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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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The Ritual of the Return of the Swallows

A year ago today on St. Joseph’s Day, on the day of Pope Francis’ installation at the Vatican, a pair of cliff swallows took up residence in their ancestral home at the Mission San Juan Capistrano.  Laura Saari recalls last year’s return of the swallows in an article for Orange Coast Magazine, celebrating this important Orange County ritual.

[N]o one expected what happened just after the bells started tolling to celebrate the new pope. After years—some say decades—of snubbing the mission, a pair of swallows came flying through the courtyard.  “All of us started cheering,” says Mechelle Lawrence-Adams, the mission’s executive director who was among the first to spot the birds. “Those swallows were like the scouts. People were clapping and crying.”
Below please find a short video paying tribute to the rituals surrounding the return of the swallows to Capistrano:

Will the same pair of swallows return today, and perhaps even bring some friends? We can only look towards the sky and hope. In the meantime, we wish a blessed and happy Feast of St. Joseph to you all.

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