Tuesday, December 25, 2018

April Fooling Easter Halloween and More

This year's hoppening day was the convergence of April Fool's Day and Easter Sunday, very rare. How rare? From "Easter falls on April Fools Day in 2018: How often does that happen? …":
For the first time since 1956, Easter Sunday falls on April 1 - or April Fool's Day. Since 1900, Easter has fallen on April Fool's Day only four times - 1923, 1934, 1945 and 1956. It won't happen again until 2029. … Easter generally falls between March 22 and April 25 each year. … egg hunts, family gatherings and visits from the Easter Bunny, who leaves treats in children's Easter baskets.
Were-Rabbit for April Fool's Day/Easter Sunday and Halloween

A weirdly appropriate item to use this year was the Burger King Curse of the Were-Rabbit basket, which came out around Halloween 2005. This basket promoted "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)".

From "Clay Time: Wallace & Gromit's U.S. Romp" (publish date October 2, 2005):
Wallace and Gromit are asked to protect a small town from night-raiding rabbits who chomp people's prized vegetables…. Prepare for Halloween buckets, ….
Thoughts back in 2005 about the were-rabbit might not have extended to 2018 and Easter. Think rabbits and Easter baskets. And having Easter and April Fool's Day made that Sunday even more cutesy, imho. The basket did double duty this year. (I gave a friend my basket so her grandchild could tote it for this year's Easter/April Fool's Day and Halloween. If I'd only had the foresight to stash away some 2017 Halloween candy, …)

What Else Hoppened?

During a walk in the neighborhood last week, I spotted symbols of differing occasions at one house. Christmas-themed, to be sure, but a rabbit (Easter symbol) and winged dragon (Halloween symbol) are unusual. If the homeowner also laid out some hearts, shamrocks, and American flags, the display could cover six holiday seasons.

Speaking of shamrocks, during yesterday evening's walk, I spotted a snowman balloon that made me think of St. Patrick's Day. The hatband has a sprig of hollies and berries, but could probably look appropriate with a shamrock or leprechaun around March 17 in cold areas.

Circling back to an offbeat symbol, how about a fangy snowman, or two? Spotted them during yesterday's walk. Imho, their faces look more Halloweeny scary than Frosty friendly.

Heck, why not just have Halloween inflatables and lights up starting in September? F'rinstance, "Christmas Disney Inflatable 5.5 Santa Jack Skellington The Nightmare Before Christmas Airblown Decoration" is available at Amazon. Another inflatable, fangy like my finds, is "Gemmy Bumble Christmas Inflatable Fabric 1 Multicolored".

April Fool's Day and Sunday, no Hoppening Easter Bunny)

My tshirt's design shows a footrace for April 1, 1990. That day was a Sunday ("Sunday 1 April 1990"). It was not, however, Easter Sunday. "When Was Easter Sunday in 1990?" shows that date was April 15. This site provides dates for Easter Sundays that you can click for links up through 2047 and also use the calculator for an unlisted year.

Want another calendar source? Astronomical Society of South Australia's "Calculate the Date of Easter Sunday" includes links to Easter Sunday dates that span six centuries (18th through 23rd). Speaking of astronomy, the following is my 2018 April Fool's story, which I sent out to a select audience March 31.

March Madness Under a Full Moon (Awoooo!)

The March astronomy meeting triggered a melee during a speaker's Raspberry Pi Astrophotography: LinGuider presentation. A precocious youth blew a raspberry during the discussion about the Raspberry Pi, then exclaimed, "Where's the pie!" The youth's father, embarrassed and angry at his son's outburst, went full Homer and started to throttle the boy's throat, growling, "Why you little …!"

Another audience member, shocked at the physical interaction, threw his pocket pen protector (PPP) at the dueling pair. The plastic envelope started to float harmlessly towards earth, but somehow picked up an air pocket, then veered and jabbed someone nearer the PPP thrower. The unintended target, enraged at the jab, shaped a hardcopy celestial-events handout into a paper plane, then hurled it toward the PPP thrower. It missed, and instead pricked yet another audience member.

Within minutes, handouts, spectacles, smartphones, laptops, and soda cans ranging in fluid capacity from empty to full flew everywhere. Police were summoned. Dozens were arrested and escorted into a paddy wagon under the full-moon evening, presumably arraigned and released in time to attend the next month's meeting.

APRIL FOOL'S DAY! Actually, the speaker's March 1 presentation was very well-received. Lots of questions, answers, comments, suggestions.

This article brings me to the end of 2018, having hopped from and to a few special occasions this year. Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Chuckwalla Lizard Part 2 of 2 (with Walla Segue)

Initially, I intended to have one article that described a chuckwalla in context of a wildlife rescue facility, general info about this species of lizard, and other "walla" items. I wound up with so much content that I decided to split the topic into two. The previous part, "Chuckwalla Lizard, Part 1 of 2 (at Lindsay Wildlife Experience)" focuses on the common chuckwalla at the rescue facility. This part pertains to general chuckwalla lizard info with segue into "walla".

General Chuckwalla Lizard Info

WikiVividly entry for chuckwalla provides good overall chuckwalla info. The Chuckwalla Sauromalus table, headed by pix of male and female common chuckwallas, has a nice feature of expanding scientific terms by hovering over them. The webpage also has abbreviated sections with pictures for related chuckwallas. Etymological info breaks down the genus name.
The generic name, Sauromalus, is a combination of two Ancient Greek words: … (sauros) meaning "lizard" and … (omalus) meaning "flat".[2] The common name "chuckwalla" derives from the Shoshone word tcaxxwal or Cahuilla caxwal, transcribed by Spaniards as chacahuala.
"Northern Chuckwalla" provides a good introduction of the common chuckwalla. The site describes physical characteristics, habitat, life cycle, reproduction, and role as predator/prey.

"Chuckwallas [Sauromalus ater]" provides a short overview; the textual contrast between the male and female are helpful.
In the common chuckwalla, depending upon the population, male coloration may include black head, forelegs and upper trunk, and reddish-yellow toward the rear or a showy bright red body. Females are usually a much less showy gray or brown with little pattern.
"COMMON CHUCKWALLA Sauromalus ater" is an Arizona-centric website. It describes distribution and habitat to be primarily westernish Arizona, accompanied by a "Known Range" map. It has overview descriptions of the animal and includes specimen pictures.
A large (up to 229 mm or 9" from snout to vent) flat and wide lizard with loose folds of skin on the neck and sides of the body. The head, shoulders, and limbs of males are black. ... Females are gray-brown with faint mottling or crossbars and often have faint gray bands on the tail.
"Common Chuckwalla - Sauromalus ater" is short on content but plentiful for visual items. Its map shows the range as a big splotch that, besides westernish Arizona, also includes parts of southeastern California, southern Nevada, and parts of Mexico adjoining the Gulf of California. Somewhat amusing is that all the still images are chuckwallas in Arizona.

