Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The State I'm In

Maryland, that is.

Today on the news I heard that our state legislature voted walking into law as our "state exercise." I wasn't even aware the states had state exercises; color me befuddled! Next thing you know our state activity will be breathing!

Remember having to memorize state flags, state flowers and so on when you were in elementary school?

Nothing wrong with a little education. I went looking into this a little further and found out that we have many such state symbols. Is it because we're a rather small state? Do we have a shortness complex or something?

I suppose they had to give us a state exercise, given that they had just named the state dessert (the 10-layer Smith Island cake, which I've never had the pleasure to try). I do know that it's really difficult to make cakes with all those tiny layers. The thin layers tend to tear apart if your frosting isn't the right consistency. My grandmother used to make a 7-layer cake. Her frosting had to be thin enough and spreadable enough to spread easily without shredding the cake. It was almost like a torte or a very big petit fours (which would make it a grande fours?)
  • Ooh, here's a good one...our state drink I guess we needed that to go with the Smith Island cake.
  • The state crustacean is the blue crab, of course. We have to use something to make all that she-crab soup with.
  • The state bird is the Oriole -- I think they named our baseball team after them ;-)
  • The state dog is the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, naturally, since we're on the Bay.
  • The state cat is the Calico. Ummm, isn't that pretty much everyone's state cat (except maybe Maine, and they have those gorgeous Maine Coons).
  • Since we have a couple of major horse tracks here, it should come as no surprise that our state horse is the thoroughbred. I'm not a horse woman, but doesn't that just mean it's a purebred horse? Somebody help me here...
  • The state boat (??) is the Skipjack, because we used to have fleets of these working boats on the Bay.
  • In 1965, the Rockfish (aka, striped bass) was named our state fish. I wonder if they caught those in Skipjacks?
  • You won't believe this one, but we even have a state dinosaur! The Astrodon johnstoni lived here in the early Cretaceous period and is so named (Astrodon) because it means "star tooth," for the star pattern discovered when its tooth was dissected. I kind of like the "johnstoni" part, too; reminds me of a Flintstones name.
  • Our state flower is the Black-Eyed Susan, though I'm not sure why we'd want to glorify a flower that may have gotten into a scrap after drinking too much...milk?
  • Our state dance is the Square Dance. I have no comment except to say at least it isn't the Riverdance. We also have state theaters.
  • Our state fossil (notice how I put this close to square dance...) is the Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae (Wilson). Oooookay...
  • Our state tree is the White Oak.
  • Our state sport is jousting?? I don't know anyone who jousts except for some weekend warriors who go to the RenFest every year. (The state team sport, however, is Lacrosse).
  • The state reptile is the diamondback terrapin, which explains why my alma mater, and my son's school, has the terrapin as its mascot (Let's go, Terps!). They're pretty cool looking for reptiles. Check them out.
  • Along that topic of snakes and snails and itchy things...the state insect is the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly, which is very pretty. See it up at the top of this post?

*the patuxent river stone (or agate), our state gem, is shown in the photo above. I don't think I want a ring made out of this. I like my gems shiny!

All in all, I'm just glad this was an exercise and not a pop quiz. Walking, I can do. But I'm a comm major. You do the math.

Peace - D


Mental P Mama said...

And your state dinosaur is the Astrodon johnsoni. I'm jealous. I want to know what my state exercise is....

Lavinia said...

I can understand all the state choices except jousting! Colour *me* befuddled too!

SandyCarlson said...

State crustacean? Can the inlanders have one of those, or is it the exclusive privilege of we coastal Americans? Too funny. Thanks for helping me end the day with a smile!

Akelamalu said...

Do kids over there have to remember all that???

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Oh my. That's quite the list. Impressive!

Jay said...


I'm sorry, I'm stuck on the Smith Island cake. Was there anything after that? Scuse me, I just need to write that recipe down...

I'll just throw the bathroom scales away now, shall I?


Baroness von Bloggenschtern said...

It sounds to me like you might be taking a shot at square-dancing.

I'm ok with that.

But you've gotta admit - their skirts are FIERCE...

Moannie said...

Wow! No wonder Americans are sooooo American. This is not a criticism, honestly,I think it is terrific the pride you have in your State, your Country. Patriotism is becoming a dirty word here,and I blame those Politically Correct yoyos. Love your country and you must hate incomers. England is the only member of the United Kingdom where it is frowned on to wave the cross of St. George, or even to recognise him as our patron St.

San said...

New Mexico has a STATE QUESTION. Honestly. And that question is "RED OR GREEN?" That's what they ask you in a New Mexico restaurant, meaning what color of chile you want. There are three possible answers: RED, GREEN, or CHRISTMAS (meaning both). I don't believe NONE is an option. We like it hot.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

You have to wonder who has the time to come up with all of these things. Simply amazing.

CrazyCath said...

Oh my goodness I never knew you had to know all that! Wow!