When I visited the National Zoo in Washington D.C. last August, most of my pictures were of animals. As it should be. One of my non-animal pics, however, look a little (actually, a lot since I am posting the actual picture and not a drawing of it...) like this:
I am sure we can all agree this hardly is a spectacular motive that deserves a prominent place in a photo album, but I still was very eager to get the shot. Why? Well, duh - the NAME of course. Prior to this, I had no idea that this tree was called "Norway Spruce". We don't call it that here - in Norway, it's just a regular spruce. Well, actually, it's a regular gran, but that's beside the point.
The point? There isn't much of a point, but the fact that I could read the name of my country way over in the big US of A felt like a little piece of fame for my home right there and then.
Speaking of fame and spruces, did you know that the world's oldest living tree is a Norway Spruce? It's called Old Tjikko, it is located in Sweden (but it's still called Norway Spruce - hah!), and it is - wait for it - 9,500 years old! That means that this tree already was 8,500 years old when actual vikings roamed its forest. When a bloke named Jesus was born (though not in Sweden, I should add) some 2010 years ago, this spruce still had been around 7,480 years (or so). The spruce had been around for more than 4000 years when the ancient Egyptian civilization formed as well. In fact, the first humans were just settling down for a life of agriculture as opposed to just hunting and gathering when this spruce was born.
So it's a really old tree.