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Mass Ascension…

… Mount Vernon Style

January 15, 2019

Although this particular population group is less than 1 percent of the species, the spectacle they create each winter in the Skagit Valley is breathtaking.

snow geese mass ascension

The geese depart in mass ascension, wings flapping and outstretched.

The Snow Goose, scientific name Anser caerulescens, is a bird which breeds in the Arctic during summer but migrates south each winter. In the state of Washington flocks of the birds can be found in Snohomish, Island, Skagit, and Whatcom counties as well as on the Oregon border in Clark County.

I went scrambling to find out more information about the Snow Goose after witnessing them last week near Mount Vernon. First the facts about the birds from the Infallible Wikipedia:

“The snow goose has two color plumage morphs, white (snow) or gray/blue (blue), thus the common description as ‘snows’ and ‘blues’. White-morph birds are white except for black wing tips, but blue-morph geese have bluish-grey plumage replacing the white except on the head, neck and tail tip. The immature blue phase is drab or slate-gray with little to no white on the head, neck, or belly. Both snow and blue phases have rose-red feet and legs, and pink bills with black tomia (‘cutting edges’), giving them a black ‘grin patch’. The colors are not as bright on the feet, legs, and bill of immature birds. The head can be stained rusty-brown from minerals in the soil where they feed. They are very vocal and can often be heard from more than a mile away.”

The Infallible Wikipedia also informed me that there are approximately 5 MILLION birds of breeding age which migrate from the Arctic to some 15 distinct areas of the United States each winter.

In the Skagit Valley, according to the Audubon Society, there are upwards of 55,000 snow geese which spend the winter (Mid-October to early May)  feeding on the decaying plants and roots left in the fertile fields. Additionally, approximately 8,000 Trumpeter and 2,000 Tundra Swans are also found near Mount Vernon.

The hubby and I ventured out last Thursday to see if we could find one of the flocks of the snow geese. In less than 10 miles from our home, we encountered a large group gathered just west of I-5 near to Conway. First, a word of caution, DO NOT under any circumstance stop along the Interstate to view the birds, as tempting as it may be. We were along a secondary road but saw a Washington State Patrolman stop to give a freeway bird gawker a bit of friendly advice.

We parked our car but even before we opened one of the doors we heard them: squawking and honking in their unique language. The noise overwhelms and defines the experience.  I had no idea how mesmerizing it would be to watch the birds. From a distance, the geese seemed stationary. As we observed from up close, however, the flock seemed to be marching north, as they pecked at bits of leftover plant materials in the fallow ground. Then, as if by command, they turned and marched south, the strong wind ruffling their feathers and making it difficult to walk.

When, a short distance to the west, a train rumbled by and it’s loud horn sounded, the collective was disturbed and suddenly hundreds of birds fluttered into the air, ascending in a group and spiraling up and off to the west. It was, my hubby claimed as he compared it to the famous Albuquerque Balloon Festival, “Mass Ascension, Mount Vernon style.” The first group was followed by another which was followed by third and yet a fourth after that. Soon, only a small portion of the birds remained. And still we watched.

“Look, over there,” my hubby said some ten minutes later and pointed to the southwest.

Sure enough a dark blotch in the sky grew bigger and then we could make out hundreds of individuals all headed our way. Their arrival was quieter than their departure. Each bird, as it landed among the others, seemed like a graceful ballerina, wings spread to form an umbrella on either side, feet and legs outstretched, as each animal floated to earth.

return of the geese

Like airborne ballerinas they stretch their wings wide to land.

The geese descended in flocks numbering in the hundreds. Wave after wave of the snow geese landed among the group already on the ground with each bird somehow finding a bare plot which they could occupy only to resume their marching up and down the fields.

It was with great reluctance that we departed that afternoon. But the experience only whetted my appetite for more. I have my sights set on next visiting the main area where the Tundra and Trumpeter swans gather at a spot called DeBay Slough just to the northeast of Mount Vernon. After that it may be in search of Eagles whose presence is felt among the geese as the former cull the flocks of the sick and weak. Up the North Cascades Highway (SR 20) at Rockport is the Bald Eagle Interpretive Center, open on weekends for people to learn and to view.

After the Snow Goose encounter I came away with one very clear thought. I now live in a magical place. From the tulip fields in the spring, to the ever changing and interesting Skagit River, to the thousands of birds in the winter, there is no shortage of things to see and do here in Mount Vernon.

