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June 30, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Sea sleeper

Creepy weird doll head covered with sea shells on eyes found on beach, Boliver, TX (Debra Croy Nelson/Facebook)

No, Dunderheads. It’s hold the shells up to your ears. (D.C.Nelson/FB)

It wasn’t Bart Simpson she feared. It was those who cooed, “Quiet. You’ll just sleep with the fishes – with the others.”

So she huddled down – under the dirty socks and crusty burlap.

Willing to brave the damp seeping inch by inch as if it wanted to sample what was promised.

Trying to  suffocate her involuntary coughs from the motor fumes as it sourly rattled on.

The childlike hand once sought, now cold; heartless.

“Doll Face” not the term of endearment she thought.

“Don’t lose your head when you get there!” That had sailed right past her, too.

Oh, why did they pick smoldering-eyed, beguiling NOLA instead of the shallow, flirty “What happens here, stays here” Vegas?

Woman watching sea. 1899. Stratton/Hans Christian Andersen/NYPub.Lib/USPD. artist life,

And they said she was all washed up.(USPD/

The strange object in the top picture washed up on Bolivar’s Gulf Coast beach a few days ago.

Speculation’s running rampant:

A doll lost during a past hurricane who, like loyal lost puppy is trying to make its’ way home? Part of a Halloween costume. Perhaps you prefer something darker like a voodoo doll? Sacrifice by terrified boaters. There’s always the vicious brother tormenting his sister by ripping the doll out of her hands, and doll overboard!  Maybe, even more bizarre , a campsite marker from 2007.

Or possibly only the opening scene of some horror story yet to come….

The sea is slow to reveal her secrets

She sure sells those sea shells, though.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Sea maidens from Andvari and the Rhinemaidens, ill- Harry G. Theaker, 1920 Children's stories from the Northern legends/, artist life/Commons,

That ought to keep them guessing. She’s something of a drip, but once you get past the creepiness… (USPD/Commons,

Oh, Happy Asteroid Day!

Rocks rock at any altitude for perspective and attitude. Merry on now. Have a great weekend.






June 26, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Shirt Bros

Vintage postcard. Cowboys on horses pointing at mesa. Southern Colorado postcard. (Boston Pub.lib/

“Keep looking. I heard rumors of a some striking gold over there.. (USPD/

Stuff of the same cloth.

Common warp and woof in life.

Those wearing the same shirt. Noticed and acknowledged with the like-soul nod.

Has to be a conscious – a thoughtful, free-will choice to be a bro.

Not the mandatory shirt of a job.

Or the one handed out by HR before that mandatory “volunteer” event (with company image boosting photo shots) .

Qualifying shirts motivates a small nod, a recognition of camaraderie if a wearer spots another in a crowd. It’s a secret club thing.

Concert shirts. Costly, but tickets forever to the Shirt Brotherhood.

Maybe the ones on America’s Cup sailing teams qualifies since none of them would be there for the punishment except by choice.

The ones at summer camps are iffy….

Summer is reunion time for the loosely disorganized Shirt Bros.

You see T-shirts count as wardrobe instead of being useless souvenirs destined for garage sales.

Collectibles worth cramming in the duffel.

Real T-shirt connoisseurs stride past the garish cheap tourist shirts crowding the front of stores.

Searching instead for artful, unique, local color.

Don’t want to see it at every buffet and cafe table.

As elusive as the Seven Cities of Cibola.

Like cats, with proper care they last for years. Fading only increases their value.

Choose wisely grasshopper.”

Vintage stucco cafe along tourist route. Limon, Colorado. Vintage postcard.(Tichnor Bros. postcard, Boston Lib/, artist life/

We begged for predictable chain hamburgers instead of  plate lunches and local color of cafes. At least there was air conditioning – a real lure for tourists.(USPD/

Even if you do….

During one of many trips to Colorado, Boulder to be exact, Senior Staff was thrilled to encounter a rare, locally created T-shirt with “the perfect regional design.” Aesthetic in meaning and image.

So unusual he bought 2 – in different colors.

