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September 18, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The eyes have it.

two owl butterflies (ALL rights reserved) create an owl-ish face. NO permissions granted. Copy righted

Rainforest humor or were they paid to pose?©

Jeepers creepers, where’d ya get those peepers?

Owl would like to know. And some Amazon lizards are considering copyright infringement.

Rumor is that bats are willing to overlook butterfly mimicking of their flight patterns if there’s an agreement to share the rotten fruit dinners at dusk.

Light heartedly flirty in so many flighty ways, these beauties don’t give a hoot.

owl butterfly (No permissions granted) on a branch ALL rights reserved. Copy righted

Owl wing markings cause controversy. Some insist the eye pattern is an example of species evolving for survival. Some point to the colors and wing shape resembling a particular lizard’s head. Recently, some entomologists decided the designs and colors simply provide camouflage in the foliage or confuse predators as to where the actual body is allowing the slow flying butterfly time to escape.  Better to lose part of a wing than life. ©

Born for center stage with wingspans of five to almost seven inches, owl butterflies create quite a memorable sight.

Currently more than 1,000 representatives of tawny owl butterflies and the forest giant owl butterflies performing ballets in the rainforest setting at the HMNS.

The exotic performers arrived well rested in luxurious accommodations from Central America. Obviously pleased with the airline’s comfortable pod compartments. Perfect for those sleeping beauty types.

(ALL rights reserved) two owl butterflies (NO permissions granted) on branch. Copy righted.

Who’s looking at you? Naturally odd.©

Always the amused acrobats, the owl butterflies happily land on heads.

Especially delighted with any small child wearing a purple headband sporting a flower. A living Micky Mouse-eared hat.

Whispering, no doubt, into tiny ears, “Come fly with me.”

Owl butterflies (NO permissions granted) on little girl's head. ALL rights reserved. Copy righted

This little one was thrilled. Her little sister was almost in tears at being overlooked by the performers. Big sis took off the headband, placed it properly on her little sister’s head, and tried to tell her to stand still. The butterflies were discussing another landing as we left.©

Simple joy.

Soaring fuzzy thoughts

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

1938. Ethel Waters was the first to record “Jeepers Creepers”. Sing along with her here. (Lyrics included, bound to make you smile.)

Three owl butterflies in the (NO permissions granted) HMNS rainforest. ALL rights reserved. Copy righted

Social butterflies waiting for their cues.©

ALL rights reserved. A bunch of zebra marked butterflies (ALL rights reserved) hanging on a branch (Copy righted)

Since the owl markings were taken, this butterfly group chose zebra markings. They provide swooping performances during the day and were settling in for the night on this hanging branch.©

And a few picture of the butterfly habitat of the HMNS Cockrell Butterfly Center.

(There is no truth to the rumors that a comparable tropical rain forest is being suggested as the next home improvement project.)

Cockrell Butterfly Center (ALL rights reserved, copyrighted image) HMNS.NO permissions granted.

Walking into the three-story glass butterfly habitat at mid level.©

No permissions granted for this image of Waterfall (ALL rights reserved) of the butterfly center. (Copyrighted.)

Visitor in the top level cave behind the 50 foot waterfall.©

View out the bottom cave of the

Last look from the lower cave of the Cockrell Butterfly Center. Staff checks each exiting visitor for hitchhiking butterflies.©

September 16, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Leaps and bounds to where

California Nappa Valley. ALL rights reserved. Copy righted. No permissions granted

And one giant leap for bunny kinda.  ©

“Eh, what’s up Doc?”

Over there is a hare.

(Hoping this one’s only human-crafted and not a hair-brained warning by the Animal Kingdom of territory infringement. You’ve heard about Bunnicula, right? Beware of the bunny underground.)

A leap bound to keep you hoppy while I go play with owls. (Flighty kind, not the ones perched in late night bars.)

Speaking of bouncing from there to hare….

The Wild Hare by Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons in 1940.

Lucky, it was only the opening laughs for hoppy audiences.

  • Bugs Bunny was still unnamed in this one.
  • Opening lines by Elmer Fudd and Bugs soon became classics.
  • Discover those lines and the first Bugs Bunny cartoon’s plot here.
  • Puns about “hair” and “hare” ran wild in later Bugs Bunny titles and scripts.

