May 9, 2014 at 4:16 PM

‘What’s in a Name?’

'In our area, lots of plants and animals echo the names of early naturalists: Douglas firs, Townsend's solitaires, Gambel oak and quail.'

By Karen Denison

At Home Outdoors

Karen Denison is owner of Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing guide service, a former biologist, and a shameless admirer of the outdoors.

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During a recent outing, I mentioned to another hiker the trail we were on was named to honor a person who'd been instrumental in its establishment.  My companion wondered aloud how much longer would the man be remembered first rather than the trail.

It set me to thinking of all the places, plants and creatures which bear witness to some historical personage by their names.

In our area, lots of plants and animals echo the names of early naturalists: Douglas firs, Townsend's solitaires, Gambel oak and quail.

And land features, too, are named for local personages like Thompson Peak, Katherine Lake (named for Katherine Chavez Page Kavanaugh of Los Pinos Guest Ranch), and Buckman Mesa.

How many things like these do you know?  And can you trace their origins?

Of course, the very trail system which prompted my train of thought is our local gem named after Dale Ball.

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