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January 27, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

What goes with orange that will not go?

 

Two men and a woman at a desk. Librarians in New South Wales, 1943. (USPD. pub.date, released/OTRS/Commons.wikimedia.org

“Yes, it is abnormal – supernatural, even. Could these possibly be connected to the nightly mysterious, drone swarms over Colorado and Nebraska? We must insist on a Congressional investigation!”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org

Scarlet: just another word for “should be dead”.

Managed to plausibly excuse explain the Christmas poinsettia still on the porch so far:

Lucky “Red” slipped past recently as Lunar New Years celebration.  (Even an HOA is hesitant to say anything that contains a hint of not accepting diversity).

With all the red for Valentines, we’re probably safely planted until February 15th.

But then…what goes with orange?

Yes, the alien pumpkins are still on the porch.

No squirrel shows the slightest interest in them.

Not one fuzzy trace of mold despite we broke a long standing 100 year old record for rainy January weather.

No mushy. No sign of past their prime.

The longevity of these pumpkins astounding. We should sell tickets. Enter Gluiness Book of records. Pay some garbage man under the table.

Now the Poinsettia isn’t showing the same determination to survive. Looking a little weary as the weather is becoming beachy warm. In other words, the flowers look normal.

Being wary of simply telling a living thing, “OK. We’re done with you. Out with the trash. I can’t hear you so stop”, mid January normally means relocating the Christmas poinsettia to the magic plant rehab zone in the backyard and forgetting about it for months.

That shady spot behind the hedge must be some ancient healing zone. Strangely, any looks-dead-to-me plant placed there will not only revive, but thrive and be showily ready to resume a place center front. I have far too many poinsettia plants. Years worth. They are just too determined to live.

Sigh. Plants and animals – if they make it to our door, they are pretty much guaranteed to live far longer than they ever should. There was that school guinea pig…and do not even mention the tiny gold fish “won” at the school carnival and carried home in a baggie.

Pumpkins on porch with poinsettia.Still there. (© image. Copyrighted, No permissions granted. All rights reserved)

See? Still there. Oh, I know, the polar bear solar light, too. Look, the red ribbon on it makes the bear good until Valentines, right? (© image)

So here’s the deal: Since the pumpkins apparently have adopted us, once the red is gone, what goes with orange? 

A nice pot of white Daisies perhaps – as in pushing up…

Any chance the pumpkins might take daisies as a subtle hint?

One can always hope.

As the plant-based invasion continues, looking for suggestions for pumpkin mates/ porch decor.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

 

 

January 24, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Good luck with that

red shoes with Chinese New Years design. (image TImberland)

Just in time for Year of the Rat?(Image:TImberland)

In the USA,  you are really accepted – have become truly part of a place – when your cultural celebrations become another reason for a sale and fodder for marketing plans.

With luck, and some effort from adults with memories of homelands, traditions meanings will be retained while merging into the adopted life in a new home and contemporary society.

(Although, once there were Presidents’ birthdays, and holidays like Memorial Day and July 4th that have been pretty much obscured by all the red, white, and blue sales promotions and retail ads on TV. We know what’s important. We won’t even bring up Easter or that holiday most battered by marketing, but surviving, Christmas.)

Two pairs of boots embellished with Chinese New Years design (Image: Timberland)

Oh, stop. This isn’t “cultural appropriation” – it’s timely fashion and relevant marketing. Just like Nike does.(Image: Timberland)

Anyway, Happy Lunar New Year to all. May the Year of the Rat run with luck for you.

Just as a precaution, even for those who aren’t really celebrating, but just hedging their luck, some reminders:

  • Wear red for good fortune
  • Take the time to arrange your shoes in the closet so they are all facing the same direction (In order to keep you going forward and not getting pulling this way and that in different directions)
  • Arrange to have a wealthy friend be the first one in your front door on Lunar New Year’s Day (Encouraging money and fortune to come your way all year. Wonder if that works with a wise person’s entrance, too? Wisdom is certainly wealth.)
  • If your house has a bathroom right near the front door, for goodness sakes, close that door! (You don’t want wealth and fortune to go down the drain with the water.)