The common chuckwalla is related to the spiny lizard, which I wrote about in "Texas Spiny Lizard and Some Kin". The higher level of reptiles is "squamates" (amphibians, snakes, lizards) > lizards. (Click Taxonomy tab at "Lizards (Suborder Sauria)" to view hierarchy info.)
  • Lizards Suborder Sauria > Iguanas and Chuckwallas (Family Iguanidae)—the common chuckwalla is at Iguanas and Chuckwallas (Family Iguanidae) > Chuckwallas (Genus Sauromalus) > Common Chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater).
  • Lizards Suborder Sauria > Phrynosomatid Lizards (Family Phrynosomatidae)—the Texas spiny lizard is at Phrynosomatid Lizards (Family Phrynosomatidae) > Subfamily Phrynosomatinae > Subfamily Sceloporinae > Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus) > Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus).
Additional Walla Items

"Chuckwalla" made me think of "walla" text, which shows up in diverse places but seem to have little commonality for meaning.

"Odwalla, Inc. History" states the product and origin of the company name.
today one of the country's leading brands of fresh juice … The company's name came from a character in an Art Ensemble of Chicago song-poem called 'Illistrum.' Odwalla delivered the 'people of the sun' from the 'gray haze.'
"Walla Walla… Then & Now" provides basic information about Walla Walla.
Walla Walla is a First Nations name meaning "many waters." In 1805, when Lewis and Clark traveled by the mouth of a small river flowing into the Columbia River, they met a group of Indians who told them their name for the small river was "Wallah Wallah."
"Walla Walla – People of Many Waters" provides extensive history of the tribe, area, and current geographical area.
A Shahaptian tribe who lived for centuries on the Columbia River Plateau in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington, their name is translated several ways but, most often, as “many waters.” … The tribe included many groups and bands that were often referred to by their village names, such as Wallulapum and Chomnapum.
"Word of the Day / Walla: What, Really? Walla!" is a different look at walla, but feasible because of pronunciation.
comes from the Arabic word that means “by Allah!” or “I swear to God!” It is made up of the word “Allah” and the “w” sound that can be used in Arabic to represent an oath.
An entertaining use of walla walla comes from the very old novelty song "Witch Doctor - Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Aah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing".

Remember "Tie Me Kangaroo Down"? View "Rolf Harris - Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport [Bandstand 1960]". The first animal mentioned is "wallaby", "walla" appended with additional syllable. At Wiktionary's "wallaby":
From wolaba, an Australian Aboriginal word from New South Wales.… Any of several species of marsupial; usually smaller and stockier than kangaroos
Well, I now know a lot more about chuckwalla lizards than I did a week ago!

Lizard articles:

Friday, November 30, 2018

Chuckwalla Lizard Part 1 of 2 (at Lindsay Wildlife Experience)

I took pix of a chuckwalla lizard last month when I visited Lindsay Wildlife Experience (LWE), a wild-animal rescue facility that rehabilitates 5,500 animals a year. The keeper, who had a harness on it, invited us to touch its back, head to tail direction, and not the other direction. It was bigger than geckos that I'd occasionally seen in my garage, and not particularly colorful. If the keeper mentioned gender, name, habitat, or other details, I didn't retain the info. Fortunately, I did recall "chuckwalla".

This week, my interest in the chuckwalla increased after I researched info and published my blog article about a related lizard: "Texas Spiny Lizard and Some Kin". I poked around LWE's webpages. I figured basic chuckwalla info would include webpage timeframe, name, gender. My online travels to find and organize those pieces of info seemed like Family Circus dashed line paths. Such information was confusing among LWE webpages, the most mystifying being no year reference.

From "Common Chuckwalla"—"newest and youngest reptile animal ambassador. She came to live at Lindsay Wildlife in 2014 at only a few years old." Note reference to "she" at condensed info and expansive info pages.

The "Name Lindsay’s New Common Chuckwalla", besides including "October 18" without a year, confused me because of seemingly male names and descriptions as follow:
Joshua – To represent Joshua Tree National Park.
Guapo – Meaning handsome in Spanish.
Aladar – This is the name of the iguanodon from the Disney movie Dinosaur.
Pasqual – To represent San Pasqual Band of DiegueƱo Mission Indians of California.
Instagram and Facebook both enlightened and confused—two posts a week apart that listed "2017" for the year.
  1. May 21, 2017—"Chucki says 'happy Sunday'!" I think a name that ends with "i" instead of "y" usually signals a female. Confirmation? Maybe not.
  2. May 28, 2017—"CHUCK SAYS HAPPY SUNDAY …".
Both posts had the same picture for both "Chucki" and "Chuck"! Weirdly, both Instagram and Facebook's posting dates were Mondays, not Sundays. So, I wondered, what's going on with LWE's post talking about a name for its male chuckwalla. ??

Closer Looks Through Facebook

When I started including "Facebook" with my searches for chuckwalla and Lindsay Wildlife Experience, more background info emerged. The September 15 Facebook post announces deeper details about the male chuckwalla's arrival at LWE. Three images accompany this post.
The new ambassador now at Lindsay is: A Common Chuckwalla! This is Lindsay's second Common Chuckwalla onsite. Our other is named Chucki and she has been at Lindsay since 2014. … And we are happy to have him because now he and Chucki can be on display together in the Exhibit Hall. … And stay tuned for when we announce how to help name this awesome reptile!
A Facebook post October 10 about naming the chuckwalla had almost identical info as the LWE naming-contest post.

Closer Looks and More Complete Recent Info Through Instagram

When I started including "Instagram" with my searches for chuckwalla and Lindsay Wildlife Experience, details became more clear. Google provided an Instagram link WRT voting for a name for their new male. The hit summary especially helped by listing Oct 10, 2018 for date.
lindsaywildlifeVOTE NOW: NAME THAT CHUCKWALLA! Help us name our new Common Chuckwalla. Our new male Chuckwalla comes from our friends at the Oakland Zoo. He and our other Chuckwalla, Chucki, can be found on display together in the Exhibit Hall. But this new wildlife ambassador needs a name. …
The Instagram and Facebook posts coincided with each other for topic for naming the chuckwalla and dates.

