Mission San Juan Capistrano

September 15, 2014

On my way back south from Long Beach to the San Diego area I stopped in the town of San Juan Capistrano to visit the well known Mission there.

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As has been the case with many Spanish Missions I have visited on the west coast, the exterior walls surround a peaceful oasis within.

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Now, the problem…

I said “well known” above because many people are familiar with the legend of the swallows coming back to Capistrano.  For decades the Cliff swallows would leave their home in the fall to fly 6,000 miles south to Argentina for the winter.  On or about March 19 the following year they would return to Capistrano.

Well, now they don’t.

Here is one of the reasons the first photo in this post is “tight” on the front corner of the building.

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What was once a nice, quiet, remote location is now right in the center of town.  The locals are not quite sure why the swallows are not returning en masse to the Mission and for several years have tried various tactics to coax them back, including “pre-building” nests for them.

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Evidently the swallows aren’t having any of it and have chosen to hang out elsewhere.