Critter viewing! Tuesday, 1/3/17

I'm sitting at my dining room table, looking at a mighty dreary landscape outside the window, light rain doing in last week's leftover snow, wind whipping bare branches, and a cold, foggy film covering all.  Jimmy and I drove home to Nevada City from SoCal yesterday (via the 405 to the 5, not much traffic, but a very long day) because we wanted to beat this "epic atmospheric river" that's threatening our part of the world for the next seven days. No way did we want to drive Tergel, towing Smartie, in what looked to be bad weather, especially since we'd considered using the coast route to return.  So ... here we are, safe and warm inside, and if I don't want to feel chilled, I need to shift my gaze from the window and take a light-hearted look at some of the cuties we saw up close at post-parade float viewing on Tuesday.  I offer them to you, too!

 "Prosperity in the Wild" presented a whole host of stunning creatures (above and below).

If you didn't look closely, you would've missed this grinning sneaky spotted python, but there was no missing the beautiful pink and white Roseate Spoonbills on the other side of the float, if you walked around the entire float, which we did.

And the parrots, below.... 

Look at this mythical phoenix, a symbol of renewal in "Go Roses" by Honda!
Up close, it's quite an accomplishment.

This is one of ha-ha floats, entitled, "The Cat's Away."  Self-built by Sierra Madre Float Ass'n, it shows mice taking over a tea set.  Really cute.  Our little mouse, above, flew in circles around the teacup.

Hummers and fuchsia on the Miracle-Gro float, "Everything's Coming Up Roses."  The sky was starkly overcast when I took these photos, hence you don't get the true bright colors that I saw, and I'm sorry about that.  Cool, cloudy days like today means the flowers don't wilt so fast, tho, a good thing for post-parade viewing.  Nor was the wind blowing petals every-which-a-way.

Big, bad winged dragon, with scary-looking teeth; made with what I do not know.
From "Be Your Own Knight."

Mikado Pheasant from China Airlines, "Return to the Beauty of Taiwan."
Enlarge the pictures to get an idea of what materials are used on each critter.

Above and below:  Cal Poly Universities "A New Leaf" float was my favorite.

I loved this little yellow chameleon.  With yellow lemons interspersed in bright yellow mums, this guy rocked.  His eyeballs swiveled, just like a real chameleon.  If you enlarge the picture, you will see the eye is covered in seeds and pea beans, what appears to be quinoa, rice, purple statice, and other natural materials. 

Of course, you would guess Lions Club International would present this float.  Driving down Colorado Blvd in the parade, with the wind blowing it's mane, he looked like a real lion.  He was drop-dead gorgeous.

This (two-toed?) sloth and the li'l froggy above are both on the "Echoes of Love" float, called The Bachelor.  We don't watch the show, but (according to the parade brochure) apparently Nick is returning for his turn to hand out roses and find his true love.  T'was a colorful float with lots of critters, and good luck Nick, whoever you may be.

Here's UPS Store's 42 ft giraffe again.  He's learning how to read!  Nice specs!

From "Waves of Hope," by Northwestern Mutual, ol' crabby, the pelican below, and the purple dolphins represent a life full of happiness and lasting memories that come from being a (cancer-free) kid.  This float featured quite a few more cool critters and people smiled when they saw it.


Most of the parade participants put out statistics on how many and what type of flowers they used to create these fantastic floral floats. You would be flabbergasted at the number -- it's astounding.

A turtle (or we would say a "tergel") from Dole's "Spirit of Hawaii" -- a float chock-a-block full of wonder.

"Lucy Pet's Gnarly Crankin' K-9 Wave Maker" was decorated with fishies along its side.  I think the white is crushed rice.  Amazing what can be done!

Another dragon, but this is a friendly guy, a globe-trotter that blinks its eyes, and emits "smoke" from its nose to welcome 2017 across the globe.  "Doing Good in the World" presented by the Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee, this is it's 30th year in the Rose Parade.  Outstanding decoration.

Last on my post, but not least by any means, is this pair of beautiful swans presented by United Sikh Mission, entitled "Together We Rise."

BTW, we disconnected Smartie in the Nevada City Safeway parking lot yesterday evening, and drove her up the hill to see if we could get in our driveway. Nope. The snow plow had done what snow plows do -- cleaned the road by piling snow berms up on driveways.  Because we weren't home to clean it off last week, the 18" pile got rained on and turned to ice. And it's road-grime ugly, with leaves and gunk from the plow.  We made two trips in Smartie, emptying essentials from Tergel, and drove Tergel to the Nevada City Elks Lodge till we can get 'er in the driveway. We finished up around 9:30pm. (We left Huntington Beach at 9am.) Tergel will be fine at the Elks. Smartie is parked across the street at our neighbors.  Hooray, today the river of rain is melting that snow, thank goodness, so we won't have to pick-ax it away.

Meanwhile, our gas fireplace is radiating heat (ahh, so nice to stand in front of it), the central heat comes on every once in a while to blow even more warmth into our home, and I'm fixin' to put a cake in a 350° oven, which will add a deliciously sweet aroma, as well as hot up the kitchen.  Guess I'm cookin' with gas!  The day has become stormier, nastier, and I am happy to sit here and smile at these few images from the Rose Parade.


  1. I love that we both put up some of the same images, and then some different ones. After I posted my version of all this, I realized that I had missed my most favorite float, the CalPoly one! Oh well, we can only put up so many photos, right? I am so glad you two are home safe and warm and have nice neighbors. All is well. Again, it was so much fun sharing these good times with you, and I look forward to many more good times together in the future. Hugs

  2. Such amazing things they make with flowers & natural materials. Love it!


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