Tuesday Trivia

Does your city have an official tree? Does any city where your ancestors lived have such? Is Spokane really unique in that arena?

It was explorer David Douglas who, in 1826, identified and named the pinus ponderosa or Ponderosa Pine. Now it’s The Official Tree of the city of Spokane.

Using Wikipedia, I found this factoid:

During Operation Upshot–Knothole in 1953, a nuclear test was performed in which 145 ponderosa pines were cut down by the United States Forest Service and transported to Area 5 of the Nevada Test Site, where they were planted into the ground and exposed to a nuclear blast to see what the blast wave would do to a forest. The trees were partially burned and blown over.

All I can say to that is DUH!

Tuesday Trivia

Ever given a thought to street names in a housing subdivision?? There may be genealogy clues hiding there in plain sight.

Take this Oswald street sign. It’s my understanding that the developer can name the streets most anything he wants and he often picks name suitable to the history and goings-on in the community.

In 1912, Ethel and John Peter Oswald bought land west of Spokane and raised a family of five children there. A grandson still owns the original house….. which is one mile from where this sign was erected. Do the folks living along Oswald Street ever give a thought to where the name originates?

My daughter lived in Pullman on Itani Street. She was told that was the developer’s mother-in-law’s name.

Tuesday Trivia

Any dachshund lovers out there? We are legion!

My sweet little Tika has her own Facebook page (Tika Thinks) which she tends well even without thumbs to type. Her hero is Crusoe the Celebrity Dachsund whose YouTube videos are a hoot.

What has this to do with genealogy today? Absolutely nothing…….. BUT our doggers have enriched our lives since Day One. To that I’m sure you would agree. What sort of dear beastie did your ancestor have???

Tuesday Trivia

Way, way back in 2004, The Spokesman Review (and likely newspapers all over the world) ran a story about Shrek the Sheep.

This was a sheep in New Zealand who avoided shearing roundup for five years and when finally found had a coat weighing nearly sixty pounds…… and as you see, his fleece was growing down over his eyes. The story alone was most interesting but the story was by our local religion editor and his point was that “nothing good happens to you in the long run when you stray from the flock.” 

Tuesday Trivia

If you live in Eastern Washington, then you know about DUST. We over here in the eastern 2/3 of the EVERGREEN state realize that we cannot be the world’s biggest wheat-to-bread-and-pasta growing area of the world without having DUST. But we do not have to like it.

Stefanie Pettit is a regular columnist for The Spokesman Review in Spokane. A recent article of hers was addressing the subject of spring cleaning. She wrote “Truth be told, I’m not such a fanatic housecleaner in any season. I’ve made my accommodation with dust. It does have to live somewhere, so I don’t mind if a bit of it chooses to rake residence on my coffee table from time to time.”

It was her “it has to live somewhere” that granted me peace and a reprieve from my self-imposed War on Dust.

**Thanks to sheknows.com for the so-appropriate image.

Tuesday Trivia

Up for some Idaho trivia today? For years, Boise has held a Potato Drop in New Year’s Eve. For Idahoans, this is bigger than Times Square on New Year. And bet you never knew.

Of course it’s not a real potato but a styrofoam creation of some ilk. And on the subject of potatoes, wouldn’t you love to chomp into one of these, with or without ketchup??

Tuesday Trivia

Did you know that Washington’s Mount Baker holds the U.S. record for the most snowfall in a single season??? Yepper, back in the winter of 1998-1999, some 95 feet of snow fell in that one winter! That would cover your house, right?

(Thanks to the Essentials of Geology, 2003, by Lutgens, Tarbuck and Tasa.)

Tuesday Trivia

What is one of Washington’s best known and least liked animals???

SLUGS! They may be nature’s ultimate recycler but to most of us they are icky.

“One of Washington’s best-known molluscs is a slug….a very big slug, to be exact. The honorable banana slug is commonly 4 to 6 inches long and sometimes can reach 10 inches. Slugs are most active at night and in dim, humid conditions because they need the humidity to replenish liquid that is consumed in their prodigious production of slime. Slime is very important to the slug. It provides both traction and lubrication and also protects the slug’s sole.”

(This bit comes from The Washington Almanac, by Andrea Jarvela, 1999.)

According to author Jarvela, “banana slugs can be eaten. Fry them after removing the slime by soaking the slugs in vinegar. They taste just like the more expensive French escargots….”

Have you ever chomped a fried banana slug?????

Tuesday Trivia

Did you realize there are 17 different species of penguins in the world? Not counting whatever species Opus belonged to.

We’ve been watching Planet Earth, the Frozen Planet series, and have become quite enamored with these black-and-white flightless birds. Asking Grandma Google for more information, I was introduced to a wonderful website, www.penguinworld.com . There I found descriptions and super photos of all different 17 species and a map of locations where they are found.

They live in Antartica primarily, but South America, New Zealand and the bottom of Africa. Those places may seem widely separated but looking at a map with Antarctica in the center those others places are just “inches” away in reality.

Hope you’ll click to that website and have a fun learning experience for yourself.

And how many flightless birds are there? You’d never be able to list them all and neither would I: 70 is the number!


Tuesday Trivia

Perhaps this should have been posted under Mystery…….but I ask for your help to identify this darling little flowering plant:

It is growing happily in my daughter-in-law’s garden in Port Angeles. The thin woody stems are about a foot long. The red-and-white flowers are tiny and about the size of your thumbnail.  She says it’s a perennial.