On state animals, vegetables and whatnot

karner blue butterfly

If the Karner Blue had a grudge against lady bugs, we'd totally understand.

Following on the very serious debate over what should be the official state vegetable, two downstate legislators are now proposing legislation that would designate an official state dog. Their pick: a rescue dog (you know, like one you'd adopt from a shelter). [NYT]

It's an admirable pick, though we would have lobbied for the collie out of a strong conflict of interest.

This got us think about the other official New York State symbols -- and whether the state should revise its choices (hint: yes).

List of symbols from ILoveNY.com

State fruit: apple
An excellent choice, as New York is the second biggest grower of apples in the nation (behind Washington State). But this pick could be even better if it was a specific apple -- the obvious choice is the Empire.

State Beverage: Milk
Milk is a safe choice. It's wholesome. And the state does have a lot of dairy farms. But we'd like to see something a little more mature here -- perhaps a New York riesling.

State Tree: Sugar Maple
Sappy, sure, but an understandable choice. We also have to share it with Vermont. Surely, we can do something about that.

State Flower: Rose
Wrong answer. Talk about a generic choice. There's gotta be a native wild flower that would be a better choice here.

State Insect: Ladybug
Who doesn't like ladybugs? We'll tell you: the Karner Blue Butterfly, that's who. The KB is outraged it doesn't hold this title. We totally understand.

State Bird: Bluebird
Really? Cornell has a famous lab dedicated to the study of birds -- surely they can come up with something less generic.

State Animal: Beaver
This works. Beavers are persistent, hard workers -- assiduous, even. And their engineering skills will be useful for the state's growing tech sector.

State Fish: Trout
Fine. The state's streams have many different trout. The Atlantic sturgeon would be a cooler pick, though. From the DEC's description of the endangered fish that fish swim the Hudson: "Capable of reaching huge size, armored with bony plates, and possessing a lineage extending back to the age of dinosaurs, sturgeons are almost as fascinating as those extinct reptiles." Yeah, much cooler.

State Fossil: Sea Scorpion
We have no idea what this has to do with New York, but it sounds totally badass. +1

State Gem: Garnet
Apparently the world's largest garnet mine is in the Adirondacks. Sure.

State Muffin: Apple Muffin
We're don't think New York needs a state muffin. What's next -- a state cupcake?

State Shell: Bay Scallop
OK, we'll throw a bone to Long Island.

State Vegetable: Sweet Corn or Onion (proposed)
Apparently sweet corn is the leading contender. Both choices are wrong. Cabbage should be the state vegetable (obviously).

photo: Hollingsworth, J & K/US FWS via Wikipedia

Comments

The Karner Blue is the State Butterfly of New Hampshire. Go figure.

Maybe the state should have it's own logo like how the NBA has Jerry West's silhouette and the MLB has what many people think is Harmon Killebrew's. This is too easy but...maybe ours can be a silhouette of our most cherished citizen...the hipster.

Too soon?

How about an official State Ethic?

>>The Karner Blue is the State Butterfly of New Hampshire. Go figure.

@R, that's interesting because I remember writing an article in The Saratogian several years ago about how a colony of Karner Blues in New Hampshire had died out. Scientists were working to transport Capital Region Karner Blue eggs to New Hampshire in order to keep the species alive there.

So at least our Karner blues are recognized as a state insect somewhere.

http://saratogian.com/articles/2003/01/19/todays_stories/6744132.txt?viewmode=fullstory

I'm totally for a state cupcake!

We were recently talking about the Duke of York and Albany. The reason that the state flower is the rose is its history as the White Rose of York, or rose alba. It may not be a modern ecological pick, but it's got history to it.

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