The California Missions are an important part of our history. I thought they were built starting in San Diego and moving north, but found out they hopscotched up and down the lower part of California. I have not visited all of the sites, but the one I like best so far is Mission San Juan Bautista because there is a cat door carved right in the people door to let the cats come in the church at night and catch the mice that were always looking for food. Cats worked as hard a people to earn their daily keep! Do you have a favorite mission? Purrs, Gulliver
In 2012, scientists found the General Grant tree is the second largest tree in the world, behind the General Sherman tree. The General Grant measures almost 270 feet tall and 107 feet around at its base. The tree is named in 1867 to honor Ulysses S. Grant, and General in the US Army and later the 18th President of the United States. Estimates on its age range from 1650 years to 2700 years old. Counting tree rings does not give an accurate date of its age – scientists are still learning how to decide the ages of some trees.
We could eat our way from one end of the state to the other on the crops grown in California and never be hungry. Farming and ranching are a big business in California. People here grow more than 350 different crops, including 32 kinds of lettuce. We grow so much food; we send it all around the world. Artichokes, almonds, figs, olives persimmons, pomegranates, raisins and walnuts are just some of the food grown for sale to other places. Next time you are in the store, look at the labels and see where your favorite fruits and vegetables come from. Maybe like me, they started out in California! Purrs, Gulliver
There is an expression “a man’s home is his castle”. Here is one man’s “castle” not too far from where I live in Salinas. Hearst’s Castle was designed and built by California’s first female architect, Julia Morgan. Mr. Hearst named the estate “La Cuesta Encantada” (“The Enchanted Hill”), but usually called it “the ranch”. Hearst Castle was never completed because Mr. Hearst kept changing the plans and adding rooms, but in 1947 it had 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms, 127 acres of gardens, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, a movie theater, an airfield, and the world’s largest private zoo. After Mr. Hearst died, the family donated the house to the State of California so many people could see the beautiful antiques and buildings.