The Watering Hole: March 19 — The San Juan Capistrano Swallows

From the Wiki:

The Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) is a migratory bird that spends its winters in GoyaArgentina but makes the 6,000-mile (10,000 km) trek north to the warmer climes of the American Southwest in springtime. According to legend the birds, who have visited the San Juan Capistrano area every Summer for centuries, first took refuge at the Mission when an irate innkeeper began destroying their mud nests (the birds also frequent the Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo).[118] The Mission’s location near two rivers made it an ideal location for the swallows to nest, as there was a constant supply of the insects on which they feed, and the young birds are well-protected inside the ruins of the old stone church.

In addition to all that, it would have been my Mom’s 73rd birthday today.  She used to tell us about the swallows returning to Mission San Juan Capistrano each year, just for her birthday.  Happy Birthday, Mom!

This is our daily open thread — better late than never!

113 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: March 19 — The San Juan Capistrano Swallows

  1. We lived in Orange County for a while when I was young. The swallows used to nest under the eaves of the house every spring. Thanks for reminding me of this, a good smile for a Monday morning.

  2. I’m moving! OK, so I’m only moving about 15 feet, but for the first time in the 27+ years I’ve worked here I get a window! A big one, actually, with a terrific view PGE’s huge lot filled with transformers, trucks, etc. Years ago they occasionally rolled their copter out from its rooftop hangar and whirled off into the sky on electronic rescue missions (and even more dramatically returned) but they seem to have sold it off or simply retired it.

    At any rate, I’ve never had natural light here and my eyes are happy. Of course, in about a year we’ll be moving lock, stock and barrel into downtown and I’ll likely go back to life in the cubicle farm.

    • I’ve been lucky, my seniority got me a good choice of cubicles when we moved into the building where we are right now. We’ll be moving again in a few months, though, and I have no idea what the choices will be. The new building is only across the highway from us, but I’ll miss being in the old orchard.

    • 3 years ago, i moved into the “fishbowl”…..a street level office that’s nothing but windows with people walking by within inches of my desk.

      i love it, and would be distraught if i ever had to give the thing up. the entertainment is great to say the very least. people seem to be oblivious to the fact that it’s mirrored glass with someone watching them primp, adjust bras, comb, brush, look at their teeth, check zippers, look at their butts, admire their clothes and shoes, watch themselves smoke, or anything else one does in front of a mirror.

      life is good, and i do actually get work done..

          • “robins, juncos, chickadees, occasional kildeer, occasional bunnies, and redtailed hawks”…..

            i certainly would to, but alas, a courthouse and law offices and office buildings along this stretch of pavement isn’t too conducive to much wildlife movement.

            • fatherbob, don’t discount avian activity in the urban environs.
              We have a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the 18th floor of City Hall.
              We see them roost on college dorms; tall hotels, office buildings..
              our “bed checks”/drive-by makes us smile that we know where peregrines go to sleep at night!

  3. No one asked their names

    Many mainstream media outlets channelled a significant amount of energy into uncovering the slightest detail about the accused soldier – now identified as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales. We even know where his wife wanted to go for vacation, or what she said on her personal blog.

    But the victims became a footnote, an anonymous footnote. Just the number 16. No one bothered to ask their ages, their hobbies, their aspirations. Worst of all, no one bothered to ask their names.

    • and some rightwing zealots are actually describing it as insignificant collateral damage. he didn’t REALLY mean to hunt them down and burn their bodies…

    • Call me a bleeding heart but while SS Blake did the dirty deed, it was the command structure that placed a man who should have been sent home and received maximal therapy back in a combat situation. Placing the blame for his collapse totally on him when he was in an environment based on following orders and not recognizing a person can only be pushed so far is an absolute failure of the command structure.

      Our soldiers are human. War is not.

      • I agree hooda. While an insanity plea is quite possible and plausible what is implausible is that Blake was even near the front lines.

        America’s heart, and the world’s, went out to the families of the people involved in the bus crash last week. Why not for Blake’s victims families? What makes it ok to dismiss them?

        • A complicit media. Vietnam was ended in great part because the media brought the horror of war home to America. The images of the napalmed villages, the atrocities of My Lai and others were on our news. The reality of Afghanistan is hidden.