I was unable to get my own video’s uploaded but found this one on the internet and, as far as I can tell, this is the same spot where we watched the birds last Thursday.

A bunch of links for those who want to visit and see the birds:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_goose

http://www.mountvernonchamber.com/visitor-news/bird-watchers-paradise-peak-season-right-now-for-eagles-snow-geese-swans-in-mount-vernon/

https://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/skagit/

http://www.seattleaudubon.org/Birdweb/bird/tundra_swan?tab=3

http://skagiteagle.org/viewing-sites/

“Rose Bowl Roses!”

January 2, 2019

rose bowl.jpgNicknamed “The Granddaddy of them All” – the annual football contest known as “The Rose Bowl” debuted on this date in 1902.

It was a uneven matchup with Michigan defeating Stanford 49-0. Apparently the gridiron battle was devised to help fund the Pasadena Rose Parade. But that first game was such a disaster – Stanford quit after three quarters – that the football game was abandoned for more than a decade. From the Infallible Wikipedia:

“The game was so lopsided that for the next thirteen years, the Tournament of Roses officials ran chariot races, ostrich races, and other various events instead of football. But, on New Year’s Day 1916, football returned to stay as the State College of Washington (now Washington State University) defeated Brown University in the first of what was thereafter an annual tradition.”1916 Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl,  as many of us knew it in the 1960’s through the 1990’s, wasn’t always a match between the Pac-8 (and then the Pac -10 with the addition of Arizona and Arizona State in 1978) and the Big-10. That tradition began in 1959 after a ‘Pay to Play’ scandal derailed the previous agreement in place since 1947.

And the tradition worked well with the Pac-10 champion meeting the Big 10 winner on New Year’s Day. Then, in 1998, with the creation of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), things changed. In both 2002 and 2006, the National Championship game was played in Pasadena .  But it was not without controversy. Also from the Infallible Wikipedia:

“The 2002 game served as the BCS championship game between the BCS No. 1–ranked Miami, then a member of the Big East Conference, and the BCS No. 2–ranked Nebraska, then a member of the Big 12 Conference. The Nebraska selection as the BCS No. 2 team was controversial because Oregon was ranked No. 2 in both the AP and Coaches Polls, while Nebraska was ranked No. 4 in both polls and did not play in its conference championship game (No. 3 Colorado, who would play Oregon in that year’s Fiesta Bowl, did and won the Big 12’s automatic bid to the BCS). This prevented a West Coast team playing in the Rose Bowl for the first time, and it also marked the first matchup since 1946 not to feature the traditional pairing of Pac-10 vs. Big Ten teams.”

Since 2014, and the advent of the College Football Playoffs, the Rose Bowl traditions have seen further modifications. Now, every three years, it features one of the two playoff games. In 2015 and again in 2018, there was not a traditional Pac-10/Big-10 matchup.

Huskies vs. Ohio stateFor those of us who prefer tradition, today’s matchup of  #9 Washington and #6 Ohio State is everything the Rose Bowl is supposed to be. It will be Ohio State’s 15th appearance and Washington’s 16th visit. But the two teams have never met in the Rose Bowl.

I have two distinct memories associated with the Rose Bowl. The first occurred at the Apple Cup on November 19, 1977. My sister, then a student at Washington State University, came to Seattle to attend the game and took her sister (I was attending the University of Puget Sound) along. It was a brilliantly sunny, but cold, day. As we approached the stadium there was a tall guy dressed all in black who held long stem red roses in his hand and was shouting “Rose Bowl Roses. Get your Rose Bowl Roses.”

We, of course, were offended by the presumption that the Huskies were going to the Rose Bowl BEFORE the game with WSU was even played! After all, Washington had to beat WSU and USC had to beat UCLA for the Huskies to earn a trip to Pasadena.

2011 04 15 Washington_Huskies_RoseBowl_1978_r1.jpgNo Rose Bowl Roses were purchased by us that day. But we definitely needed the extra warmth and fortitude provided by the flask she smuggled into the stadium. We were seated in the visitors horseshoe at the far west end of the stadium. The buttressing of our spirits from the extra spirits was required as the Huskies hammered the Cougs 35-15 and USC dispatched the Bruins the next weekend. Washington flew to Southern California and, on January second (the Rose Bowl is played on the second if the first falls on a Sunday), upset heavily favored Michigan 27-20.