As the shirt is wardrobe, it did get worn a few days later down the road. (You never immediately wear them in the location of purchase. It’s a Bro rule written down somewhere).

We were grabbing a quick breakfast before hitting the road when a father and son passed out table. The son, not so quietly, elbowed his father and blurted out “Look, Dad, he’s got on my shirt.”

Yep, the 5-year-old kid was correct. In the same color.

I didn’t dare laugh.

Silence of the Shirt, Bro.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Colorado. Vintage postcard of Bear Lake in Rocky Mts. (Boston Lib/, artist life/

Wash and wear: mountain appeal never fades. (Vintage postcard of Bear Lake in Rocky Mt. Nat. Park. USPD/





June 23, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Outnumbered. Pick one. The obvious one.

 © One white vinca amid a sea of others. All rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Will anyone weed through the plot? Where’s the Lawn Ranger when you need him. (Image ©)

(Que the Jaw’s  theme song here)

Unstoppable invasion. It laughs at the Game of Thrones’ Wall. Heart-shaped leaves do not mean the vine is foolishly green behind the weird.

Not even sharp edgers can curb the persistent reach of tendril scouts.

Fearless of dog paws and cat dumps.

Give this acid green vine water and it grows. Deprive it of water and it grows even more.

Obviously the other flowers in the esplanade are flushed with fury, but what defense can the perturbed Pentas possibly pose?

Some role must wait the lone Vinca, a sole survivor of a previous season. She’s either surrounded, trapped, or foolish.

The soft white petaled one to be offered up as virgin sacrifice to the approaching intruders?

A high priestess protected by devoted followers

A cherished princess who inspires such loyalty that subjects are willing to risk even the impossible.

Or feared dictator that none dare cross.

Enlightened stem who hopes the idea to coexist will take root by example. Live and let live. (Doesn’t know how things grow.)

Extreme individual naively waiting for “Beam me up, Scotty”

Certainly not the Garden of Eden, yet hauntingly familiar

Such an odd fractal

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Along with the Jaws theme, this one crossed my mind. One of my ancient aunts was an elementary school teacher who adored this song. She taught it to all her little students and they sang it on stage wearing flower faces for their parents during PTO/PTO meetings. Possibly scarring them for life.

June 21, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Unscheduled dawning

(ALLrights reserved) Grocery store parking lot sunset day before hurricane/tropical(NO permissions granted) storm Cindy. (Copyrighted)

Grocery store parking lot late afternoon before Cindy gets her act together and decides whether it’s Door # 1, 2, or Door # 3 on Wed.. She hasn’t bothered to say exactly what her ETA is – or how long she plans to stay. Unannounced guests are such a bother. You have to run to the store to buy what you’d better have stocked up before they arrive. Once they arrive, they make it very difficult to leave the house – even if to pick up that vital item forgotten earlier – like toilet paper. People remember the flats of water, cat food, chips and beer, but forget the extra toilet paper. Arrrrgh! “While you’re sloshing out there, get some cat litter, too – and keep it dry on the way home!..and more chips and chocolate!” (No permissions granted for image. ©)

Surf’s up.Pictured is last nights’ grocery store view.

It is dawning on even the newbies here: the Tropical Storm Cindy is finally making her move. 

Clear Lake, some 50 miles from Galveston’s coastline, is under storm warning with landfall expected tonight – A bit east of us.

We are on the NW “drier” side of this one, so normally that means lots of gusty strong winds (Hope your trees’ crowns have been trimmed to allow winds to blow through), bands of rain with flooding in normal low spots and streets periodically, high tides flooding some coastal  and great surf. (Headaches for the beach patrol)

What everyone fears may come true: loss of power 

Seriously, in 100 degree heat some bird seeking justice for wind turbine and solar panels in migration routes kamikazes into a power substation and shut down power to a big chunk of people.

If a bird can have that effect, what chance does the grid have against a blustery, bullying, stormy lady?

Those that know history are in motion.

The day before the Great 1900 Storm was a misleading siren: beautiful blue sky, welcomed cool winds. They didn’t suspect anything. Only to have the hurricane unleash fury that night. (News photos of aftermath here , story to the single most deadly event in US which left between 6,000 and 12,000 dead here.)

