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Cheshire Cat Photo Blog: Your Top 10 in 2010 (first half)

It’s time for a “Top 10” most requested blog entries for the first six months of 2010!

Sure, I understand all of the limitations and the problems with sampling! Older entries have been around longer to get more “votes,” and also, have had more time to be “forgotten.” :-) I also realize that I have provided ways to access some entries (e.g., those about missions and beaches, for example). (The “Top 10” for all of 2009 can be found here.)

So be it!

Without further ado, here are YOUR most requested blog entries during the first six months of 2010, in reverse order, with my comments:

10. Santa Cruz… October 14, 2007 What can I say? Santa Cruz is one of my favorite places. I’d retire there if I could find the money…. Who knows? Maybe I still will.

09. Yesterday, in Yosemite Valley April 17th, 2009 I am really glad that my “stream of unconsciousness” writing did not “put off” too many readers. Yosemite is really spectacular in the early spring, and I try to visit in April whenever possible.

08. Google Person Finder for Chilean earthquake February 28th, 2010 After Chile’s magnitude 8.8 earthquake, Google responded magnificently, on a weekend, to put up a service so that people could contact their loved ones in Chile. My goal was simply to make folks aware of Google’s service, and extend its reach.

07. Global warming and small mammal biodiversity May 25th, 2010 I was a little surprised at the popularity of this one. This scientific study from Stanford showed that there was a “permanent” 30% reduction in small mammal biodiversity after the last period of global warming around 12,000 years ago.

06. Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo December 27th, 2007 The Mission at Carmel was the favorite of Father Junípero Serra, founder of so many of the California missions. The original cross from atop the Mission is still there, and Father Serra is buried at the foot of the altar.

05. Mission San Juan Bautista December 4th, 2007 The small town of San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) is one of my favorites. The Mission, of course, was the site of the climax of Alfred Hitchcock‘s “Vertigo,” but there are some surprises, even there! Come and visit this Mission that sits almost directly on the San Andreas Fault.

04. Mission San Francisco de Asis (Dolores) and Basilica January 8th, 2008 Mission San Francisco de Asís (“La Misión Dolorosa“) is the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco. The Mission was founded on June 29, 1776. The name of “Mission Dolores” refers to a nearby creek, Arroyo de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores or “Creek of Our Lady of Sorrows.” The Basilica (Church of a Pope) next door is majestic! Come and visit both!

03. Mission Santa Cruz April 12th, 2008 There is little that remains of the ill-fated Mission Santa Cruz. The gothic Holy Cross Church now stands on the site, and only the Mission Adobe, built to house neophytes still stands, with the half-size replica that Gladys Sullivan Doyle (thank you, Gladys!) used her own funds to construct, in 1931.

02. Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa January 21st, 2008 California’s only “L-shaped” Mission stands near “a stream of the finest water” near “la Cañada de los Osos” (Valley of the Bears). The Mission is beautiful and rich in history.

01. Mission Santa Inés August 16th, 2009 La Misión de Santa Inés (Mission of St. Agnes [1]), sometimes spelled Mission Santa Ynes, quickly won my heart as one of my favorite missions. Although we had spent time in Solvang, California before my daughter started college at UC Santa Barbara, we did not visit the Mission until 2009. The interior is magnificent, as is the garden. Visit the Mission, which is still active as a Parish church, and take your time. Drink in the history and absorb the stories. Enjoy the many photographs linked from my blog, in preparation for your trip.

It is interesting to me that there are so many California missions in the Top 10 for the first six months of 2010. I hope that it reflects the fact that I make low-resolution images available for the nonprofit use by children and teachers in the study of California history in the schools. In any case, the Spanish Missions in California are treasures that must be seen to be truly appreciated. Come, visit us and see.

-Bill at

Cheshire Cat Photo™ – “Your Guide to California’s Wonderland™”

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