What’s left to say, but “hare today and goon tomorrow”?

(Owl, see you later.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

More funny bunny babble:

Love veggies? Perhaps  a taste of a Bunnicula video or maybe chew on a couple of the Bunnicula book series?

Curious about the big bunny at top? “Pulled a huge bunny out of their hat for CA winery.”

Napa Valley scene. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Not hare less. ©





September 14, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Scribbles. The art of practice.

shadows from ornate(NO permissions granted) bridge railing. ALL Rights Reserved. Copyrighted

Lines from here to there. Only a starting point. ©

Like a child with a new box of crayons, Sun was practicing her cursive on the sidewalk.

Each morning, the same. Practice makes perfect.

Mother watched thinking, “Art will be her favorite class. And I’ll need a bigger refrigerator.”

Maybe that’s why the sky is so wide and the seas seemingly endless. For reflection.

Mothers will do anything for their kids.

Lined up and ready for shine,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Shadows (ALL rights reserved) on sidewalk from wrought iron rail on bridge. NO permissions granted. Copy righted

Art by street. Inspiration for any Mondrian or playful mine.©


September 13, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Helicopter parenting and politics

Everyone around rolls their eyes when they get out of the car: helicopter parents and the poor child stuck with them.

Far too much help.

Too quick to intervene and intercept any perceived threat to their accessory offspring’s emotional state, physical being, or the family group’s image.

One cannot stand by while others damage the group image, right? What is thought of one, is thought of the whole, right?

Helicoptering is a behavior pattern now landing into other arenas of life.

small girl with pets ((1874.Edith Emmerson. (USPD.reprod of PD art, artist life/

OK. This urchin could use a little help. (1874.USPD/

Currently smothering politics.

Oh, that Trump and his blurted quips.

Oh, the outrage by those quick to rush in wag the Finger of Shame in defense.

Especially for targeted Carly Fiorina.

Seriously Hillary Clinton, celebrities of “The View”, and other high-profile mouths, what is the actual motivation for your helicoptering outrage?

vintage 1900 girl and doll. Foster Milburn and CO/:Miami U lib./, pub date/

Do they think Carly is a helpless bit of fluff? (1900/USPD/

Carly’s not exactly a shy shrinking violet.

Unlike many of the “defenders”, she made her own way in the business world – in male dominated arenas.

No famous husband going out in her behalf seeking favors or running interference. No agents or body guards holding off  clingers or taking the heat for her during her career.

Nope. She’s stood up and made it on her own.

You are all strong women? So? Why do you think she needs you to speak for her?

Couldn’t possibly be motivated to draw attention to yourselves and your own agendas, could it? No, of course not.

I have no doubt Carly’s dealt with strong male personalities in the past, and is perfectly capable of doing it again.

And I’d like to see her do just that.

No shrill chorus requested or required.

Joan of Arc in armour holding sword.(created 1450-1500?) Archives nationales/USPD: reprod of PD art, artist life/

Any woman in business masters the swordplay of words and wit.(USPD/

In the battle for position, the presidential candidates now must stand up and show what they’ve got.

Mother hens or motormouths creating distractions or trying to grab the spotlight not needed.

Time to find out how the cow ate the cabbage.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

As entertaining as new Fall TV shows? 

Woman looking at music sheet by piano( 1912 fashion plate. Brissand ill. Cheruit reception dress/USPD:

“What? This is the arrangement? Dude, I’ll sing the song the way I want to sing the song. You follow MY lead and try to keep up.” (1912Brissand/








September 11, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Start now for Christmas

Been down this road before, so planned carefully. Still hopeful. I know, Fool’s Paradise.

Any home project is a bit like trying to drive a car with water in the fuel tank. (Never had that experience? Lucky child.) It’s stop and go. And go and, suddenly, no go – normally at the worst possible moment.

Vintage picture of woman in darkness. 1915. Cecile Arnold. Film. L'escapade de Julot/

Oh, look. A white knight arriving in a pickup truck. (1915.USPD/

Remodeling experiences mimics those old black and white horror movies where the helpless blond’s car stalls on a dark desolate road…then there’s headlights…and you can tell by the eyes in the rear view mirror of the approaching car that it’s not going to be a happy rescue. (Scream all you want at the screen, but the woman never notices and smiles as the dark vehicle stops…)

In the past, we would have done all this ourselves.

