It's good to know that during these hard times, our state senators are focusing on the big issues. Issues like addressing Florida's dire need for an official state amphibian. Thank goodness that state Sen. Steve Oelrich (R-Cross Creek) has taken up this pressing concern and is making sure the barking tree frog is officially recognized.
The bill passed the Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee today, with Oelrich listing the pros of the frog, including its "pleasant coloring and friendly disposition," according to the Sun-Sentinel. The creature is the largest tree frog species in America and is notable for its distinctive croaking.
Post on Politics points out that over the years, Florida lawmakers have already assigned more than three dozen state symbols, including "the official state pie (key lime), state gem (moonstone), state soil (myakka fine sand), and state animal (Florida panther)."
That's all fine and good and slightly pointless, but as long as we're on the topic, Riptide really would like to know why the mockingbird is still the state bird of Florida. Let's be honest -- the state bird is one of the few state symbols that people actually know. We're pretty sure we covered it in elementary school.
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Yet the mockingbird is the state bird of four other states. Which might be fine for boring states with less diverse wildlife, but come on, surely Florida deserves something better. Something more unique. Something more symbolic of the state.
Obviously there's the flamingo, which already symbolizes our state lottery. Pelicans and gulls are claimed by other states, but we could pick our own subspecies or something. Herons, ibises, and egret would also make fine state birds. (Clearly we've been upset over this topic since elementary school.)
Good thing none of this actually matters (and there are a whole lot of other, more important issues our politicians could be working on).