Some previous-years Instagram posts came up via "lindsaywildlife":
  1. December 11, 2016 featuring chuckwalla Chucki and desert iguana Sonora: "lindsaywildlifeGal pals Chucki and Sonora." (Click hashtags at the post to display additional pix.)
  2. March 22, 2017 featuring towel-wrapped Chucki: "Chucki really seems to enjoy her warm bath. …"
  3. March 24, 2017 announcing Sonora's death. The post includes a link to a very short video of her from earlier in the month.
Returning to more current Instagram posts, LWE's post of October 17 provided the chuckwalla-naming vote outcome and cleared up my confusion about the male/female animal.
lindsaywildlifeMEET… GUAPO! Thanks to all who voted. It was a very, very close vote for the winning name for our new Common Chuckwalla. The name Guapo, meaning handsome in Spanish, won out for this new wildlife ambassador. Thanks all for voting!

We agree and think this lizard is muy guapo! Come meet him in person and his friend Chucki, our female Common Chuckwalla, the next time you are at Lindsay Wildlife.
LWE's Instagram Halloween post and picture of the pair provided more chuckwalla content. It even gave me more help with my inquisitiveness—the keeper's name.
COUPLE COSTUME GOALS: Our two Common Chuckwallas Guapo and Chucki will for sure win Best Couple Costume tonight! They are all decked out in their [sic], specially made by Keeper Rachael, dragon wings! And Chucki, the girl chuckwalla, wanted to show who was boss so she just laid on top of Guapo!
FWIW, I think the picture was cropped too narrow for having excluded both lizards' snouts. Anyway, based on a few pix of the LWE's male chuckwalla (Guapo) being darkish blue, I think my chuckwalla pic is more likely Chucki (kinda grayish in my pix) than Guapo.

Not Facebook nor Instagram Help

Twitter posts were rare WRT chuckwalla and Lindsay Wildlife Experience. One Goggle hit that I explored, however, helped for date context by listing an actual event date—"Saturday, October 20, 2018" . "Feathers, Scales, & Furry Tails! Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Beach Park" shows a prominent pic of a chuckwalla. This picture is the same one on LWE's thumbnail pic of chuckwalla in "Adopt An Animal".

Read my second part about chuckwallas Chuckwalla Lizard Part 2 of 2 (with Walla Segue).

Lizard articles:

Friday, November 23, 2018

Texas Spiny Lizard and Some Kin

Last week during a walk, a critter scampered up a 6' picket fence. It splayed its legs along a picket (6" wide). From the positioning of the head, neck, and tail extending into adjacent pickets, it looked to be up to a foot long. The biggest eye-catchers were glimpses of blue at its underbelly and spiky dorsal. The spikiness, imho, makes it look somewhat prehistoric, like a scelidosaurus, or maybe a dragon.

A friend more familiar with lizards than I thought it might be a Texas spiny lizard. The next day, I rooted around the web for more info and images. (Some resources will be about additional spiny lizards and likewise spiky-looking horned lizards.)

"WILD ABOUT TEXAS: Texas spiny lizards harmless, helpful" provides good, moderate amount of info about my animal of interest.
often called "tree lizards" or "fence lizards" by those who are lucky enough to witness them, and for good reason. Texas spiny lizards are highly arboreal, spending much of their time above the ground in oak, pecan or mesquite trees. Wooden fenceposts are also a favorite, …

adult males frequently achieving lengths of nearly 11 inches. … The lizard's belly is usually cream colored, and males have two blue patches on either side of their belly. The tail is quite long.
For stepping back and taking a bigger-picture look at lizards, visit "A List of Different Types of Lizards With Facts and Images", which has loads of overall info and pretty pix. Note: the family categorization WRT spiny lizards goes down to only "Phrynosomatidae Family".

Click the taxonomy tab of "Phrynosomatid Lizards (Family Phrynosomatidae)" to view the subfamilies of Phrynosomatinae, which include Horned Lizards (Genus Phrynosoma) and Sceloporinae Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus). The Texas spiny lizard a member of this genus, as is the desert spiny lizard.

For deeper drilldown of taxonomy of Phrynosomatidae > Sceloporinae > Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus) > Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus), visit "Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus)". View numerous pix at "Photos of Texas Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus olivaceus)". For kin spiny lizards (seemingly close cousins), visit "Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus)".

Horned lizards are similar to spiny lizards. Organization is Phrynosomatinae > Horned Lizards (Genus Phrynosoma)".

Many of the resources I list are videos because they contain many more visual details of these animals than static pages. Note the similarities in name and looks among Texas spiny lizard, desert spiny lizard, and Texas horned lizard. Another lizard in my following mix is the regal honed lizard.

"Reptile - Lizard: Texas Spiny Lizard" has good views and general info about the female lizard.

"Wild Desert Spiny Lizard Loves Flies" shows best profile view at about 1:00. the narrator for "Desert Spiny Lizard" provides good views and general info about the male lizard.

At "Spiny Lizard Catches Me!", most footage of the desert spiny lizard starts at about 8:30. Other significant items (at front end of video) are a large fallen saguaro cactus and small diamondback rattlesnake. The lizard's tongue, viewable for about a split second, shows up at 12:54 mark. (The lizard's tongue is significant in my Supergirl reference farther down.)

In "Lizard Covered in SPIKES?!", the animal is a Regal Horned Lizard, but skin spikiness is similar to a spiny lizard. This video includes a roadrunner without audio of "Beep! Beep!" View another spiky lizard—the Texas horned lizard which has Texas state fame.
Texas designated the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) the official state reptile in 1993. … Known variously as a horned toad, horny toad, and horned frog
A recent Supergirl episode featured a spiky lizard. "Supergirl 4x06 Kara fights a Dragon (HD)" shows Spike, a girl's alien lizard that transforms into a flying, flame-breathing dragon. Spike is mostly in dim lighting while in the terrarium near the clip's start, on the floor later, and in Supergirl's arms near the clip's end. Spike as lizard has a pointy head and long tongue.

Spike as dragon has a more rounded jaw, not-obvious tongue as he blows flames outward. Imho, if not for wings and fire-breathing and outsize scale (size, not dermis), he resembles the Texas spiny lizard.

Lizard articles:

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

So How Cute ARE June Bugs?

Back in late August, I took a pic of a green bug. Was fortunate that a neighbor was able to ID it for me. Well, he sent me a link that was most helpful. The feature hit went to "June Beetle Time!" (from NCSU). Besides chock full of info and some beautiful images, that site helpfully linked to Bugguide's "Species Cotinis nitida - Green June Beetle" info tab. I was sure glad the Taxonomy tab showed the hierarchy. (When I searched Bugguide.net before finding my neighbor's email, "Family Scarabaeidae - Scarab Beetles" was about as far as I could go before getting really lost.)