It’s not hard, but after doing massive DIY redo’s of multiple houses, we just don’t want to.

We want to hand people money – probably more than it’s worth – and let them do it.

(Have I told you about fun of using nail guns in close proximity to hands while on ladders? The thrill of putting in steel beams to support a sagging second floor? Stepping through the new kitchen ceiling from the attic? No, sadly, not I Love Lucy episodes.)

Stunned woman. (1951. Joan Caulfiled. The Lady says No. Film by Frank Ross/

What? It looked so easy on those TV home shows. (1951/USPD/

You’d think it would be easy. I mean, other than convincing Molly and RC to relocate at times or go into suspended animation if needed.

The good news is this area is building like crazy. The bad news is that means extreme competition for good workers.

The guy you finally locate, the experienced head guy, checks out great.

You’re thrilled he’ll take the job.

But then who shows up?

“Weeell, I’ve been sew beezy and huv gotten some big jobs all of a suddin…” (Thanks for letting us know after long periods of silence.)

Surly sons, relatives learning the trade, some guy someone knew who “could probably do it”, or subcontractors. That’s who the job is passed along to.

Usually Daryl, Daryl and Daryl show up – late. (You know those guys, right?)

Yep. Pretty much the three guys that showed up to do the electrical.

Showed up at 3pm instead of 10 am. Sat in the car eating lunch for 20 min or so. Announced they had to leave at 4:30 as Dad wanted their time sheets. After watching a few fumbles and near misses, we just paid them and said we’d finish up. And we did, some of it. (Funny how you can learn to ignore stuff like wires and hanging switches…)

Today, the floor guys showed up.

Yesterday as scheduled would have been better or this morning before the big storms moved in. Then the windows could have been opened and the saw could have been set up outside, so the saw dust wouldn’t set off the smoke alarms and Molly wouldn’t have panicked and gone over the treadmill trying to escape through the window. The window that was closed, but she looked pretty determined.  She’s got that exit strategy concept down.

Yes, I can still tackle a fast-moving dog. Calming one while the batteries and smoke alarm connections are jerked out is a bit more difficult.

These guys seem businesslike and competent. So so far so good.We’ll probably have them back to do more work once that wood arrives.

Horrified man.(1951. David Niven in The Lady Says No. Film by Frank Ross/

Are kidding? How could the AC have seen them? We were careful to slip the floor guys in and out through the garage.(1951.USPD/

Tomorrow the new AC unit. Totally unplanned.

You know how if one kid in a family gets a lot of attention or new clothes, another one will act up until he gets some, too?

Yeah, it’s like that with houses, too.

We know from experience.

Experienced enough to allow plenty of time to get things done.

Christmas? Not far away on home repair timetables.

Hope to get it all wrapped up.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

(It’s Chinese take-out tonight…and 70% chance of big storms tomorrow)

Just for laughs. (No, it is so not hysteria)

Couple in front of a Christmas tree. (It's a Wonderful Life. RKO Radio Pictures/USPD: pub,date,

Yes, my dear, they promise it will all be done by Christmas – next Christmas. (RKO Radio Pictures/USPD/






September 9, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

No frogs for breakfast

Hop and let hop. (Should that be lettered differently? Never much good at spelling things out.)

The frogs and everything else are erratically leaping like urgent assignment slips were handed out.

1913. Toad standing. Dwelling chiefly on his own cleverness, and presence of mind in emergencies. Paul Bransom/

“Horrors! All those misguided hours of aerobic swimming, only to come to this.” (1913″Dwelling chiefly on his own cleverness, and presence of mind in emergencies.”USPD/

It’s Fall’s fault. There’s a lot of that going around this time of year: Falling. (Not failing to notice that.)

Is it any wonder that football is the sport of fall? All that running, and grabbing, and knocking people down.

Fits for fall.

Hot footed ones leap around under giant fence posts while the playing field is littered with the fallen.

Hyper-energized people on stepped ramps yell with abandon. (With next day complaints of a frog in the throat.)

Some say it’s all beer driven, and by most accounts, pre-parties more a possibility than kissing a mind-altering poisonous frog.

Over-heated response. Not to mention an occasional wind fall. Or being tripped up by a stormy attitude. 