Hurricane Carla sat out in the Gulf and gained strength before slowly sauntering inland n her own good time – and storming forever: hours and hours and hours or heavy rain. I remember watching the water inch up towards the house. My job was to watch with towels ready incase it started seeping under the door. So soggy one the roots of one tall elm let go and the tree slowly sank to the ground. Fortunately away from both ours and our neighbor’s house. We watched forever it seemed. (But did run out during the eye and run around the front yard while Dad kept watch on the sky.) Interesting vintage TV news footage of Hurricane Carla:

Every Cindy I’ve ever known was an airhead ditz, so I’m wary.

That darn recycle bin truck better make it quick today. Everyone’s piled stuff out and it will all easily float/blow. There will be enough weird unidentified floating objects surging into lake and bay after the storm.

Rats! Tomorrow is garbage day. Bet pickup will be interrupted. Rats, I say again.

Dawns on me that the wind chimes better be taken down. No need for spooky chiming effects like a horror film.

(It’s an early spring storm and really not expected to be a big deal: don’t worry, but don’t be caught by surprise… only a short walk down the beach today.)

It’s the way the wind blows.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Clouds at dawn before Tropical Storm Cindy All rights reserved. Copyrighted. NO permissions granted

Dawn before Tropical Storm Cindy as Molly Malamute enjoys walking in the cool north winds. We will have rain bands like this all day – alternating with bright clear blue skies. Walk while you can!( © All image rights reserved.)

June 19, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Simmering letters: only litter

Women having coffee at table. 1927. Image by Fishbaugh./State Lib. and archives of Florida. (USPD.artist life,

There they are. Moms conspiring to keep their kids busy and quiet at mealtimes.(USPD,1927/

Alphabet soup never lived up to expectations.

A hoax foistered off on little kids. No secret messages from this world or another.

In this day of  tweets and texts, no one really expects – or wants – a bowl full of novel length classics anyway.

Those easily amused can get a few laughs by reading too much or too little into things like the following:

“Danish Space Corporation”: company sign on a building not far from here.

All I could think of was launches of sleek teak . Clean lines in space travels. Sounds like a solid tagline.

Still, someone else said “Nothing like white icing to sweeten space in the morning.”

“Driving smart, vehicle recalls”: a recent banner across the bottom of the TV screen.

Cars have already reached awareness with AI? Sounds like this one has already reviewed it’s memory and data, reached a conclusion, and would like recognition for it’s driving skills. A participation trophy, at the very least.

Uber drivers are mumbling about headless car competition while others are worried that these demands by the autonomous cars for skill recognition and awards is only the beginning…

Strange days.

Woman in evening gown standing next to a floor model radio in a wordy 1940 GE radio ad. (Joe Haupt/

Early version of “Beam me up, Scotty.” This 1940’s radio acted like speakers for GE TV sets according to the circle. This wordy ad wouldn’t be effective today. Horribly hot here, so the hunt is on to for cool amusements.(Haupt/

“Space pants for Earth”: breathlessly read by a news anchor

Weird in so many ways.

It has to be really, really hot to make dogs and people pant – and space is supposed to be ice cold, so what’s got it all hot and bothered? Earth being such a rare jewel suggests reason to worry. Black holes can swallow galaxies. Spaced out Hubble says so.

Oh, actually Space pants are really healthy. Makes sense only if you do well with pressure.

Pressures on now that Summer’s here. 

As they say, “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.”

The sun sets slower around solstices (June 20/21). The additional baking time not always beneficial

Certainly maddening

Better to simmer and sip cold Gazpacho Andaluz than misleading Alphabet soup.

Darn soup never did spell things out right. ( And I blame its’ poor tutoring for my inability to spell.)

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Vintage Woman holding fruit. Adams CA. Fruit Gum ad by Neysa McMein (, artist life/

“Mom! It’s fruit. It has to be nutritious. They couldn’t print it if it wasn’t true.” Perception is still everything. (USPD/



June 16, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Oh. Henry.