The other memorable Rose Bowl was 1998. We didn’t need anything warm to drink that day as my family – Parents, siblings, spouses, children, nieces and nephews – spent 10 days in Maui to celebrate our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. My parents had arranged for condo units for each of us four siblings and our families in the Hale Hui Kai complex. Since my sister and I both had young children (they were ages 4 to 8) we were assigned ground floor units so as not to have to deal with stairs. The down side was that my unit had absolutely no view . Everyone assumed we would be at the beach with our Sleeping_Beauty_poster.jpgkids most of the time. Hah! My daughter had become obsessed with the Disney animated movie ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ So most every afternoon I ended up hanging out in the unit while she watched Sleeping Beauty. Unless, of course, she was across the breezeway playing Barbie’s with the cousins. Except on New Year’s Day when Sleeping Beauty was relegated to the back burner and all the guys – Dad, brothers, husband and brother in law – descended upon our unit to watch the #8 WSU Cougs take on #1 Michigan.

WSU rosebowl 1998.jpg

Although the Cougars launched a valiant effort in what was their third of four Rose Bowl appearances, they fell to the soon to be crowned national champions 21-16.

And my daughter? A couple of things are no longer true. She’s not obsessed with Sleeping Beauty; she’d be horrified at the thought of spending a Hawaiian vacation holed up in a condo; and if she had friends who started a college football fantasy league she’d participate and soon know everything about the teams and players.

I’ll be rooting for the Huskies (don’t tell the die-hard Coug fans in my family, okay?) to prevail over Ohio State, but I’m really worried about QB Dwayne Haskins and the OS offensive line. Plus with their coach, Urban Meyer, retiring they will be the sentimental pick. Currently Ohio State is favored to win but, who knows, it might just be the Huskies year for an upset. The only thing better would be to spend New Year’s Day on the beaches of Maui.

Of course the Infallible Wikipedia has so much more to share:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rose_Bowl_Game

The Oracle of Bacon

One Degree or Another

September 4, 2018

kevin bacon kyra sedgwickToday’s historical event really isn’t that much of an event but more an excuse to write about a topic which amuses this author. First of all happy 30th wedding anniversary to Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. They were married September 4, 1988. Unlike a great number of Hollywood marriages, their marriage has lasted three decades and, apparently, they’ve only ever been married to each other!

But as I said, that event is but an excuse to write about the cultural phenomenon known as the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”

The genesis of the concept first appeared in 1996 when four Albright college students watched two movies one evening, both of which featured Kevin Bacon. No doubt, as these things go, the four probably had been consuming alcohol when they began speculating on the connections between Bacon and other actors.

Bacon himself said in an earlier interview, in January 1994 with Premiere magazine, that he “had worked with everybody in Hollywood or someone who’s worked with them.”

From the Infallible Wikipedia, here’s how it works:

animal-house-kevin-bacon

Kevin Bacon (Right) as Chip Diller along with Kent Dorfman – played by Stephen Furst in the classic Animal House.

“Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a parlor game based on the ‘six degrees of separation’ concept, which posits that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart. Movie buffs challenge each other to find the shortest path between an arbitrary actor and prolific actor Kevin Bacon. It rests on the assumption that anyone involved in the Hollywood film industry can be linked through their film roles to Bacon within six steps. In 2007, Bacon started a charitable organization called SixDegrees.org.”

In the past 20 years, the concept has become a cultural phenomenon, and references to the game have been made in movies, books, TV and even a couple of parody songs. Despite his initial dislike of the game, Bacon himself has come to embrace it and, no doubt, it has been a benefit to his long career.

Also from the Infallible Wikipedia:

“In 2009, Bacon narrated a National Geographic Channel show ‘The Human Family Tree’ – a program which describes the efforts of that organization’s Genographic Project to establish the genetic interconnectedness of all humans. In 2011, James Franco made reference to Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon while hosting the 83rd Academy Awards. In the summer of 2012, Google began to offer the ability to find an actor’s Bacon number on its main page, by searching for the actor’s name preceded by the phrase ‘bacon number’. EE (UK internet provider) began a UK television advertising campaign on November 3, 2012, based on the Six Degrees concept, where Kevin Bacon illustrates his connections and draws attention to how the EE 4G network allows similar connectivity.”

oracleTo find any actor’s ‘Bacon Number’ you can go to this link: https://oracleofbacon.org/

Even those of us who are not actors and have never appeared in a movie with or without Kevin Bacon can, however, discern our ‘Bacon Number’.

