Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Florida: Sea, Shells, & Smells

This Day in History: March 3, 1845

One of Florida's biggest attractions is Disney World!

Florida is renown for its white sand beaches.
Image Source: www.flickr.com
Florida's nickname is The Sunshine State, adopted officially by Florida legislature in 1970. Florida is the fourth most-populated state in the country, and it's beaches draw thousands of tourists every year. Most of the state has a humid subtropical climate, except for the southern part below Lake Okeechobee (which has a true tropical climate).
Explore the grassy waters, sandy shores, and intriguing history of Florida. From big orange groves to Little Havana, from launching rockets to hanging chads, the Sunshine State offers spectacular views and seminal moments that are uniquely its own. Soar over the metropolis of Miami and the spring break mecca: Panama City. This is a first-class Floridian vacation, and you have a window seat!

On March 3, 1845, Florida becomes the 27th U.S. state. Florida was named Pascua Florida by explorer Ponce de Leon on Easter in 1513. Translation: means "Flowery Easter" or "Flowering Easter" (after Spain's "Feast of the Flowers" Easter celebration). The Territory of Florida was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 30, 1822 until March 3, 1845, when it was admitted to the Union as the State of Florida

Floridais a state in the southeastern region of the United States

Florida State Flag
The original 1868 state flag of Florida was simply the Florida State Seal centered on a field of white. In the 1890's, Florida's governor suggested adding the red cross so the flag would not look like a banner of truce or surrender when hanging limp on a flagpole. Florida voters agreed, and the St. Andrew's Cross was added in 1900 (Confederate battle flags also featured a St. Andrew's Cross). Many banners have flown over Florida prior to 1868: the flags of Spain, France, Great Britain, the Confederate States, & the national flag of the USA.

Florida State Bird: Northern Mockingbird

The official state bird of Florida is the mockingbird.
Northern Mockingbirds have extraordinary vocal abilities -
they can sing up to 200 songs, including the songs of other birds,
insect and amphibian sounds, even an occasional mechanical noise.
The Northern Mockingbird is also the state bird of
Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.
 Yellow & Red Coreopsis
Photo by Thomas Knox on Flickr
Florida designated coreopsis as the official state wildflower in 1991. Coreopsis ranges in color from golden to pink and has been planted extensively in Florida for highway beautification programs.
 Orange Blossom, the state flower of Florida
The blossom of the orange tree is one of the most fragrant flowers in Florida. Millions of white flowers from orange trees perfume the air in central and southern Florida during orange blossom time. Florida also recognizes the orange as official state fruit and orange juice as the state beverage.
 For the State Symbols of Florida click HERE

Florida State Song
Until 2007, it was tradition to perform the official state song The Swanee River (Old Folks at Home, adopted in 1935) as part of the inauguration ceremony for incoming Florida governors. The song was not included in the 2007 inauguration ceremony because it is seen by some as showing racism toward black Americans. The original lyrics refer to "darkies" and "a-longin' for the old plantation" (the song is sung from a black man's perspective). The composer, Stephen Foster, supported the North in the American Civil War and sympathized with black Americans.
 Florida State Anthem
In 2007, the Florida Music Educators Association worked in partnership with Senator Tony Hill and Representative Ed Homan to invite Florida's citizens to submit their entries for a new state song. In January, 2008, the song Florida (Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky) was selected as the winner and will be presented to the state legislature as a possible replacement for "Old Folks at Home." In 2008 instead of being replaced, "Old Folks" was maintained as the state song with Florida becoming the state anthem.

Sea, Shells, & Smells
 What calls you home?

A trip to the beach implies—
Seagulls in flight, crashing waves, sandy toes
Ocean spray in a gaping mouth
Tangy sea air infiltrating the nose

A walk on the beach uncovers—
Sand castles, starfish, sand dollars, seashells
Sea crabs among beds of sea grass
Aromatic scents of salty sea smells

A day at the beach commands—
Sun-drenched skin, tan lines
A picnic on a beach blanket
Undertow warning signs

A ride along the beach intends—
Time for healing to begin
Fresh air slapping the face
Sea smells blowing in the wind

What is this pungent sea smell?
It’s in the air, in the sand
Among dead crab-shells
Spreading from sea to land

It's tiny pearls of inspiration
Scattered along a seashore of decay
Bits, pieces of nature's poignant gifts
Waiting to be found another day

It's the flight of imagination
Inhaling, exhaling with the tide
Nostalgic moments to be captured
Bringing emotions outside inside

 It is the sea
The shells, the smells
Surrounding the shoreline
Calling me home

©2012 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

Take a walk on the beach. It's a great way to clear your mind. 
And as you walk along the beach you might never know what you'll find.
—Debbie Bongiovanni-Sharp (Uplifting and inspiring Poet, n.d.)

Florida Facts and Trivia

Next state by month: #14 Vermont - Mar 4, 1791