There’s other traditions to remember – like firecrackers to scare away evil spirits, but that one’s getting more difficult with local ordinances. Then there’s the red lanterns for good luck, and the dragons, not to mention the lion dancers…

Lunar New Years festival and Dragon (Image MFAH)

Do you think Game of Thrones wardrobe has any loaners? (Lunar New Years festival 2019,MFAH)

Worried you’ll get it wrong or forget something really critical? Chill. 

The Museum of fine Arts Houston has done it all for you: Everything from Pad Thai, martial arts, traditional lion dance, drumming, calligraphy, complementary hot green tea, or “Art of the Spirits” Bar. Everyone is invited. Everyone. That’s what we do here, invite all, the more the merrier.

Happy Year of the Rat and may your weekend be filled with much fun and good fortune.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Read more?

Traditional Dragon Dancers (MFAH Lunar celebration )

I think this is Lee’s Golden Dragon traditional lion dance, but there are several local troupes around. (MFAH Lunar New Years celebration image)

 

January 23, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Be the Jimmy

Beach with seal and woman in swimsuit strolling. 1924.Silver Sheet/Galloping Fish (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Autogenic training can transform the most stressful situation into a sesh of inspo and fabulosity. Oh? At a loss of words? Webster’s 2019 list of added words here.(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Wanna bet this’ll be one of the new words added to dictionaries in 2020?

When you’re hearing it in regular conversations, it’s a done deal.

“Don’t go all Greta on me…”

“Don’t call me Greta on this, but…”

Look, it’s like those loud car alarms or home security alarms (especially in areas where the criminals know exactly how much time they have before the Copa show up), at first people snap to attention, but after a while, yawn, impact lost: just standard background noise: meaningless.

But

That doesn’t mean the game is over, kids.

Yelling woman among other people. (Laura La Plante in film, The LAst Warning (1928) (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Laura’s been screaming since 1928. You’d think she’d run out of breath. Ironically from the film, “The Last Warning” – it wasn’t. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It’s like the stages of grief, and good grief, this is really like that – good, that is…

Shrinks tell people “Immerse yourself in the grief anger – it’s healthy – then move on to the next stage – or risk being forever stuck in an unproductive state with high blood pressure”…

    • “My generation will not give up without a fight” “I want you to panic  (Activist Thunberg)
    • “The older generation has a lot of experience, but we have ideas, we have energy, and we have solutions.” (Zamia’s activist Natasha Wang Mwansa, at Davos)
    • “…young activists are doing more than just talking” “We’re not waiting five, 10, 20 years to take the action we want to see. We’re not the future of the world, we’re the present, we’re acting now. We’re not waiting any longer.” (Puerto Rico’s Salvador Gómez-Colón)

Uh, what exactly are you action heroes actually doing?

Spare me the virtuous “We are raising awareness (While under breath: “Other people will do the serious actual work. WE are the flag bearers.”)

Either part of the problem or part of the answer, kids. Right now you should feel pretty problematic – not for the other side you scorn , but for the side you wish to advance.

Listen to yourself. You risk becoming totally irrelevant because you are stuck in place. A one trick pony.

Girl posing with rose. Miss Mackay's Pageant Children of Sunshine and Shadow as presented at Washington Irving High School.1915 (USPD. pub.date, artist life, LoC/Commons.wikimedia.org)

No one wants to be the sparkler that burns so brightly only to grow dim and be quickly discarded. No gold stars at the end of the road for footnotes. Do you think this lovely of the 1915 “Miss Mackay’s Pageant Children of Sunshine and Shadow” later claimed out of embarrassment that this wasn’t her? (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Consider:

That old guy Jimmy Carter saw a need for housing – and got out there and actually got his hands dirty building houses. Habitat for Humanity. That program had real impact, made life better, and is still well respected and functioning.

Consider:

Kids in an area totally devastated by 2017 Hurricane Harvey , Dickinson, Texas and we are talking 3-7 feet of water in homes as the pictures show. After the shock wore off, and the cleanup started, they did not organize a march.

The students of Dickinson ISD saw a problem in their environment and came up with a solution…and, get this, actually built it: a robot that can travel down bayou/streams and clear out obstructions which slow water drainage.

Baby step in the big picture, yes, the point is that they didn’t just sit around and tell others “do something”

They got their hands dirty and built a fix. (video: DISD’s K-12 STEM initiatives. Team picture here)

Their project earned them a finalist spot in the 10th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest, a $3 million nationwide competition for kids creating innovated solutions  for real problems.