I went to the link and then figured out ‘who’ I personally know who might have a connection. What I discovered: my Bacon number is Three.

Kyle MacLachlan Twin Peaks

Kyle Maclachlan in Twin Peaks

How? I went to high school with Kyle MacLachlan (he spelled it McLachlan then) at Eisenhower HS in Yakima. Kyle, for those who do not know, starred as Special Agent Dale Cooper in the TV show Twin Peaks and also as Paul Atreides in the movie Dune. He’s had a decade’s long, solid acting career. His Bacon number is Two assigned as follows: He was in a Twin Peaks episode with James Marshall who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

michael Tucker

Michael Tucker

Or, I can get to Kevin Bacon through my brother who had a minor walk on role in the movie The Secret Life of Archie’s Wife (1990) starring Michael Tucker. Michael Tucker was in Diner (1982) with Kevin Bacon. So via this connection I also get a Bacon number of three. Kevin (0) – Michael (1) –Peter (2) – Barb (3).

Now let the games begin… what is YOUR Bacon number?

And a couple of links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees_of_Kevin_Bacon (Yes, there really is a Wikipedia page JUST for this!)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Bacon (And one for the actor himself)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyle_MacLachlan (Yakima’s famous son has one too!)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Tucker_(actor) (As does Michael Tucker)

I plucked this historical photo of Kyle (right photo, wearing the all black outfit) from the pages of my high school annual (I was the Editor so I probably handled this photo and, possibly, either wrote or made changes to the caption) in one of his early roles acting. He would have been 16 in this photo. Kyle M early years.jpg

This entry was posted on September 5, 2018.

Glacier Peak, Washington

June 12, 2018

The Volcano That Get’s No Respect

One night – a month ago in early May – the news that Kilauea volcano in Hawaii had erupted dominated the news. Reports on the lava flows and subsequent explosive discharges provided our TV stations in Western Washington an opportunity to remind all of us that there are five active volcanoes in the state.seattle with glacier peak

“Five?” I exclaimed to my hubby as we sat in the living room of our new Mount Vernon, Washington, condo. “I dispute that there are five ACTIVE volcanoes here!”

Of course such a claim sent me straight to the internet.

I knew of the two obvious active ones: Mt. St. Helen’s and Mt. Baker as both had activity in the past 40 years. And you can hardly read anything about Mt. Rainier without being reminded that although it is dormant it’s not dead and ‘could’ erupt this week or not for a thousand years.

Which left ‘two’ unaccounted for volcanos. The first one was easy: Mt. Adams. I grew up seeing Mt. Adams on most days from Yakima. But it has always been my understanding that it is not in any danger of eruption as it truly is a long dormant mountain.

So what was the last volcano? In addition to Washington’s four mountains, there were Mt. Hood in Oregon as well as the Three Sisters and then two in California, Shasta and Lassen Peak.

I was, frankly, a veritable volcano snob, having not only lived through the eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s but also growing up with the volcanic mountains so much a part of the experience. I know my mountains! But the gauntlet had been thrown down and I set out to disprove the report. There was not, I was certain, a ‘fifth’ Washington state volcano.

Imagine my dismay when, according to the infallible Wikipedia (as well as the US Geologic Survey), the benign sounding Glacier Peak turned out to be the missing volcano.

Glacier Peak!? I’d heard of it but the name alone reinforces visions of cold and ice. A volcano? It’s a volcano?

dakobedIndeed it is. At 10,541 feet it is the fourth tallest peak in the state and is located a scant 50 miles southeast from where I now live and only 70 miles northeast of Seattle.

And, like Volcan de Fuego in Guatamala and our other four peaks, it is a stratovolcano, the kind of volcano which can erupt violently.

From the infallible Wikipedia:

“Of the five major volcanoes in Washington, only Glacier Peak and Mount St. Helens have had large eruptions in the past 15,000 years. Since both volcanoes generate magma of dacitic origin, the viscous magma builds up since it cannot flow through the eruptive vent. Gradually, the pressure grows, culminating in an explosion that ejects materials such as tephra, which in its simplest form, is ash.

Tephrochronology and radiocarbon dating indicate that Glacier Peak eruptions occurred in 1700 AD ± 100 years, 1300 AD ± 300 years, 900 AD ± 50 years, 200 AD ± 50 years, 850 BC, 3150 BC, and in 3550 BC. The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) for three of these was 2 to 4, small compared to the 5 of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. They were characterized mainly by a central vent eruption, followed by an explosive eruption. These eruptions varied in outcome; some produced lahars, some pyroclastic flows, and others lava domes.