  4. War is interesting. I think I need to do a post on it. Especially considering modern warfare has morphed into something that barely resembles ancient war. Not the actual nastiness that goes on but the modern reasons for war. In actuality, war really no longer exists as our ancestors knew it.

  5. via LGF

    Exclusive: Seller of Controversial Anti-Obama Sticker Says It’s Not Racist

    …Ms. Smith said she is not racist, she just wants Obama out of office. She tells me she doesn’t have a preferred replacement candidate. “And besides Obama is not even black. He’s got a mixture of race. It’s his choice of what his nationality is. I’m a mixed breed. I call myself a Heinz 57,” she says, referring to an ancestry that’s part of French, Scottish, and German.

  6. Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. the world will send a powerful message that climate change is an important priority. By turning off non-essential lighting for one hour – Earth Hour – hundreds of millions of people across the globe will demonstrate their support for lasting action in protecting the earth’s natural resources.

    Established by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour has grown from a citywide effort in 2007 to a global phenomenon that has captured the world’s attention. Each year, individuals, organizations, businesses and state and local governments unite to show their support by turning off the lights at home, the workplace and iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Las Vegas Strip, Sydney’s Opera House and more. 2011 Earth Hour took place in a record 5,251 cities and towns in 135 countries and territories in all seven continents. It had an estimated reach of 1.8 billion people across the globe.

    Will your lights go out?

  7. So Tim Tebow will have to bow out to accommodate damaged goods. Shows how good Timmy is when the people he played for are willing to take a chance on a guy whose career could be one hit away from being over. Yes, I’m laughing and you Timmy (and all the bowing idiots).

  8. Notice to Zoosters and Critters. While I initially accepted the offer of Critterdom (mostly beccause it was something I lusted after for a couple of years) I have had to hand it back. Being a Critter means posting things, being involved, thinking and doing. At present, I am afraid I can’t offer that. And I don’t want to have a ‘place on the board’ without being able to supply what is expected of the position. So I am apologizing for indulging in wishful thinking and hoping all will understand. I will always be a Zooster. I just can’t accept the mantle of Critter.

  9. Santorum in Rockford, Illinois today: “Do you really believe this country wants to elect a Wall Street financier as the President of the United States? Do you think that’s the kind of experience we need? Someone, someone who’s gonna take and look after, as he did, his friends on Wall Street and bail them out at the expense of Mainstreet America?”

    No, but neither did we need to elect two oil men President and Vice President, and look how bad that turned out.

  10. Catching up with the day, my mother was very fond of San Juan Capistrano. She did an oil painting of the patio arches I remember well. Her story, told with a gleam of delight, is one of my earliest memories.
    Happy Birthday to Zooey’s mom!
    And to mine: I’m alive and well; and I found Uncle Ute’s cabin.

  11. You won’t believe it, but I’ve seen that! All except the little straw stuck to the side.
    I think they’re meant for picnickers.

    I have great ideas! I’m just too late with them. 🙂

  12. AC360 is now taking up the Trayvon Martin shooting. The 911 call, some of it is now being released. Zimmerman is still at liberty.

      • Now AC talked about there being blood on Zimmerman, there may have been actual contact between the two. We’re guessing here, but if the voice on the call is Trayvon’s (and you know its most likely that the one without the gun is doing the screaming)…. well you know.

        Why a dead kid on the sidewalk with an iced tea and a packet of skittles isn’t probable cause, I don’t know what is. F***ing crackers.

        • The shooter’s dad said that he’s part Hispanic, so he couldn’t possibly be racist.

          That must be why in the 911 tape Zimmerman says, “(radio beep = n-word) they always get away.”

        • Zimmerman:
          “(Expletive) they always get away…”
          911 operator:
          “Are you following him?”
          Zimmerman:
          “Yes”
          911 operator:
          “I advise you not to do that…”

          • Oh god, Trayvon had his cell phone on him, and his father was calling and calling the number. The police never answered the phone or even attempted to call the last number he’d dialed.

            Just throw the body on a slab and move on. Heartbreaking.

  13. Well, I just submitted my penultimate column. The last in an unintended 3-part series on all of the recent anti-abortion/anti-women bills. I just can’t keep up with them all – I’m sure that I left out some of the recent ones!

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