It was a little odd that NCSU's article was dated for late July, and my set of three pix are from August. So before talking about its cuteness, we'll address why it's called a June bug. Terminex's "Why are June Bugs Called June Bugs?" explains "June bugs derive their name from the fact that adult June bugs emerge from the soil at the end of spring or the beginning of the summer." The June bug they show looks quite different than the picture I show, probably because of so many species of beetles.
The name "June bug" refers to any of the 100 species of beetles that are related to the scarabs familiar from ancient Egyptian iconography. Other common names for the June bug include "June beetle" and "May beetle." The common June bug is one-half to five-eighths inches long and reddish-brown in color. Being beetles, they also sport shiny wing covers, called elytra.
"What are June Bugs? How Can I Get Rid of June Bugs?" content seems to vacillate between objectiveness and hostility. Helpful info does include short descriptions of what the site lists as the six most common species. (The pix are nice to look at.)
One of the most troublesome bugs – at least for a few weeks each summer – is the so-called June bug. These large and clumsy beetles are attracted to nighttime light, so they can be a pest to any outdoor evening activity you have planned.
"This Month's Bug: The 'June Bug'" has good news and bad news.
June bugs don't bite, sting, or spread disease. The bad news: adult June bugs feed on trees and shrubs, and can cause quite a bit of damage to your landscaping. Even more harmful are the grubs, who live underground and feed on your plant roots, harming plants.
The three previous resources are from pest control companies. They do a reasonable job of describing June bugs and showing pix. They also are ready to help the reader control them. Some informative sites that aren't in the control business:
  • "5 things you need to know about June bugs" is light on content, but has humongous gorgeous bug pic.
  • "Cute as a June Bug" was dated June 2011, plugging a museum event and cited the expression, but no in-depth analysis. The bug pic was large but not so cute.
  • "Cute as a bug?" has much cuter June bugs on a flower, reminding me of emerald color.
  • "Green June Beetle Bug" shows a bug tromping through some grasses. You can see jade-like topside and green-foil-like legs and head.
  • "THE SHINY GREEN JUNE BUG" shows someone handling the bug so you can see top side (matte) and bottom side (glossy).
  • Another June bug expression, which I stumbled on during research: The title says it all:"All Over it like a Duck on a Junebug" "For many Southerners, it’s very picture of eagerness and alacrity:"
June bugs are quite cute in shape and color, especially the underside. Too bad I didn't have the nerve to pick up my specimen for fear of bites or stings. Ignorance on my part. If I see another one in the future, I might muster enough nerve to use a small stick to flip it over and take its pic. After I take the topside pic, natch.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Texas Black Walnut--Lookalike to Deadly Manchineel

During a walk in the neighborhood in June, I spotted a tree with yellowy fruits that resembled miniature grapefruits. I sent out some images requesting help in identifying the plant. Steven Schwartzman ID'ed it as a Texas black walnut. (The site identifies it as "Juglans microcarpa".) He said that botanically speaking that the walnut orbs are the tree’s fruits.

Recently, Yahoo's news feed displayed a fruit with leaves that caught my eye. The fruit strongly resembled the fruit I'd been photographing. When I clicked the link, no such picture showed up. I did find the source article at "The Scary Tropical Tree That Can Kill You", which included the pic. More about this deadly plant farther down.

Note: Images and clips are of only the Texas black walnut that I spotted and captured. For viewing manchineel images, this article has references. Or you can find them by doing online searches.

Texas Black Walnut

My image shows a tiled image, one of two "fruits" next to each other with nearby leaves and a measuring stick, and a more distant shot of a cluster of fruits and leaves. View the video for some motion and spliced-in still images.

The Trees of Texas webpages for Little Walnut (Juglans microcarpa) and Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) contain succinct info, each with images of a tree, nuts, and leaf formations.

Little Walnut (Juglans microcarpa)
11 to 25 leaflets, …. Leaflets are 2" to 3" long, narrow, only 0.5" to 0.75" wide
A small, round nut enclosed in a green leathery husk with no seams measuring 0.5" to 0.75" in diameter.
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra):
15 to 23 leaflets, each 3" to 5" long and 1" to 2" wide, …."
A large, round nut, borne singly or in pairs, 1.5" to 2.5" in diameter, enclosed in a solid green, leathery husk
My own confusion is that the fruit and leaf formations that I photographed seem to have larger fruits but smaller leaves.

"Foraging Texas Black Walnut" has robust information. Images are also more plentiful and detailed, accompanied by descriptions. The distribution is very wide in mostly east to midwest continental United States.
Black walnut leaves are compound with an even number of leaflets and being deciduous, drop off in the fall. … The round nuts of this tree are contained in a thick, green cover which begins to splits [sic] open when ripe. …They are a little larger than golf balls when ripe.
"Tree ID: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)" has general information about black walnut trees. About 2:10 into the video, the narrator shows some nuts and nearby leaves, providing a good overall image.


The image of a couple of yellowy globular fruit in a Yahoo news feed reminded me of images I'd taken of some "fruits" of a nearby Texas black walnut tree. I became interested enough to Google some resources.

From "The Manchineel Tree":
scientific name is Hippomane Mancinella which literally translates into “The little apple that makes horses mad.” ...The fruit of the tree is greenish yellow and resembles a little apple, is 1 to 2 inches wide.
From "Why manchineel might be Earth's most dangerous tree":
Resembling a small green crabapple about 1 to 2 inches wide, the sweet-smelling fruits can cause hours of agony — and potentially death — with a single bite.
"World's Most Dangerous Tree - The Manchineel" is an informative narrated slide show video. About 35 seconds in, it shows a map of the habitat to be in and around the Caribbean area of North America.

"The TOXIC Manchineel Tree" includes closeup and narration about the fruit that starts at 2:40.

As you might conclude, just about anything to do with manchineel is nothing to fool around with. And don't confuse its fruits with Texas black walnuts.

Comparing Texas Black Walnut with Manchineel

Opening links to images in different window and tiling them side by side makes it easy to compare and contrast texas black walnut to manchineel. Although the fruits might look similar, the leaves are dissimilar in shape and configuration.

At "Foraging Texas Black Walnut", view an image that shows front and back of leaves. View an image that shows Texas black walnut "fruit" and leaves.

At "Stay Away From The World’s Most Dangerous Tree", view the image of manchineel fruit and leaves.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Orangey Encounter--Monarch Butterfly

During a neighborhood walk, we spotted a flitting butterfly. I know better than to try capturing a still image of a moving object. I recorded it, played with the video, and uploaded a ~1 minute video to YouTube. I decided to create a longer video to accompany this article, which also includes a half-speed clip so that the wing movement is easier to follow.

For way slower motion, especially for taking off and landing, view "Butterfly Flying in Slow Motion". (I noticed those flower batches resembled the ones in my video.)