“The issues communities face today look a little different than when we first launched the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest 10 years ago, but year after year, students and teachers rose to the challenge, tackling complex issues from climate change and disaster recovery, to the opioid crisis and school safety,” said Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America. “As we celebrate this 10-year milestone, we reflect on how Solve for Tomorrow has transformed from an environment-focused contest into a project-based learning initiative that fosters critical thinking and creative problem solving among thousands of students across the country.” (Source. Read how Samsung pre-loads with funding and technology as projects are developed here.)

Consider that baby steps are critical:

Have a nephew who was intrigued not by horses on the ranch, but by mechanics, engineering, and what makes things go at an early age His parents despaired. (Gads. The Monster truck shows).

But grease under the nails pays off.

In college his experimental vehicle group developed a car with a long distance solar capacity. That translated to a job with a major car company creating clean fuel/environmentally friendly/electric vehicles for the new era. (But nope, not gettin’ in that Origin autonomous people mover...not yet anyway – even if it is good for the environment. HAHA)

Scared woman in spider webs. Carrie Daumery in movie The Last Warning(USPD, pub.date of 1927, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

What a tangled web we weave by ignoring interconnectivity? (Also from “The Last Warning”/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

So I am hopeful. Maybe.

If they decide to be the Jimmy.

That’s the last word. 

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

(and for goodness sakes, pick up that litter under your feet instead of ignoring it, turn off the lights when not in use, and learn to live with a few weeds in the yard. Baby steps: always the start of something bigger)

Frightened couple sitting in basement. 1928 Horror film, the Terror Warner Bros. (USPD. pub date, artist life/commons.wikimedia.org)

“Quiet. They’ll never know that’s a real meat hamburger or that your shoes are leather. This too, shall pass. Super Bowl and Spring Break are on the horizon.”  (USPD/commons.wikimedia.org)

 

 

January 19, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Traveling Coneheads

Post card. New Mexico with cactus and flowers. Teich & Co. 1950. (USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

It’s this or a t shirt. (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

There’s nothing wrong with being a Conehead.

While you may get snide remarks like, “Oh, yet another hothead” or “Ash him something”, you get to meet people in high places – those that get to the point.

It’s more than just seeing for miles. It’s actually standing on history – and possible future.

Volcanoes rock.

Capulin Volcano NAtional Monument. winter 2019 (© image, copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

Capulin Volcano National Monument. Very symmetrical because the lava flowed out a secondary vent on the west side of the base. The top floated off on a lava flow.(winter 2019.© image)

My favorite volcano is Capulin National Monument, New Mexico, which is only a baby who showed up the relatively recently, some 56,000-62,000 years ago.

I like it because

  1. It’s a quiet. (Who doesn’t like a volcano that’s silent and stable?)
  2. Looming large over the plains, it’s such a welcomed landmark. Always lifts my spirits – gives me hope – because thank goodness we’re out of the Texas Panhandle. FINALLY. Unless you’ve driven across that state, few realize how big it is – a full day’s drive that takes forever to cross it. FOREVER. While I enjoy counting the bouncing antelope and spotting the deer frolicking among the cattle on the high plains, car games get really old. QUCKLY.
  3. Besides it’s a cool place to stop and run around for a bit to ward off car cabin fever. No doubt the really tense, spiral drive up the soft, ashy cone to the top will get that wake-you-up adrenaline flowing.
  4. Supposedly you can see five states once you’re at the top. (But I think you have to be very tall to see Kansas)
  5. And then there’s the mystery.
Volcano viewed from above. Capulin Volcano NAtrional Monument, NM. Over 1,000 feet tall. (USPD: Nat. Parks Service photo/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

This baby is over 1,000 feet tall. (Nat.ParkServ./Commons.wikimedia.org)

Capulin is a team player in a volcano family with lots of siblings

This volcano is part of a Volcanic Field composed of nearly 100 volcanic peaks or lava covered mesa in an unusually large area of nearly 7500 square miles across NE New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

In a Volcanic Field, smaller volcanoes arrive like kids in a family at different times (all happening within a period of several hundred thousand to a million years). They all appear within a hundred miles of each other and tap the same magma source.

Volcanologists consider this Volcanic Field area to be a very rare “hot spot” –  along with only 49 others in the world. (Others in the Azores, Reunion Island, Iceland, Hawaii, and parts of East Africa.)

