Sunday Stills: Your State or National #Symbol

California State Flag Graphic

Today’s theme should be an interesting challenge. In the US we have state symbols of birds, trees, animals, flowers, flags, etc. Outside the US, your own country may have its symbols that represent your country and its people.

California State Flag
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Now whether you have your own image of one may be another story.

In California we are surrounded by nature and two symbols easy to capture are the California Golden Poppy and the California Redwood.

The golden poppy is everywhere this time of year and its orange blooms are a sure sign that spring is right around the corner. These were just randomly growing on the side of a neighbor’s yard spilling through the chain-link fence.

Roadside Poppies

This was taken when I had planted a live poppy plant. It thought it looked beautiful in the rain.

Freshly opened California poppy droops with recent raindrops.

The stately Redwood is easy to spot in most areas of the state, but especially so in Northern California. Many people associate the redwood with the Giant Sequoia, a species found in Sequoia National Park and in the Mariposa Grove near Yosemite Valley.

The redwood species in my area’s rocky soil thrive and are known as Sequoia Sempervirens, but also thrive in Coastal California. The annual California State Fair held every July in Sacramento has an entire forest of redwoods and other trees that represent the state. Years ago, I took home a few of the free redwood seedlings. I planted 5 in my backyard and have enjoyed the mini-forest for years now.

Backyard Redwood Mini-Forest

When I planted the seedlings from pots, I never thought they would grow this tall. The oldest one, planted in 1989, is over 300 feet tall. My mini forest of large redwoods can be seen from any point in my neighborhood, and are home to a variety of birds and critters.

See more about California Redwoods here.

Grizzly bear, quail, gray whale and desert tortoise are other creatures that represent the state of California. I managed to capture a shot of this tortoise holding up bicycle traffic a couple of years ago on the American River Bike Trail.

A Tortoise Crossed the Road

Note: Many of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook likely read about the passing of my mother this week. I intend to honor her in my March 22 Sunday Stills post “Favorite Place.” Thank you again for your heartfelt well-wishes and condolences.

California State Flag Graphic

I can’t wait to see your state or country’s national symbols.

82 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: Your State or National #Symbol

  1. Wow! I can’t believe that your redwoods started with seedlings YOU planted. That’s amazing! I’m sure you will miss your mini-forest when you move. But, you should be able to start a new one. Or there might be one on the property already!

    So sorry to read about your mom, Terri.

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  2. I can’t believe your redwoods have grown so tall in 30 years or so since you planted them. It seems like that would take 100 years! I will finally get to see redwoods this summer. We have a wedding in southern Oregon and are planning a day trip to see the great trees.

    Our state bird is the robin and it is my favorite. Alas, I have not seen any yet, but we appear to be getting a bit of spring and it should be soon! Usually robins are among the first signs of spring.

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    1. The trees must really like our rocky soil! The one tree is 30 years old, but the others were planted in 2000 and they are over 20 feet. I’m crossing my fingers for you, Michele, that spring comes quickly for you. We have robins here and they are delightful to see!

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  3. I was thinking as I looked at your photos, that we don’t have several of the state symbols here in SoCal. We see poppies here and there, but certainly no redwoods, grizzly bears, or red-legged frogs. I did find out the the state dance was swing dancing, so we are good there 🙂 . Fun challenge, Terri. It was interesting to see the different symbols in other states too.

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    1. Hmm, Janis, great observation! Maybe because Sacramento is the State capitol, it’s biased toward NorCal? Although we saw our share of black bears in Tuolumne Meadows campground over the years, I would shake in my hikers to actually encounter a grizzly!

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  4. I still love those Californian poppies, Terri. I can’t wait until they make an appearance here in Wales during the late summer. And I’m so impressed with those redwoods and how you grew them from seed.

    Here’s my offering from a neighbour’s garden.

    The dragon is a symbol of Wales. Some believe that they did once exist.

    I’m very sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Hugh. Mom rests in peace and is out of pain, which bring my family peace. Moments of sadness still overtake me out of the blue. But I love that dragon, Hugh, and was unaware it’s the symbol of Wales. Why wouldn’t dragons exist?

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  5. I feel for you at the loss of your mother Terri, and I wish you peace.

    I am learning a lot about the various flowers, flags, animals that are attributed to states and countries. Your golden poppies and your photos are delightful. We grow them here too in Australia. I have chosen the Golden Wattle to share with you, the floral emblem of Australia and have talked about why Australia’s colours are green and gold in my post this week https://debs-world.com/2020/03/08/going-green-and-gold-for-sundaystills/

    Thanks again for the photo challenge and I look forward to reading about your mum in the post on 22 March. Take care xx

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    1. Thank you, Carol. She was born in Kansas and moved to Lemon Grove (San Diego) when she was 4 or 5 and lived there the entire time except when we moved to Oregon for those two years. Boy, she hated it up there, too cold and dark she complained. She loved her San Diego County!

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    1. Thank you, Jacqui. Not sure if it’s a hardwood. Most pines are softer wood, but the redwoods are popular for decking and fencing, judging by my own back yard and what’s carried in all the Home Depot style stores.

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  6. Sorry to hear about your mother, Terri. My thoughts are with you. Those poppies are such cheerful flowers, and I like the tortoise too. I also had a tortoise as a kid and one fall it got out and wandered off. I thought that was the last I’d see of it, but the following spring it emerged from the hedge where it must have hibernated and returned to the fold.
    Here’s my response to the challenge: https://grahamsisland.com/2020/03/08/ohia-lehua-flower/#comments

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  7. I’m so sorry to hear about your mother Terri, I’d not seen the news before. Will look forward to your tribute. Your post is lovely – the growth of the redwoods so quickly is amazing!

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  8. I’m sorry for your loss, Terri. I love the poppies and redwood trees. I visited the Muir Woods Redwood Forest in CA. The flower of my Province of Ontario is the trillium, and Canada’s national flag has the maple leaf.

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  9. Down here in Orange County, I’m hard pressed to find a redwood. Unfortunately even driving a couple of hours will not get me within touching distance, as far as I know. How wonderful that you’ve planted a mini redwood forest in your yard. Your tree is beautiful.

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