Monarch Butterfly Lookalikes

After I had viewed my original video, I thought about past times I'd read about possible lookalikes to monarchs. I did not want to incorrectly ID my butterfly.
  • Viceroy butterflies closely resemble monarch butterflies. "Monarch or Viceroy?" contains good basic info site with contrasting pictures and content.
  • "Butterfly Look-Alikes: Monarch, Queen, Soldier and Viceroy" describes butterflies that resemble monarchs (in addition to viceroys). The 2x2 grid of the four butterflies makes for excellent visual contrast.
  • "Distinguishing Queens, Monarchs, and Others" goes into more details about differences between mostly monarchs and queens. The site also mentions wing butterfly terms.
    The four areas typically described are upperside, seen when the wings are opened; underside, or “side view” when the wings are upright; forewings (upper pair); and hindwings (lower pair).
Orange Moths that Look Like Monarch Butterflies?
Not even close. I thought I'd do a Google image search for orange moths. BTW, a huge difference in looks between butterflies and moths is the antennae. Butterflies' are rod-like, sometimes with a small "bulb" at the end. Moths' look feathery. Visit "Leggy Bugs—Caterpillars (Lepidopteran Larvae, which Become Butterflies and Moths)" for more information and resources.

Want to visually contrast orangey moths with monarch butterflies? Open Google image results for "monarch butterflies" and tile it next to Google image results for "orange moths".

A Few Monarch Butterfly Resources, for Beginner Level to More Advanced

The following sites are a sampling of resources. Google "monarch butterflies" for loads more. (Also revisit my section about monarch butterfly lookalikes.)
  • KidZone's "The Monarch Butterfly" is a good elementary site about monarch butterflies. It also describes the butterfly's toxic protection from predators, and that a lookalike—viceroy butterfly—resembles the monarch. A side-by-side image comparison and text points out the main between the viceroy and the monarch. The viceroy has a black stripe across its bottom wings that the monarch doesn't.
  • "The King of Butterflies – The Monarch Butterfly" emphasizes the life cycle, which takes four generations to complete: "Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year."
  • NatureWorks "Monarch Butterfly - Danaus plexippus" is a well-laid-out site for sections, descriptions, and accompanying images. Sections: Characteristics, Range, Habitat, Diet, Life Cycle, and Behavior.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Orangey Encounter--Pride of Barbados

During a recent walk on an overcast day, I spotted some fiery flowers on commercial property. I requested ID help on LinkedIn, and received info in about an hour. A couple of days later, I went back to get another still pic. As the wind picked up, I decided to video-record.

Reviewing the clip later, I saw bean pods that resembled Chinese snow peas. Curious about possible harvesting and edibility of the pods, I searched online for info. Eventually, I wrote to a resource, who replied quickly. The beans are poisonous. I'd infer the pods would be also.

The reply nudged me to seek the exact text on the web, which was in “Pride of Barbados, Caesalpinia pulcherrima”:
The flowers are followed by the seedpods, which are 'beans' several inches long. The seeds contain gallic and tannic acid and are poisonous. … It is reported that people in central Africa eat the seeds after boiling them in several changes of water to remove the tannic acid.
This site shows nice images of the plant and flowers, young and more mature leaves, and seed pods and seeds. Note the resemblance of the green seed pod to a Chinese snow pea.

My pixstrip shows contrast in the flower cluster and sky for September 3 and 5. I was fortunate to not get rained on. The third image shows mature seed pods near a flower cluster. (I have also interspersed these images into my YouTube video.)

"The Pride-Of-Barbados Becomes The Pride-Of-Texas!" describes this plant extensively and has images for clicking to enlarge. The upper right image provides an eyeful of clusters, leaves, and seed pods. An appealing bit of info is “As if the flowers were not showy enough on their own, nature has made them attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies which add movement and excitement to the summer spectacle.”

Note: In case you have a plant question, write to “Ask the Answer Man”. (Having wanted to ask about snow peas and seed pods, I had navigated to the page from “The Pride-Of-Barbados Becomes The Pride-Of-Texas!”.)

"Pride of Barbados, (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) Lisa's Landscape & Design "Plant Pick of the Day" provides an enthusiastic introduction to the plant. The butterfly is eye-catching. In addition, she also pans across the area, which shows a goodly amount of snow-peas-like seed pods.

Trees of St Lucia | Pride of Barbados” is a compact info site that includes rudimentary info. Among pictures, images of seed pods show that they resemble snow peas.
For more extensive (and adoring!) information, visit "In Praise of Prides of Barbados".
This member of the pea family (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is one of the showiest of the landscape perennials in central Texas. … Native to the West Indies, it is also known as dwarf poinciana. … The flower clusters are orangey-red with yellow edges, approximately 8 to 10 inches across.Each cluster has crinkled petals 2 to 3 inches across. In addition the flowers produce bright red stamens that extend beyond each flower.
With seemingly additional boosting about the plant, caring for it doesn’t sound too difficult.
The main requirement for ‘prides’ is sun. Plant them in full to part sun, and they will flourish. They aren’t too fussy about soil, and will be equally happy whether it’s acid or alkaline soil. Another important requirement is good drainage. They have shown a great tolerance for drought-like conditions … they produce bean pods. By fall, the seed can be harvested for planting in the spring.
Beautiful Pride of Barbados” is another site with glowing text and images.
The colors of this beautiful plant are remarkable — the blossoms consists of a combination of reds, yellows, and oranges, and the leaves are some of the coolest I’ve ever seen. … I grow my Pride of Barbados both in pots and in the ground. They do very well either way. They are somewhat drought resistant, …
Want to grow your own from seed? “Pride of Barbados - Knowledgebase Question” describes the process, following text that the seed pods (“look a little like flattened pea pods”). "Propogating [sic] The Pride of Barbados" is more of a quick narration about the seed pods. Though a a bit short on details, viewing the speaker, plant, seed pod batches, and leaves puts the plant part sizes in context.

"When to Harvest Snow Peas" shows actual snow peas, which are edible. Visually compare these pods to ones in other videos and images to see their similarities. Remember though, Pride of Barbados seed pods are not safe to eat without treating them.

September 26, 2018 update—Composites

To view more details of the three close-in images of the September 25 composite, click here, here, and here.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly Part 2

"Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly, Part 1", is mostly about transportation three-wheelers. Think wind-in-the-face trikes for grownups. Best-known might be those that Harley Davidson manufactures. This article is about motorized three-wheelers that pertain to lower-speed vehicles, mostly for short-distance transports for people and goods, the primary focus being forklifts.

Not having worked in environments with forklifts for a long time, I'd been unaware of three-wheeler forklifts, which seem very common these days. I had been about to publish my three-wheeler article when I saw a three-wheeled vehicle in motion during one of my walks. I hadn't seen the front end to know what it was; I I asked the driver and other person what it was. A forklift, a Spyder brand, so they said. I took a few pix.

They pointed to a flatbed truck and said the vehicle fit at the back. Turns out that the method of forklift transport is "piggybacking". (I had arrived after the operator already unloaded and moved the forklift onto the homeowner's driveway.)