Volcano in New Mexico showing spiraling road (© image., copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Capulin Volcano in New Mexico showing the spiraling road to the top. Unfortunately the very narrow, scary-as-the-old-Pike’s-Peak Road has washed away with recent rains and is closed at this time. They’re working on it! You can’t hike with your dog at the top, but the lower trails are canine OK. (© image.)

Capulin’s home field is bigger than most, younger than most, and oddly located in the interior of the North American continent.  (Map of NM volcanoes here)

Age: To find any other volcanic rocks as young as Capulin, you’d have to travel to the mid-Atlantic ridge, a plate boundary in the Atlantic Ocean where magma reaches sea floor in a deep riff valley. (Map)

Location: It is sitting at the northeastern end of the “Jemez lineament” which is a line of volcanic fields stretching from Central Mexico, through the southern edge of Arizona, across western New Mexico, to near Santa Fe, and ending in New Mexico’s northeastern corner (the Raton-Clayton field).

The “Jemez lineament” is also parallel to the Snake River-Yellowstone volcanic “hot spot” track.

(Insert spooky music here…You know about the potential of the the Yellowstone caldera, right? Could Capulin fire up the field, jumpstart the Yellowstone caldera starting an earth-shattering, break-up?)

Inside the cone of Capulin Volcano. (NealVIckers/Commons.wikimedia.org)

You can walk down into the cone of the volcano. How cool is that? But your mom will make you take home a postcard instead of a rock.(NealVIckers/Commons.wikimedia.org)

The mystery: 

Most volcanoes are located along the border of the tectonic plates (which are below the earth’s surface). Most people are familiar with the Pacific Ring of Fire and the abundance of earthquakes and volcanoes associate with it.

Capulin is on the North American Plate and far from any plate edges.

Could there be a continental rift – a single plate is pulling apart below the earth’s surface – happening? (On Earth’s own time schedule, of course, not ours)

One possible reason for the volcanic fields of New Mexico is continental rift, the pulling apart of a single plate below the earth’s crust. The Rio Grande Rift is an elongated valley of rifting that extends in a north-south direction from Colorado to central Mexico. Crossing the Rio Grande Rift is the Jemez Lineament, a northeast-running line of volcanic features, which could act as an outlet for rising magma as the Rio Grande Rift stretches the plate below apart.” (Source and illustration of the Rio Grande Riff and lineament here)

Capulin Volcano lava lake/prairie in spring ( image. Copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Capulin Volcano photobombing stage right. Lava lake/prairie in spring. Looks peaceful, right? (© image.)

Historians as well as geologists are fascinated by this area.

There’s quite bit of human history. People have used the volcano peaks as landmarks with the names Round Mound, Wagon Mound, and Rabbit Ears Mountains for a long time.

Read more: National Park Service with history from the Paleoindians/Folsom Man site, Native American times, Spain ruling the area and sending out explorers, the Santa Fe trail traffic, as well as the Goodnight-Loving trail cattle drives (here). Even more information from the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science here

Volcano. View from rim of Capulin Volcano shows many of the near 100 volcanic peaks and lava capped mesa nearby. (Image by NealVickers/Commons.wikimedia.org)

From rim of the volcano, you can see many of the other 100 volcanic peaks and lava capped mesa nearby.(Image by NealVickers/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Lump it of leave it, volcanoes rock.

If you’re worried, keep up with the Smithsonian/USGS weekly volcanic activity report site here.

But not sure if you’d want to be right at the scene of a giant, catastrophic, multi-volcanic, explosive incident and die immediately, or be left in a desolate world as a survivor among grim odds. Happened before.

Always good to take time to climb every mountain. You just never know.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

ant hill. ( image, copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

All a matter of scale. A collaborative effort created this ant hill over night. Humans should do so well. Is it survival architecture or an advanced society’s effort to appease some unknown force?  Everyone knows imitation is the highest form of flattery.Yet another mystery.(© image)

 

January 15, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Breaking wind (Not likely)

Dog face. (Molly Malamute looking directly at you. She know bottoms. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, NO permissions granted)

Bottoms. A topic dogs have no problem with. (© image)

No one wants to talk about their bottoms.

But the time may be coming.

“Foul bottomers! Stink dumpers!” Will anyone risk saying it? Actually, louder than muttering under their breath?

