Michael A. Stecker


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California Basics
California borders Oregon to the north, Nevada and Arizona to the east, and the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. It has a coastline along the Pacific Ocean to the west. With over 38.9 million residents across a total area of approximately 163,696 square miles it is the most populous U.S. state, the third-largest U.S. state by area, and the most populated state in the USA.

The name California is derived from the mythical island of California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work "The Adventures of Esplandián" by Castilian author Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful Black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts.

California History
Seventy-eight years before the English landing at Plymouth Rock, the first European to explore what is today the United States of America was Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay (now in southern California) on September 28, 1542.  Prior to European colonization, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America.  European exploration in the 16th and 17th centuries led to the colonization of California by the Spanish Empire. In 1804, it was included in Alta California province within the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821, following its successful war for independence, but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War. The California Gold Rush started in 1848 and led to dramatic social and demographic changes, including the depopulation of indigenous peoples in the California genocide. The western portion of Alta California was then organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850, as a free state, following the Compromise of 1850.

The state's extremely diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast and metropolitan areas in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east, and from the redwood and Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. Two-thirds of the nation's earthquake risk lies in California.[37] The Central Valley, a fertile agricultural area, dominates the state's center. California is well known for its warm Mediterranean climate along the coast and monsoon seasonal weather inland. The large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Droughts and wildfires are an ongoing issue for the state

My You Tube "California Photos" slideshow is at:

California .mp4 Slide Show and videos:
 California Photos
California Here I Come - I Love Lucy
California Dreamin karaoke
Hooray For Hollywood
I love L.A.


All photos are by me

Mouse click on any of the thumbnail images below for an enlargement




Sierra Nevada Mtns, Lone Pine


Mount Whitney 14,505 ft

Owens Valley cloud

Death Valley  

Lake Sabrina near Bishop CA 

June Lake





Two Rock Ranch Station 


Yosemite in Spring

Yosemite in Winter





Cheviot Hills

Cheviot Hills Flowers





Los Angeles Union Station

Point Loma San Diego