In my previous article, I mentioned having spotted the forklift. Before I reviewed my pix, I Googled "3 wheeler spyder forklift", based on the guys' declaration that it was a Spyder. I found scant Spyder forklift info. Amusingly, however, the Can-Am Spyder showed up as a hit. Then I Googled "3 wheeler Spyder"; Google never returned a hit for the forklift.

About a week later on another walk, I spotted a flatbed with house siding on it, with a forklift piggybacked. Turns out the load was headed to and arrived on the street I picked for my route. As the workers hadn't unloaded anything yet, I was able to take pix of the goods and piggybacked forklift.

The tiled images are of the two forklifts I spotted. I'm glad I captured identifiers, especially for the first one ("Moffett, NX series, HIAB, M88"—no "Spyder" ID anywhere). The second forklift had Palfinger identification ("Palfinger GT55, www.palfinger.com").

Three-wheeler Forklifts
Various brands abound for three- and four-wheeler forklifts. This section pertains to three-wheelers, although I'd say some of those forklifts technically have four.

This is the forklift I spotted after the driver detached it from the flatbed truck. The MOFFETT M8 NX webpage claims "specialist for high lift capacity … compact enough to be carried on almost any truck or trailer". "Home Depot 16177-Moffett M8 NX fork lift-2/8/18" shows the process of forklift detachment from flatbed, unloading and delivery of construction material, and forklift re-piggybacking onto the truck. For additional safety details of the forklift piggybacking, view "LOADING MOFFETT PIGGYBACK ON FLATBED TRAILER".

This company is huge! Visit "Truck Mounted Forklifts site" for info. Then hover over the Products index.

Hyster's title text says"3 wheel electric trucks", followed by "Energy efficient and productive 3 wheel electric forklift trucks". The text seemed a bit indirect or less than clear. "Electric" seems like the word should be in all three models. And if all three are three-wheelers, the text should be consistent.
  • The J30-40XNT image "HYSTER ELECTRIC FORKLIFT" shows two wheels in front, and a double-wheel setup in back.
  • The A25-30XNT image shows two wheels in front, one wheel in back, but caption says "THREE WHEEL ELECTRIC FORKLIFT".
  • The E30-40HSD image's text says "HYSTER 3 WHEEL FORKLIFT"; however, a diagram I found shows ID for "Steering or Rear Wheels" (plural) rather than singular. Other wheels had text "Drive Wheels".
In my research, I found cases where three wheels actually technically amount to four.

"three-wheel Electric Forklift" shows two wheels in front and a double wheel setup in back. The video clearly shows a rear rotating wheel set.

"ERP025-030VC" shows two wheels in front, single-wheel in back. "ERP030-040VT" shows two wheels in front, double-wheel setup in back. "ESC030-40AD" shows front view. The product summary says "Three-Wheel Stand". Googling for further info, I found a document for the forklift with "Electric 3-Wheel Stand-Up" on the cover, which shows two wheels in front, double-wheel setup in back (Page 7 shows an image with text "Three-wheel configuration with dual steer tires".)

Princeton Delivery Systems seems to lay claim the term "piggyback", even naming their forklifts "PB" something something. Noteworthy and informative videos: "Princeton PiggyBack Unloading and Loading Demo", "Piggyback Forklift", and "Princeton PiggyBack EZ Hitch Mounting Kit".

Contrasting Three- and Four-wheeler Forklifts
"Key Differences between 4-Wheel Forklifts & 3-Wheel Forklifts" is very succinct, without naming brands. One way to make info even more succinct could be a formatted table with features in 1st column and contrasts between two types in 2nd and 3rd columns. Additional links for contrasting forklifts: "3 Wheel Electric Forklifts vs 4 Wheel Electric Forklifts" and "3 And 4 Wheel Forklifts – What’s The Difference?".

Three-wheeler Transports
These vehicles transport people and goods. Apparently, three wheels do the job well enough.

Motrec MP Series shows personnel transporters, several that have three wheels. Some have the single wheel in front. A couple have the single wheel in the back, although the "single" wheel looks more like two attached together to make a small-diameter wide wheel. Motrec MS 260 shows a "stock chaser", which has two wheels in front very close together, two in back.

"KMH Systems - Cushman Commercial & Utility Vehicles" shows some vehicles with one wheel in front, two in back. View sections "Tug" for towing, "Minute Miser" for transportation, and "Stock Chaser" for moving loads.

Circling Back to Forklifts (Miscellany)
In case you are curious about how and when forklifts came about, or wondering about forklift types and capabilities, visit the links in this section.

  Forklift History
  Forklift Types ("Shopping" Guides)
Discount Forklift and ForkliftCost provide images and types. Channeling Spock, I'd say, "Fascinating", but with maybe a little more enthusiasm.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly, Part 1

A couple of months ago, I spotted a motorized vehicle with three wheels. This vehicle had two front wheels and one rear wheel. Thanks to a friend, I learned it was a Polaris Slingshot. Previous motorized three-wheelers I've seen resembled motorcycles with one front wheel and two back wheels. (Occasionally, I've seen pedal-power three-wheelers that resemble "tricycles for grownups". A different slant on pedal-power three-wheelers is recumbent adult tricycles.)

A Google search for "three wheel motorcycle" yielded some sites for Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot, two vehicles that have two wheels in front and one in the rear. "Best Options for Riders Looking for Three-Wheel Motorcycles", besides info and images for the Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot, also includes info on Harley Davidson three-wheelers (one wheel in front, two in back). Be sure to view that article's gallery of three-wheelers.

Two Wheels in Front, One in Rear (Slingshot)

The Polaris Slingshot site shows that the vehicle operates like a two-seater manual transmission car. It has a steering wheel, a passenger seat next to the driver, and glove box. In "How to: Polaris Slingshot | Royalty Exotic Cars", the vehicle resembles a convertible with recent tech features and a small storage area behind the seats. View more Slingshot info at "2018 Polaris Slingshot First Ride Review" and "How It Works: The Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheeled Supercar".

Two Wheels in Front, One in Rear (Motorcycle Type)

  Can-Am Spyder
The Can-Am Spyder site shows that the vehicle operates like a motorcycle, with most controls in the handlebars. "How to Ride a Can-Am Spyder" provides very rudimentary instructions about the controls.

  Yamaha Niken
The Yamaha Niken site shows the three-wheeler resembling a motorcycle with two side-by-side front wheels. Click index items for closer look-see for features and 360° viewing option. "Yamaha NIKEN - LMW Product Overview" packs a lot of info in less than two minutes. (This vehicle's controls might be more like my perception of traditional motorcycles that require 4-limb coordination than the Spyder.)