Young boy looking into camera. 1944. William Tengle/Hale County/ (Walker Evans photographer. LoC/USPD. by gov. employee,

We’re not sure if what he picks up of the world is the same as what we do.  (LoC/USPD/

Henry is an odd bird.

Discussion mulls whether a dimwit or savant.

Certainly appears to be a devote of Close Encounters  – attempting to reach out.

A Forest Gump type of guy.

Or maybe even more simple: He’s a living breathing WALL-E.

We see him every afternoon. He waits. 

Molly Malamute is quietly please and thinks he waits for her – a secret admirer. (Families would keep them apart – like Romeo and Juliet).

He stands so still as we pass in the sidewalk. Is that hope in his wide eyes?

Out of the corner of our eye, we see him following – at a discreet distance…until we pick up the pace towards home. For a bit Henry will try to keep up. There’s something desperate – a loneliness in his posture.

Molly smiles to herself and looks back, but we discourage any encouragement from her.

He’s not your kind.

We worry a bit about him as he looks so young – and crosses streets without looking. Did he leave home too soon and now regrets? Yearning for the nagging and being lectured, “It’s dinner. Eat that or nothing.”

Won’t someone take him in?

He’s not afraid of working the yard. Looks dashing lounging in the landscape.

Henry obviously needs some direction…or an attentive waiter.

Henry, as a young crane examining rose bush in January. ALL rights reserved. copyrighted. NO permissions granted

“Oh, Henry! It’s January. Baby, isn’t your mother calling?” Young crane closely examining rose bush in neighbor’s yard. Quite unperturbed by dog or human, he sometimes walks right towards you as if considering asking for directions or a snack. (© image)

Birds of his feather should flock together – over in the wetlands or lake.

We think Henry is a Yellow-crowned Night Heron. (Audubon Field Guide here/pictures) which would account for his greeting us at dusk near the landscape lights that draw insects, frogs lured by the sprinklers, and fish of the lake a few hops away. We’ve seen him perched in the oak trees. Henry is dressed for success in snazzy head feather complimenting elaborately detailed wing feathers.

Oh, Henry. Hope you’re a simply loner and not lonely.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Looks like Henry. Yellow-crowned Night Heron in tree. (Image by Sky99/

“Hey, where did everybody go?” Looks like Henry. (Sky99/

June 14, 2017 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Dog Wonder

Advocates of  “every thought that crosses your brain doesn’t have to cross your lips”, dogs are silent on a good many things.

Boy and dog staring at each other. Dreamers, 1899. John Brown. (, artist life/

“Silence is a source of great strength.”(Lao Tzu/USPD/

Dog wonders:

  • Why does staff keep shoveling dirt back into in that hole? Just going to dig it out again. Certainly slowing the Mexican Fan palm root trim by teeth project.
  • Why doesn’t the cat realize I am standing on her tail until she gets up to move? Anyone touch-a-mah tail and I am instantly aware of it.
  • Why doesn’t staff of the French Bulldog across the street get him a skateboard to ride on during outings. I realize he’s a gazillion years old, yet still kicking, but he’s beginning to look like a Star Wars character as he lists side to side on stiff legs down the sidewalk. I always hurry to give him gentle sniff to make sure Chin’s really real and not departed, stuffed, and motorized. Staff keeps muttering about making him a sling walker assist device.
  • Why does the small Medina palm have a death wish? Is the poor thing so unhappy with being forced to wear a coat in winter that it has chosen  suicide by dog? There is no other explanation for fronds smacking a pup in the face whenever I runs past. Sooner or later Staff won’t be around to intervene between had-enough-clinched-dog-jaws and foolish frond.
  • Why did those people steal my neighbor’s car out of his driveway? He’s retired; his wife still works. He takes care of his grandkids while their divorced mom works. He’s kind and gives great dog pets. Those thieves should get a job and buy their own car. Appears The Village didn’t raise them very well. Wolves would have done better: obey pack laws or else.

Dog watches – with wonders.

Super dog.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Young girl and dog in garden. Hubert von Herkomer.1910 (USPD. artist life,

“There.You heard that? Whispering. Palms plotting their next move. Call the landscapers!”(USPD/

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