Image via WikipediaToday, I received a call from Mrs. Dickster asking me if I had heard about any more snow on the horizon. Apparently, some woman she ran into told her they were forecasting another storm for next week that was going to drop another 14 inches of snow on the area. Needless to say, I started searching Al Gore's internet for a forecast. Fortunately, I did not see any impending doom on any of the news sites I frequent.
Instead, though, I did find an interesting article about what my state (Maryland) legislators are doing with their time. Maryland, like many states, has been hit hard by the economic difficulties of our time. In spite of Governor Martin O'Malley's tax increases, we are seeing revenues in the state drop. Revenues have dropped so much, that the state faces a $2 billion budget deficit. So our legislators have taken up the important debate on whether or not to recognize "Sassafras Sandy Loam" as the official state soil for the state of Maryland.
That's right folks. $2 billion in deficit and we must tackle the important issues like naming an official state soil. I also discovered that in addition to a state flag and state seal, Maryland has several other official state symbols. I knew a few of them, like the state bird and flower, but I was not aware of several of them. For your edification, I will list them below, followed by the year they were adopted.
- State Bird-the Baltimore Oriole (1947)
- State Crustacean-Maryland Blue Crab (1989)
- State Dog-Chesapeake Bay Retriever (1964)
- State Flower-Black Eyed Susan (1918)
- State Insect-Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly (1973)
- State Tree-White Oak
- State Boat-Skipjack (1985)
- State Folk Dance-Square Dancing (1994)
- State Drink-Milk (1998)
- State Fossil-Ecphora gardnerae gardnerae (1984) it is an extinct snail shell
- State Reptile-Diamondback Terrapin (1994)
- State Theater-Center Stage (1978)
- State Summer Theater-Olney Theater (1978) I guess it wasn't enough to have just a state theater.
- State Cat-Calico Cat (2001)
- State Dinosaur-Astrodon Johnstoni (1998)
- State Fish-Rockfish (1965)
- State Horse-Thoroughbred Horse (2003)
- State Sport-Jousting (1962)
- State Team Sport-Lacrosse (2004)
- State Gem-Patuxent River Stone (2004)
- State Dessert-Smith Island Cake (2008)
- State Exercise-Walking (2008)