All totally ignored out of politeness. (Probably a downfall.)

Mass bizarre behavior tolerated with people, weather, and seasons all in transition.

Princess talking with frog in fountain. ( 1874. The Frog Prince.Walter

“My dear Molly, with a leg up on commonsense, I must insist that breakfast be served without me.”(Crane/USPD/

Changes expected, but that still doesn’t mean frogs for breakfast. 

No lizards, either. Those little toes and limp tails dangling tend to be disturbing so early.

It doesn’t matter you worked up an appetite barking at the helicopters overhead with the active shooter and hostage stand-off at the Walgreen’s just around the corner

Frogs are not breakfast.

No, it wasn’t an honest mistake.

Hop that’s clear,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Frog on his back illustration from.WInd in the WIllows.1913:Paul Bransom/

“Oh, please. Don’t push your luck. Hop on off under the fence while the dog’s distracted.(1913/Bransom/USPD/

A bit of Fall’s frivolity and frailties:

  • Epic Fall fair food. Finalists for 2015 Texas State Fair Food Awards include Fried lobster with Champaign gravy and Deep fried alligator egg-nest. The Big Tex Choice Award Winners here.
  • Don’t fall for it. Epic bad judgement. “Texas high school football players targeted and blindsided referee from behind” (CNN)
  • Another epic Fall fail. Attempted to steal ATM, but couldn’t. Then, their stolen GMC truck got stuck in mud, and their black get away car couldn’t pull it out, so they finally left.
  • Epic stormy Fall weather. 115th Anniversary of the Great 1900 Storm. (video of devastation by an assistant of Thomas Edison). Deadliest hurricane in US history.
  • We are attempting once again to have contractors actually show up this time to do the work on the house they said they would do. So please excuse if MIA for a bit. (and if these guys don’t come through, well, about ready to call up a plague of frogs on them. Molly is doing interviews of potentially interested hopping mad ones…)
braid frog closure. (

This frog is little bit of closure. (rayon braid/





September 7, 2015 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Sourcing happiness

(Now pay attention. Expect a grilling at the end.)

A long weekend and a place to go. Now that’s happy.

True happiness is knowing exactly where the treats are located once there.

The German gazing longingly at the treat jar on the counter. ALL rights reserved. COPYRIGHTED. NO permissions granted

So close yet so far. Never has that phrase had more meaning. ©

Being with friends creates happy.

Total happiness is hanging out with those you have a good time with even if nobody says a word.

The German and The Molly hanging out on the couches. ALL rights reserved. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

When choosing between a sock and a hard place, remember naps go better with couch.©

Is there anything happier than seeing smiling faces of the locals?

Fanciful happiness shown by this delightful couple.

She with her fancy frilly dress and he suited up in his fine formal stripes.

All rights reserved for this sunset seen through ornate iron fence. NO permissions granted. Copyrighted

“Cheerio.” What else would they be saying?©

Sunset seen through ornate iron fence. ALL rights reserved Copyrighted.

Facing the marina and charter boats, the pair seem prepared for a sunset party. ©

Sunset seen through elaborate ornate iron fence. ALL rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted.

Ready for a line dance. Barring? None.©

That should be worth a smile or two.

Good source of happiness.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Happiness is a warm puppy!

(You knew that had to be in there somewhere.)

From the UK Sunday Telegraph (shortly after Robin Williams’ death)

“’Happiness,’ Peanuts reminds us, ‘is a warm puppy.’ And when life gets overwhelming – when there are wars overseas, racism at home and personal tragedies that just tear your heart out – hugging a puppy can be the only thing that makes sense. In an ideal world, canine cuddles would be available on the NHS. And the philosophy of Peanuts taught in every school.Read the rest here.

Hope your weekend/long holiday weekend had plenty of grins.

If you are a smile or two short of happiness, read a few quotes from author Charles M. Schulz who created Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts gang.

Or grab a gaggle of giggles from quotes by Charlie Brown and the entire cast of characters.

That should get you up to happiness quota any time, any day no matter what.

Two dogs (NO permissions granted) baking (ALL rights reserved)in the sunny yard. Copyrighted

Talk about some warm puppies. Nothing happier than a couple of teenage girls baking in the last of the summer’s sun. And waiting for something to fall off the grill…©







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