Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In Michigan, we're not ashamed to say we're proud of our pinus strobus!

From my friend Marvin Roberson:

 “I thought it might be nice to honor our state tree on my license plate, so I applied for "Pinus", as in "Pinus Strobus", or White Pine. The Secretary of State rejected it on the grounds that it was "offensive". This despite that the word itself appears on the state website dozens of times (being the state tree). Glad our botanically challenged morality police are always vigilant!”

Marvin is a forest ecologist who works for the Sierra Club. As far as I know, he is not a pervert. But, the Michigan Secretary of State isn’t so sure about him. Thusly, I’m reconsidering my judgment of Marvin's character because I trust the instincts of government bureaucrats.

In a phone conversation earlier today, Marvin noted that the word pinus also appears on a plaque on the grounds of the State Capitol. And that is pronounced like this: “pie nus.” Not pronounced like….you know….like the Secretary of State pronounces it.

Anyway, the white pine (pinus strobus) is Michigan’s official state tree. Nearly every old growth white pine was cut down during Michigan’s lumber boom, and only a handful of remnant old growth stands remain. You can see one of them at Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling:

That last paragraph? A transparent attempt to legitimize a post that is, at its heart, a celebration of sophomoric humor. Or, as Beavis would say……. “heh! heh!  he said ‘pinus’!”

UPDATE: The Free Press has given the pinus situation some exposure!


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