Landscapes of Metaphor, Meaning, Image and Dream

California Facts:

The state reaches for 163,695.5 sqare miles.

37 million people live here.

The Pacific coastline stretches for 840 miles.

California has 58 counties.

There were 117 distinct California Indian languages; almost all, like their speakers, are extinct.

Mono Lake is 700,000 years old.

During the last ice age, the Channel Islands off California formed a large island now called Santarosae.

The grizzly bear that appears on our state flag, Ursus californicus, has been extinct since the 1920s.

State Motto: Eureka--"I have found it!"

Arnold Schwarzenegger is not the only actor to capture the governorship. Ronald Reagan was governor of California before he became President. His accomplishments included sending the baton-swinging National Guard into Berkeley, claiming that smog came from dead trees, and destroying one of the most progressive mental health systems in the nation.

State Bird: the California Quail (Lophortyx californica).

State Flower: the California Golden Poppy (Eschsholtzia californica).

State Tree: the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), heavily sawed; some would include the giant sequoia (Sequoia gigantea).

State Reptile: the desert tortoise (gopherus agassizi).

State Marine Fish: the garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus), a brilliant orange fish.

State Colors: blue and gold.

State Marine Animal: the California gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus).

State Insect: the California dogface butterfly (Zerene eurydice).

State Mineral: gold, of course.

State Rock: serpentine, for some reason.

State Soil: San Joaquin soil.

State Gemstone: benitoite (barium titanium silicate), blue and hexagonal.

State Prehistoric Artifact: a chipped stone bear.

State Fossil: the sabre-tooth cat (Smilodon californicus).

State Fish: the golden trout (Salmo agua-bonita).

State Dance: West Coast swing dancing.

State Capital: Sacramento.

State Song: "I Love You, California," by F.B. Silverwood.