Archive for November, 2011

Chuy’s parade picked up the toys

polar bear balloonDespite the light rain, which lessened and then disappeared before the parade ended, turnout was fine and spirits were bright for Chuy’s parade today, collecting toys to benefit Operation Blue Santa.

We found the Austin Public Library Bibliophile Book Cart Drill Team to be particularly amusing, with those revolving lectern headpieces. We love the musical entries in the parade; some were Austin Girls’ Choir, a marching band from the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, ESPADA pipe & drum corps, a lion and dragon dance team accompanied by drummers, Los Texas Wranglers, Franksten High School marching band, the Biscuit Brothers, Janie Balderas, St. Michael’s school band, and our local favorites, the Travis High School marching band.

Shown here is the polar bear balloon; others were a muppet, a smurf, and a reindeer; view these and additional images from the parade, as well as unedited videos. Anyone who missed the parade may still donate on line to Operation Blue Santa or donate at the December 1 event on South Congress, where you may have your picture taken in the human snow globe. Operation Blue Santa needs everyone’s help.

Rudolph’s is already ready with trees for the holidays

Rudolph's Christmas Trees: "PINE"Right at Evergreen Avenue, a very proper and appropriate location for an enterprise selling Christmas trees, Rudolph’s is now open and has been since yesterday on South Lamar across from Mr. Natural.

The inventory’s larger than last year’s and the prices seem to be even more reasonable than they were then. These trees are as fresh as can be, and the friendly people there will prune lower branches so that a tree will fit better in the stand. The boughs are yours to take home for added evergreen scent. Ask to have an inch or so sawn off the bottom of the trunk for better uptake of water.

For those without a tree stand, Rudolph’s offers inconspicuous and very stable dark-green plastic ones with four sturdy eye-bolts to hold the trunk upright. See photos of this year’s and last year’s selection of hand-painted signs on display. Rudolph’s is open seven days a week until all trees are sold.

A salute to veterans

This was a perfect day for the Veterans Day parade, crisp and sunny. Del Valle, which never fails to participate, led off the order of March.

Mayor Leffingwell was among the dignitaries. We were treated to stirring music, most particularly from Del Valle (which never fails to participate), a City pipe band, and, grandest of all, a large and prime band all the way from Bastrop High School.

Various school ROTC groups were snappy and polished, with perfect posture. All the children participating in the parade and along the route were a treat to see.

Some toy-camera photos have been uploaded and so have some unedited videos, with more on the way. Congress Avenue was specifically designed as a route for parades and processions. Next parade up is Chuy’s.

First, there was one; then, there were five

black vulturesFirst on the scene was the intrepid squirrel, racing across from the mostly pecan side of the street to the mostly acorn side of the street, in the midst of which venture he met his untimely end.

Within seconds of his demise, two black vultures were on the scene, in a contest to be the first to have at his remains. One drove the other away a short distance and began his banquet. Viscera were the appetizers (or “starters,” as so many say these days). The sound effects were akin to those of an over-stretched elastic band being pulled to the snapping point.

Vulture number two was intermittently driven up onto a tree limb when it approached too closely, but would return for overlooked tidbits of squirrel on the pavement.

Three other vultures arrived, to make five, but they never succeeded in approaching as near as number two and had to be satisfied with watching from tree limbs and the utility pole.

Black vultures
are smaller and less fearful than the larger red-headed turkey vultures. They seem to be more common these days than they used to be.

It’s astonishing how oblivious passers-by can be, even pedestrians, with their earbuds and their texting. Of the several who passed within inches of this sight, only one noticed, did a double-take, and hurried on at a faster pace.

Advice to squirrels would be to look both ways before crossing.

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