A little more than 13,000 years ago, a sequence of nine tephra eruptions occurred within a period of less than a few hundred years. Associated with these eruptions were pyroclastic flows. Mixed with snow, ice and water, these formed lahars that raced into three nearby rivers, filling their valleys with deep deposits. Subsequently the mudflows drained into both the North Fork of the Stillaguamish River (at that time an outlet of the Sauk River) and Skagit Rivers. In Arlington, 60 miles downstream, lahars deposited seven feet of sediment. Subsequent erosion of lahar deposits near Darrington led to the current river system with the Stillaguamish River separated from the Sauk/Skagit Rivers. Lahar debris was deposited along both the Skagit and Stillaguamish Rivers all the way to Puget Sound. A small portion of the erupted tephra was deposited locally. However, most of the tephra reached higher levels of the atmosphere, and was transported by the wind hundreds of miles. Deposits from this congregation were as thick as 1 foot near Chelan and 0.3 inches near Missoula, Montana.

Since these events, Glacier Peak has produced several lahars. The largest events were 5,900 and 1,800 years ago and were associated with dome-building eruptions. In both cases, the lahars traveled down the Skagit River to Puget Sound.”

It was actually this last sentence which most caught my attention… I repeat:

In both cases, the lahars traveled down the Skagit River to Puget Sound.

Let’s see… where does the Skagit River flow before arriving at Puget Sound? Oh yes, I know, Mount Vernon.

lahar flows glacier peakArmed with this revelation about Washington’s mostly unknown volcano, my hubby will attest to the fact that I’ve become obsessed. In my weekly or more drives up and down Interstate 5 I have found myself, on clear days, scanning the mountains to the east. Which one is Glacier Peak? And, more importantly, how is it I never knew which one it was and that it’s a volcano?

I’ve come to believe that Glacier Peak is like the Rodney Dangerfield of volcanoes. It just doesn’t get any respect. There are no roads which will take you to its base. There’s no park, no visitor centers, no campgrounds. And every single day hundreds of thousands of people drive within less than a hundred miles of it, oblivious to its existence.

As an experiment I’ve started asking people two questions: first if they had ever heard of Glacier Peak and, second, that it’s a volcano. Consistently, the answer is no.

I’m now on a one-woman crusade to help Glacier Peak get that respect. It’s the least I can do for the volcano in my backyard.

Washington_State_volcanoesAs always, links to a couple of Infallible Wikipedia articles, USGS, and – for those of you under the age of 50 – Rodney Dangerfield. Gotta have those cultural references.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Peak

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_Peak_Wilderness

https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/glacier_peak/

https://youtu.be/Z_OuflwjeiY (Rodney Dangerfield YouTube clip)

A Blast From The Past

March 27, 2018

Mt. St. Helens March 1980It was on March 27, 1980, that the first plumes of steam escaped from Mt. St. Helen’s. Just over seven weeks later, the mountain experienced a 5.1 earthquake which caused the north side of the volcano to slide away and triggered the largest debris avalanche in recorded US history.

From the infallible Wikipedia:

“The magma in St. Helen’s burst forth into a large-scale pyroclastic flow that flattened vegetation and buildings over 230 square miles. More than 1.5 million metric tons of sulfur dioxide was released into the atmosphere. On the Volcanic Explosivity Index scale, the eruption was rated a five, and categorized as a Plinian eruption.

The collapse of the northern flank of St. Helens mixed with ice, snow, and water to create lahars (volcanic mudflows). The lahars flowed many miles down the Toutle and Cowlitz Rivers, destroying bridges and lumber camps. A total of 3,900,000 cubic yards of material was transported 17 miles south into the Columbia River by the mudflows.

For more than nine hours, a vigorous plume of ash erupted, eventually reaching 12 to 16 miles above sea level.  The plume moved eastward at an average speed of 60 miles per hour with ash reaching Idaho by noon.”

This information is, of course, widely known. As a young reporter for the weekly Eatonville Dispatch in South Pierce County, Washington, that first puff of steam was part of a rather amazing life experience.

