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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.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Colorado: Land That Captivates the Imagination

This Day in History: August 1, 1876

"Passing through your wonderful mountains and canyons I realize that this state is going to be more and more the playground for the whole republic... You will see this the real Switzerland of America."
~Theodore Roosevelt

"Longs Peak Alpenglow" taken from the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain in the foothills of Boulder County, Colorado -
photo © Jesse Varner on Flickr - noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike.

Colorado acquired the official nickname 'The Centennial State' because it entered the union in 1876, 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It is also known as The Mountain State, which is no longer used but appears on license plates. Its magnificent scenery of mountains, rivers and plains produced Colorful Colorado and an old nickname The Buffalo Plains State referred to the large herds of bison that once roamed the Colorado plains.
On February 28, 1861, outgoing U.S. President James Buchanan signed an Act of Congress organizing the free Territory of ColoradoThe State of Colorado was so named because of its Spanish origin, meaning "colored red." The name was applied to the Colorado river (because of the ruddy sandstone soil of the region) and came into use for the entire territory after the discovery of gold in the Pike's Peak region. On August 1, 1876 (28 days after the Centennial of the United States), U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed a proclamation admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state and earning it the moniker "Centennial State".
Colorado is part of the Western United States,
the Southwestern United States, and the Mountain States.

 Colorado State Flag

The migratory lark bunting was designated the state bird of Colorado in 1931. The male lark bunting performs a spectacular courtship flight while warbling and trilling a distinctive mating song. A breeding male is jet black with white wings but in winter changes to a gray brown color more like the smaller female bird (the lark bunting is the only sparrow that changes in winter to a drab plumage).
 The Lark Bunting
Whose call is a two-note whistle

photo M. Noonan
The magnificent Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep was designated official state animal of Colorado in 1961. Named for their massive, curling horns (which can grow to 50 inches in length) and known for their agility and perfect balance, Rocky Mountain bighorns (Ovis canadensis) are found only in the Rockies (usually above the timberline) in extremely rugged terrain. Read MORE...
Another state claiming a dinosaur...
Colorado State Fossil: Stegosaurus
Stegosaurus was designated the official state fossil of Colorado in 1982. Seven states have declared a state dinosaur: Colorado, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming.
Of the various turtles of Colorado, the Western Painted Turtle was designated the official state reptile of Colorado in 2008 thanks to the efforts of Jay Baichi's 4th grade class.
The Rocky Mountain Columbine was designated the official state flower of Colorado in 1899 after winning the vote of Colorado's school children. Discovered in 1820 on Pike's Peak by mountain climber Edwin James, the Rocky Mountain columbine is a lovely flower with a rich aroma to attract bees, hummingbirds and butterflies to it's nectar.
 Colorado State Recreational Sports: Snowboarding and Skiing
Colorado provides outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation and with its fine, light snow attracts millions of skiers every year. Snowboarding and skiing were designated as Colorado's official recreational sports in 2008.
    For all State Symbols of Colorado click HERE!

 Colorado State Song: "Where the Columbines Grow"

Colorado State Song #2: Rocky Mountain High

   Land That Captivates the Imagination


Rocky Mountains both north and south
Lift their snowy heads into the heavens
Scenery - grandest that can be conceived


Nourishing grassy eastern plain
Affords grazing to millions of cattle
Richness - more than anyone perceived


High tableland to the west
Offers copious timber on mountain slopes
Majestic - panoramic in its view


Shiny green berry bushes
Drip heavy crimson globes 
Aromatic - fresh as the morning dew


Scenic, historic byways
Crisscross revealing natural beauty
Mesmeric - unmatched fascination


Purple mountains, blue skies, peaceful lakes
Extol essence of the American West 
Colorado - Land that captivates the imagination