MAn and seated woman on large sailing vessel, 1929 (Hood Collection, Australian NAt.Maritime Museum, 1929/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Oh, is that as far as you could pitch it, Dear? It appears to be floating back this way. Darn those Pampers!” (Australian Nat.Maritime Museum/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Down the docks the elite – the enlightened – will stroll and prance. (Pausing for selfies and instructional tweets to the social media masses)

Their organic ocean going togs – sustainably sourced – a statement, as they board the “new” earth-friendly, sail driven, ocean-going cruise lines.

Light and breeze conversations (which comes from self confidence and convictions) float on the air.

Punctuated – as if on cue – with scornful glances at the Others: the general mobs of travelers crowding the airports.

“Why do they not see?” some pose passenger will exclaim showily. “Martini? Oh, yes, how refreshing. Why choose air travel over sea voyage? Deniers no doubt. Unfathomable! “

Elegant people boarding sailboat, 1929. Hood COllection/Australian NAt. Museum/ USPD. pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Oh, charming. Simply charming. Nothing like living simply in tune with nature, yes?” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Probably lacking the luxury of open-ended time and spare cash.

 The teeming masses will have to be content with non-trendy transport. But hey, it allows them to retain the touch of the “common man”. To relish the grittiness of sharing basic human experiences such as:

 Being herded like elbowing, cranky goats into crowded metal flying tubes.

Fighting over armrest space.

Keeping lips zipped as the kid repeated kicks the back of their seat.

Giving only eye rolls to that one who repeatedly has to get up and reach over for “one more thing” out of the overhead bin.

It could be Us vs Them shortly. The money had and not had.

open deck sailboat. Woman being carried to sailboat. 1952(German Federal Archives/Wikimedia.org)

Oh, bottoms up. There will be travel agencies offering more modestly priced ocean transportation for pretenders, but their Facebook friends won’t be fooled. (German Federal Archives/Wikimedia.org)

Sooner or later, it will happen, though…some investigative reporter…some rebellious student….someone who read “The Emperor’s New Clothes“. Someone will say it: “Foul bottomers! Stink dumpers!”

Words will be whispered.

Bandit signs will spread rebellion against derision.

Will the scorn worm turn?

Sailboat. Square topsail schooner Shenandoah sailing in NAntucket Sound 2005. Sails, no motor (Leggett/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Past. present and, possibly, future transportation. Square topsail schooner, Shenandoah, sailing in Nantucket Sound in 2005. Only sails, no motor onboard at all. (Leggett/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Sailing craft harm the environment – no matter how people want it not to be so

  • No matter the size, sailboats need smooth bottoms for fast efficient movement through the water. Barnacles, zebra mussels, weeds, slime and algae are constantly attaching themselves to boat hulls. Because of that problem, boats use antifouling paints that either slowly discharge poison(toxic biocides from metals like cuprous oxide) or simply wears/flakes off to discourage marine growth. The paint is deadly and requires great care when applying it. (More than you ever wanted to know about bottom paint which contains EPA registered pesticides: what bottom paint is (section 1), the effects on the environment, and the safety hazards(Section 8) when applying it)
  • In addition, whether a sailboat has a bucket or a marine pump potty with a thru-hull valve that can be opened to discharge straight into the water instead of into the holding tank, human waste harms marine life. There are regulations and laws, but the unpleasant truth is once out in the ocean, lots of times there’s no holding by humans or boats. Not exactly eco-friendly.
  • Of course there’s a big initial environmental cost from production methods used and waste products created when modern sailboats/catamarans are built and outfitted with sleek hulls, high tech sails and equipment.
People on sailboat. 1929 (Hood collection, Australian Nat. MAritime Museum/USPD, pub.date, artist life/COmmons.wikimedia.org)

“Oh, look. They are bringing more wine and ice! Put down the computer. Social media influencers must enjoy being in the moment, too! We can blog about it later. (Australian Nat.Maritime Museum/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

But all those just annoying little details. Distracts from the image. Doesn’t fit the narrative.

Slow and graceful. Elegance. Returning to nature’s touch. (Oh, Pre-Raphaelites always artfully struggle with realism.)

Far too easy to be become an albatross regarding all things great and small, as The Rime says.