  Honda Neowing
I Googled and found very little 2018 info about this three-wheeler. An op-ed from February mentions it in passing—"History is littered with esoteric three-wheelers, but is now their time to shine?"

"Auto Expo 2016: Honda Neowing Concept Showcased" writes glowingly. (Apologies for copy/paste link for https://auto.ndtv.com/news/auto-expo-2016-honda-neowing-concept-showcased-1272952. HREF URL results in a hung-up redirect, and Blogger hyperlinks anyway.)
Honda Neowing is a trike motorcycle with two wheels up front and one at the rear offering excellent cornering capabilities and impressive low speed stability. …Under the sporty and well scalpted [sic] bodywork, the Neowing is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with electric motors.
Google results mentioning "concept" and lack of Honda site info makes me wonder about the Neowing's viability against the the two other cycles that have two front wheels and one rear wheel.

One Wheel in Front, Two in Rear (Motorcycle Type)

Harley three-wheelers seem to be street- and highway-oriented. Honda three-wheelers seem to be all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

  Harley-Davidson Freewheeler and Tri Glide
"2018 Trike Motorcycles } Harley-Davidson USA" shows an intro and image for a three-wheeler. (For vehicles in action, visit YouTube and use "harley three wheeler" for search term.) The "See the Bike" link goes to "2018 Freewheeler | Harley-Davidson USA", where you can scroll for pix and info. A fancier three-wheeler Harley is the Tri Glide Ultra.

  Honda ATV/ATC
Info regarding Honda one-wheel-in-front-two-wheels-in-back seems to center around all-terrain vehicles. I find it odd that so many Google hits for "honda three wheeler" are historical info and selling links, and nothing pointing to an official Honda website.

Dirt Wheels Magazine has extensive coverage about Honda's three-wheeler background "THE BEGINNING & END OF HONDA 3-WHEELERS".

Another look at Honda and ATVs:
Honda brought the world’s first ever three-wheeled ATV or rather ATC (All-Terrain-Cycle) to the United States in 1970 and it was a hit.… The three-wheeled US90 had a seven horsepower engine and sold for $595.
Some Odds and Ends

  The Ultimate Three-wheeler?
"Indiana Trike Builder Believes Bigger is Better" is about a hybrid truck and motorcycle, built by someone who is a semi truck builder and owner of a trucking firm.
The Tower Trike features 15-inch wheels and an 80-gallon diesel tank that fuels the supercharged, turbocharged Detroit Diesel 6V92 engine. Mated to an Allison HT-740 transmission, the powertrain produces 335 horsepower and a staggering 1020 lb-ft of torque. It can reach a top speed of 84 mph and is equipped with an air suspension.

  Banning and Unbanning of Slingshot in Texas
In 2014, the Slingshot ran into a snag regarding its street legality in Texas "Texas Bans The Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheeler" (published in Jan. 2014). Then Texas gave it the green light the following year "Texas reverses ban on Slingshots; Polaris hits the gas on production" (published May 2015).

  Coincidental Kinship between Harley and Polaris
As I'd previously associated Polaris with only the North Star and missiles, my recent research found it coincidental for news that included Polaris and Harley Davidson—"Polaris May Join Harley-Davidson In Overseas Production Move".

  Three-wheelers Spyder Motorcycle and Spyder Forklift
A chance spotting of a Spyder forklift, which has three wheels, led me to Googling for "3 wheeler spyder forklift". Odd that the Can-Am Spyder showed up as a hit. When I Googled "3 wheeler Spyder" while researching for this article, Google never returned a hit for the forklift.  More about the forklift and related items in "Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly Part 2".

Friday, July 20, 2018

Delivery Pancakes or Not

My jaw just about dropped when I read "IHOP Now Delivers Pancakes to Your Front Door"
And to kick off the service, the company’s waving [sic] the delivery fee on orders over $10 (through July 22).
IHOP's "Menu + Order" states, "Get $5 off your first online order over $25. Use coupon code IHOPNGO at checkout when you register for the first time or using your existing account." (Contact your nearest IHOP for delivery details.)

I suppose people are taking up IHOP's pancake delivery offering, and might continue after the waive incentive. I am bewildered to think that pancakes delivery has a market. Some considerations WRT to pancakes, whether delivered or not.
  1. No pancake tastes fresher than any made within the consumer's reach. The time between thoughts of "I want pancakes" to "I'm eating pancakes" might be an additional hour for delivery time.
  2. Pancakes that eateries make and charge you for are always more pricey than ones you make yourself. Even convenient microwave pancakes are less expensive than eatery pancakes.
  3. Transporting goods add cost. Post-incentive, IHOP's charge for bringing pancakes to you would be $10 (according the the previously cited article). As for menu prices, the least expensive pancakes seem to be pancake sides for $3.99. Most are about $8. Sure, they add loads of yummies. In any case, I'm guessing ~$20 for a breakfast indulgence that has about ~$2-4 of yummy ingredients, accounting for menu item size. (One unadorned pancake "serving" can cost as little as 10 cents in ingredients. More on that later.)
Want to have pancakes with little effort and cost? First easy method is microwave pancakes. Slightly more effort but less cost is pan frying your own pancakes and using pancake powder that requires only water. The third method, scratch ingredients, is more effort-intensive because of the number of ingredients. Oddly enough, the add-water pancake-powder method is actually more economical than acquiring and mixing scratch ingredients.

The bottom of my table at "Instant Pancake Mix, Info Table, Etc., for 12 Brands" indicates cost per serving according to the brands I checked in 2015.)

Microwaveable Pancakes

Want 'em fast? Find microwaveable pancakes in your store's freezer case. My supermarket HEB shows the pricing category of "Waffles and Pancakes" (prices subject to change). It's apparent they stock WAY more varieties of waffles than pancakes. The list shows the following brands, quantity, weight, and price.
  • Pillsbury Buttermilk, 12, 16.4 oz, $2.36
  • Pillsbury Heat-N-Go Mini Pancakes Blueberry, 1 pouch, 2.82 oz, $.98
  • Eggo Chocolate Chip Pancake Bites, ~30 (5 pouches), 8.4 oz, $2.25
  • Kellogg's Eggo Star Wars Buttermilk Pancakes, 12, 14.8 oz, $2.24
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Buttermilk Mini Pancakes, 60, 21.2 oz, $2.48
  • HEB Organics Mini Pancakes, 40, 14.1 oz, $2.27
  • De Wafelbakkers A+ Cinnamonn Spelt Sweet Potato Pancakes, 6, 8.25 oz, $2.88
DIY Pancake Mix that Requires Only Water

On April 27, 2015, I wrote and published "Instant Pancake Mix, Info Table, Etc., for 12 Brands".
In preparation instructions, about half the brands call for a ratio of 2/3 cup of water to 1 cup of powder, and the rest of the brands call for 3/4 cup of water. … The prices for the powders range from $1.47 (Hill Country) to $2.78 (Whataburger).
Bottom line, making these pancakes requires only two ingredients—powder and water. (An entire box makes ~15-20 servings.) If you can measure, stir, and pan-fry, you can easily make pancakes fresher and in less time than going out for them or having them delivered.