At a distance of only 47 miles – as the crow flies so to speak – from the mountain, Eatonville residents soon noticed fine layers of ash dusting the community. Week after week I wrote stories about the impact of the ash fall and provided reports in the paper as to all the latest activity.

The most interesting event, however, began two months earlier with a rather odd story told to me by a young couple who were driving home from Ashford to Eatonville one winter night. They claimed that they were followed by three bright orbs which sped up and slowed down in concert with their car. These young people were visibly upset by the incident and believed they had been followed by UFO’s. The photo here is NOT from that event but is illustrative of what they described.Blue glowing Orbs over Oakland, CA 2013

Another theory, however, was posited in late March in conjunction with the increased earthquake and volcanic rumblings. And that is the phenomenon known as Earthquake lightning. It is believed that lightning can be triggered by earthquakes and that, perhaps, the presence of these lights was associated with the impending eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s.

Also from the infallible Wikipedia:

“The lights are reported to appear while an earthquake is occurring, although there are reports of lights before or after earthquakes, such as reports concerning the 1975 Kalapana earthquake. They are reported to have shapes similar to those of the auroras, with a white to bluish hue, but occasionally they have been reported having a wider color spectrum. The luminosity is reported to be visible for several seconds, but has also been reported to last for tens of minutes. Accounts of view-able distance from the epicenter varies: in the 1930 Idu earthquake, lights were reported up to 70 miles (110 km) from the epicenter.”

To this day I’ve never quite known what was or was not the truth with this account. I do know that when I was in the area where the phenomenon occurred in the two months prior to Mt. St.Helen’s awakening I was hyper aware and constantly scanned the rearview mirror for strange lights. I never did see any.

Dispatch article April 23 1980It was not until the April 23rd issue when I reported the first dusting of ash in Eatonville. Less than a month later the mountain blew.

As always, a couple of links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_St._Helens

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthquake_light

… The Great State of Washington

The “Other” Washington

December 12, 2017

George WashingtonIt’s been the source of much confusion and for those of us from the ‘state’, a source of consternation. When, on December 12, 1800, Congress created the ‘District of Columbia’ I doubt they knew how it would all play out.

The trouble began in 1853 when, by an act of Congress, the territory of Washington was created.

From the infallible Wikipedia:

“The territory was originally to be named ‘Columbia’, for the Columbia River and the Columbia District, but Kentucky representative Richard H. Stanton found the name too similar to the District of Columbia (the national capital, itself containing the city of Washington) and proposed naming the new territory after President Washington. Washington is the only U.S. state named after a president.

“Confusion over the state of Washington and the city of Washington, D.C. led to renaming proposals during the statehood process for Washington in 1889, including David Dudley Field II’s suggestion to name the new state ‘Tacoma.’ These proposals failed to garner support. Washington, D.C.’s own statehood movement in the 21st century includes a proposal to use the name ‘State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth’, which would conflict with the current state of Washington. To distinguish it from the national capital, Washington may be referred to as ‘Washington State’, or, in more formal contexts, as ‘the State of Washington’. Residents of Washington (known as ‘Washingtonians’) and the Pacific Northwest simply refer to the state as ‘Washington’, and the nation’s capital ‘Washington, D.C.’, ‘the other Washington’, or simply ‘D.C.’.”

greetings from WashingtonIronically, had they named our state Columbia there would not be any confusion today over which ‘Columbia’ is being discussed since the entire world pretty much calls the nation’s capital ‘Washington.’

As recently as May 2017 a bill was introduced into the US Senate for precisely the purpose of granting statehood to the District of Columbia. I understand the push for that. But, (my opinion) in the category of stupid ideas it’s also been proposed to call the new entity the “State of Washington, DC.”

Also from the infallible Wikipedia:

“On November 8, 2016, the voters of the District of Columbia voted overwhelmingly in favor of statehood, with 86% of voters voting to advise approving the proposal. Although the proposed state name on the ballot sent to voters appeared as ‘State of New Columbia’, the resolution passed by the D.C. City Council passed in October 2016, weeks before the election, changed the name to ‘State of Washington, D.C.’, in which ‘D.C.’ stands for ‘Douglass Commonwealth’, a reference to African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who lived in Washington, D.C. from 1877 to 1895.”

greetings from Washington DC.jpgTalk about muddying the waters. To learn more about this whole mess be sure to check out these links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington,_D.C.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_(state)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_statehood_movement

Sadly, I missed posting on December 5 due to a death in the family. Thank you everyone for your kind words.