilty blaming the occasionally visiting possum for that stench.

Come on Hank, let’s walk on quickly while Sir Owl enjoys his early morning reverie. We can hold our breaths just so long…(“What? Yes, we can count your squirrels just to make sure.”)

As the leaves turn, days shorten, and shadows stalk, time to warm up your mental defenses against the spooky times ahead.

Former WP blogger and doctor turned author, Carrie Rubin’s new book, Fatal Rounds, is a slice straight into the season of mystery and terror.  

Overheard: “Stalker? Or is it her imagination…you know about her mother…in the mental institution…and you’ve heard about her…how did she even get into medical school? You’d think being diagnosed with Schizoid personality disorder….”

“Shhh. Careful. There she is. Have you seen her pounding that boxing bag in the gym?”

Well, you can watch the trailer or find out more about the book here. Might be intrigued (I was) by a short prequel bit introducing the main character.  (Free peak: introducing Liza Larkin, here.)

But I gotta do something about that horrendous foul smell coming from somewhere in the front flowerbed….

Or Amazon won’t be delivering anything.

We’ll get that notice: “Your shipment is late…uh…because…we…uh…couldn’t find the house.”

(Will they mention their call to the cops saying, “I’d like to report something suspicious – it smells like something died in there…”?)

I mean, owls are cool and valuable. Only an innocent assumption about them being sloppy eaters. 

Obviously prefer not to be known as the “Let’s meat for happy hour” outdoor patio for owls.

Prepare for landscape defoliation.

Along with lots of soapy water in the pump-up sprayer.

And praying for strong sunlight sanitizing.

(Now where are those leftover masks and gloves?)

Sinking feeling: No stink like an old stink.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Red leaves (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

I don’t know what’s going on, but we’ve got fall color much too early. (© image)

Gold and red leaves. (© image copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Gold and red: spooky as a hungry owl. (© image)


Leave a Comment
  1. easyweimaraner / Sep 14 2022 7:28 am

    oh my we can imagine that smell… a bird of prey dropped something meaty in our walnut tree once… that was uh!oh! too

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Kate Crimmins / Sep 14 2022 7:38 am

    I had a dead mouse rot in the walls of a house. Two weeks of stink before it faded. I ate out a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. disperser / Sep 14 2022 7:57 am

    I had to take a portion of my deck apart at our first house because a raccoon had crawled under the lowest part and decided it was as good a place as any to die.

    We think it had been fighting something the previous night because we heard a ruckus late in the evening, and, hurt, it wanted some shelter. One of the worse cleanup jobs I’ve had (not the worst).

    There’s something about the smell of something dead . . . it’s recognizable even if very faint . . . I always check and make sure it’s not coming from me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Littlesundog / Sep 14 2022 8:08 am

    We always investigate a death smell. One can learn a lot about the “nature” of things by poking around. It seems like in the woods, it’s not long before the cleanup crew of vultures, coyotes and numerous insect arrive and before long, grasses, leaves and earth just swallow up the remains. You’re not so lucky in the city. That stink might hang about for a while. Gads!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ally Bean / Sep 14 2022 8:22 am

    Well ick. Not a fan of decaying anything, but it happens around us too. With a forest behind the house it’s kind of a given. Nice to see Carrie’s face on something. I miss her blog, but like so many bloggers she’s gone onto bigger things. Can’t fault her for that, but still…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie / Sep 14 2022 11:57 am

      Thanks, Ally Bean. I do miss the blogging world, but there were only so many hours in the day. Sigh. But I lurk every now and then… 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  6. SusanR / Sep 14 2022 11:36 am

    Endangered plants, eh? I’ll have to remember that … next time …


  7. Carrie / Sep 14 2022 11:55 am

    Hi Phil. Thank you so much for the book mention! What a nice boost to my day! And you’re very kind to include the book trailer and a link to the prequel scene as well. Sounds like you’ve got Liza down perfectly! A bit unreliable but fiercely protective, she was one of my favorite characters to write.

    Sorry about the stink in your yard though. Ugh. Been there. Now we live in a building in the city, so far fewer of those types of problems. 😄


  8. shoreacres / Sep 14 2022 8:50 pm

    You think you’re getting sympathy from me? Think again, sweetie. Every morning for the past two weeks I’ve begun my day at work by cleaning up the entrails dropped on deck by the osprey that’s decided the top of the mast is the perfect place for a late night snack. Sigh. As least the egrets and herons stick to crabs and shrimp, and have their parties at the end of the docks!

    Now, in news you can use: Randall’s has BlueBell for $4.99 a half-gallon. With a pint of Talenti at $7, I’ll support our Texas favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 14 2022 9:00 pm

      We have room in the freezer!…for ice cream. Appetizers for the osprey is not on the grocery list! What we do for wild life around here. (Hank has decided he’ll save his charging and bouncing strictly for cats and has settle in coexisting with squirrels…as long as they stay on the fence or trees.
      (Fortunately, the porch smell seems to be less intense today. Sun was THE solution for fresh smelling laundry on the line for a long time. Something I miss.)
      Thanks for all the new you can use (Who used to say that?)


  9. The Coastal Crone / Sep 15 2022 4:59 pm

    Hope you find the source of the odor! We once had a dead possum under our deck. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Sep 20 2022 2:45 pm

      Raking out old foliage, soaking the area with soapy water and some rain seems to have helped. Possums smell bada enough when they are alive, whew, a dead one under the deck would be horrendous. Thanks for sloshing a comment this way


  10. Cecilia Mary Gunther / Sep 20 2022 10:29 am

    Yikes – I had better zoom back and cover the mound in some endangered species! Forgot that! Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

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