Bottom feeders making waves of one sort or another

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Deck of large sailing vessel 1904 (USPD, pub.date, artist life/Commons.wikimedia.org)

“Don’t even think about coming this way with that bucket! To the stern – and mind the direction of the wind.” (USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

January 12, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Winter reservations

Winter retreat

It won’t.

Dog and horse in snow at West TX ranch. (© image, copyrighted, no permissions granted, all rights reserved)

“You think our room is ready now? The reservation was confirmed for early arrival as the days are so short. Don’t want to be let out in the cold at the end of the day.” Puppy escorting his buddy to the nice warm barn with plenty of hay – and maybe a Greenie under the pillow – at the West TX ranch. (© image)

Orangie Cat and Puppy in snow by corral. (© image all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Orangie Cat, “I’m closing my eyes and teleporting  myself to Miami Beach. You can’t see me? It must be working.” (© image)

Fine.

I’m not ready for the reheat.

trees in the January snow. (© image, all rights reserved, copyrighted, no permissions granted)

Frozen spread. (© image)

Sugar coating Winter’s truth and root.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

January 9, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

The When and the Whistle

With whistles you have to mention the appropriate time and place.

No intention of causing trouble, but you know how it goes.

There are occasions when dogs are not encouraged – even if they have radar scoop ears and herding abilities.

Partly because of the inability to walk past a prairie dog burrow without stating an archeological dig. And then there’s the nosy curiosity if there’s a sluggish half awake snake on the ground trying to warm itself. Sometime man’s best friend gets left at home to snooze on the couch.

Actually, even guardian dogs of preschoolers secretly wish for a day off.

Worried German Shepherd curled up on couch. (© image copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted.)

“What, me worry? You betcha now that he’s up and running, running, running….” (© image)

Preschoolers are the original perpetual motion machine.

Faster than a speeding bullet. Able to leap tall boulders  – without a single look to see what is on the other side.

Totally throwing themselves full throttle into wherever they are (“Poison ivy. Leaves of 3. No that’s 2. Wait you don’t have to actually touch each leaflet as you count.”)

Kids really get into life.

And that’s the issue: a kid can get getting so far in, no one knows where they are.

So Santa brought a whistle: an official Jr. Park Ranger Adventure Whistle.

Perfect hiking coat accessory…we thought. Parents, oddly, less than enthusiastic.

Maybe we should have role played a couple of “OMG where’s the kid?” scenarios around the house. Practice sessions. Just to concrete the “give a little whistle if suddenly you can’t see mom on the trail” concept.

Ever seen a German Shepherd bolt from a dead sleep lump on the couch to startled wide awake, eyes wild, ears flung horizontal to full extent and standing on tippy toes? Really not fair to sneak up on a slumbering dog and blow a whistle right between the ears…especially between large ears.

stuffed dog toy with a terrified expression . Scooby-Doo (Amazon image)

Ella Bella can do a pretty good terrified Scooby-Doo imitation.  (Amazon image)

Whistle stop:

Official Jr Park Ranger Whistle is now in the probably permanent Time Out pile in the kitchen…along with the plastic fireman’s hatchet that came with Halloween’s fireman costume.

The worst was Ella’s sad eyes asking us with “How could you do this to me?”. (We swear she pleads “Take me, too” when we depart.)

WWSB do? Smokey the Bear.

He’d probably say hold off on the “Official Jr. Park Ranger 7-1 Adventure Tool” with the detachable magnifying glass. You know about boys, magnifying glasses, and dry foliage….

Maybe the official Jr Ranger vest. It has lots of pockets. Little kids like to pick up stuff….(If it’s moving leave it alone – it’s mommy would miss it! Rocks. Here’s a nice rock.)

Small boys are much like hawks. Heed the falconer’s or Shakespeare’s advice. Have courage and release them to whistle down the wind.

(But stay in sight – for just a little while. It flies so fast.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

“My mother would thump me sharply on the head with a thimble or a spoon if I became too noisy with the whistle when I was playing I was a steamboat captain. She had no sense of the dignity of command.” (Lincoln Steffens, American journalist…who knew how to be a kid.)

 Smokey the Bear "Only You" 1989 poster (USPD. by USDA agent/Nat. Ag. Lib, MD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Only you can teach them how stuff works. And HA! Good luck with that. We’re leaving now. Karma. (Smokey the Bear 1989/USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

 

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