Whataburger Pancake—Try at Eatery or DIY at Home

On April 10, 2015, I wrote and published "Whataburger Pancakes, Mix, or Scratch".
Yummy, quick, and economical! Know that you can buy Whataburger Pancake Mix at HEB? Have you tried making scratch pancakes? Also yummy, even more economical, but not quick! The scratch recipe, which I've used for many years (with slight occasional tweaks) comes from Pillsbury's Simply From Scratch Volume 2 booklet. This method of obtaining pancakes is yummy, slow, and economical, although surprisingly, more expensive that the Whataburger mix method.
Bottom line, DIY pancakes is way more economical than dine-out pancakes or delivery pancakes.

Something Else Doable with Pancake Mix

Another item you can make if you buy pancake mix or scratch ingredients is oven donuts. You would need to buy a donut pan, available at Amazon and craft stores. Do Google lookup and price comparisons. Often, craft stores provide weekly discount coupons.
On September 18, 2015, I wrote and published "Pancake-mIx Baked Donuts" (My recipe is for 6 donuts only.)
Why only 6? Coz they're quicker to consume so that fewer might get stale. Also, good way to avoid overconsuming in a short time.
Hoping you think give some thought about pancake options. When you control the pancake method at home, you can spend the saved money for something else. And the cakes taste at least as good as eatery pancakes. However you decide to get your pancakes, bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas

On June 29, 2018, USA Today's article about Amazon HQ2 mentioned Kansas City—"They 'listen when it's Amazon.' Second headquarters race revives transit, education projects". Seeing "Kansas City, Missouri" text piqued my curiosity about Kansas City. Questions arose, in no particular order.

Why do both Kansas and Missouri have cities named Kansas City? Why isn't Missouri's city named Missouri City? I got to thinking—how old are these cities? Did they precede statehood for the states? Are they near each other? Did they used to be one city that got split up into two, one state having its own portion? Which state is the Kansas City song about?

Bird's-eye Viewing Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) and Kansas City, Kansas (KCK)

From "Kansas City metropolitan area"
The Kansas City metropolitan area is a 15-county metropolitan area anchored by Kansas City, Missouri, that straddles the border between the U.S. states of Missouri and Kansas. With a population of 2,104,509, it ranks as the second largest metropolitan area with its core in Missouri
Google map information about the two cities:

Quick facts section about KC in KC Kansas Google map—"Kansas City sits on the eastern edge of Kansas, at the border with Missouri."
Quick facts section about KC in KC Missouri Google map—"Kansas City sits on Missouri's western edge, straddling the border with Kansas."

The Quora forum "Are Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS actually the same city or are they two different neighboring cities?" lists replies from current and former residents of both KCs. In addition, the forum suggests additional sites having related topics. Two such closely related topics:
More Comparing KCMO to KCK

"Comparing Kansas City, MO vs. Kansas City, KS" displays all sorts of stats comparisons—populations, demographics, family structures. Maybe the most striking difference between the two cities is KCMO's population being triple KCKs, about 1/2 million to 150,000. The population difference might explain MLB and MLF teams association with Missouri's KC rather than Kansas'.

Note: The site lists Kansas City being compared to Kansas City, omitting the state names in the detailed text. The top of the website shows KCMO map image first, then the KCK image.

Play Ball

I wondered about Kansas City sports teams—KC Chiefs, KC Athletics that moved to Oakland. (Athletics were in KC, 1955–1967.) Were both teams associated w/Missouri? My roundabout way of finding out the Kansas City that the teams are associated with: "How many states of the USA have no professional teams in the four major sports?"

Kansas is listed with **. "** Note that the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs both play on the Missouri side of the border."

Back to the Past

The present-day Kansas City, Missouri, city center was incorporated in 1850. At around the same time settlement was beginning along the river bottoms in Wyandotte County just across the border in the state of Kansas. So from the 1850s on there were two Kansas Cities, divided by the Missouri-Kansas state line, and both grew from a consolidation of villages rather than from a single unit.
From "Why is Kansas City split between Kansas and Missouri?"
Kansas City, Missouri, was the first to take the name. It was settled in 1821, but didn’t have an official name until years later. There’s a legend in these parts that city fathers rejected such names as Possum Trot and Rabbitville before naming the city after the Kansas Indians. When the town was incorporated in 1853, it took on the name City of Kansas. In 1889, it officially took on the moniker Kansas City.
The Kansas counterpart became known as Kansas City, Kansas, in the 1880s when several small towns were grouped together to become one large city. The idea, it’s said, was to basically ride on the coattails of Missouri’s now successful Kansas City.
"Kansas City History Facts and Timeline (Kansas City, Missouri - MO, USA)" has additional history. "Why Kansas City is (Mostly) in Missouri" is a YouTube video with narrator explanation, accompanied by description text.

Kansas City Song

When Wilbert Harrison recorded Kansas City, which Kansas City did he mean? (As a youngster, I probably assumed Kansas City, Kansas.)

"Wilbert Harrison "Kansas City" (1959)" has about a one-minute intro by Dick Clark. "Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. May 02, 1959." Note: Dick Clark had a weekly evening pop/rock show; show is not part of American Bandstand.

Songfacts' "Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison" displays lyrics in one tab and history in another tab.
One notable Beatles performance of the song came on September 17, 1964, when Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City Athletics baseball team, paid them $150,000 to perform at their stadium. … It was the only time The Beatles played the song in the United States - they performed it on the US TV show Shindig, …
Speaking of the Beatles, view "The Beatles - Kansas City" (1964 Shindig appearance). Rock Music Wiki's "Kansas City (Leiber and Stoller song)" has loads more history about the song, including numerous additional artists' versions. Amusing to me is looking up several history websites about the song and not being able to find "Missouri" in the content.

Where is Twelfth Street and Vine? Let's go for easy answer here. "News Flash To The World: Kansas City Has No '12th Street And Vine' — Here's Why" explains.
Today, what once was 12th and Vine is a five-acre patch of grass with an informational kiosk officially known as the Goin’ To Kansas City Plaza At Twelfth Street And Vine. Little else is there, except for a couple of ornamental street signs where sometimes befuddled-looking tourists can have their pictures taken at the historic, but now-nonexistent, corner. …
Next time you hear or read about Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Athletics, Kansas City Royals, or the Kansas City song, remember they're all about the Kansas City in Missouri.
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