Nearly a month went by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I found that teaching writing classes not only involved lots of time grading papers but also focused my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but was not focusing in the short run on material I wanted to post here. Finally, in the month of July, I managed to resume my average of one post per day for the month. I plan to surpass that volume from here on out. What I post here, combined with my daily writing in journals, is mostly fine-tuning what I hope to publish in a memoir about my experiences in education as student, parent, teacher, supporter and critic.
Meanwhile, I am still available for guiding local nature hikes. Contact me at email@example.com to inquire about rates and parameters of time, distance, and personal needs regarding matters of health and fitness.
I have been teaching since 1965 and have recently joined the English Department as an Associate Faculty member at Feather River College. Recently taught Nature Literature in America and am currently teaching Interpersonal Communication and Basic Reading and Writing.
Lately most places I wander with my phone (excusing the blurriness already) are brown. Dry and scary. Looking forward to rain. So, when I see a bright pink thistle, even if I've posted thistles often, it stands out, and I look for visiting arthropods, or anything else to make a particular blossom unique. The one above, found along the college walkway to the upper campus, had a small crab spider visitor. I'd say it was no longer than 1/3"
On a neighboring thistle, I found a skipper that was so engaged (maybe its tongue was stuck?) that it allowed me to approach to within a foot. Thus, a great view of its tongue. Click on the photo for a closer view.
Last, another skipper landed on a leaf of Mugwort. Slightly blurry when enlarged, but it provides a good view of its antennae which, like butterflies, are not feathery and end in bulbous enlargements, but unlike butterflies, have recurved hooks rather than just being spherical. Close-up photography is incentive to notice these things and have the urge to share them. Who knows what today will bring?
Western Swallowtail butterflies seem to be really abundant this August. In my front yard, and everywhere I see flowers in front yards when I walk to town. I wonder if they're taking advantage of the absence of competitors. This one by Quincy Natural Foods was so engaged in sipping nectar it et me get fairy close. With a normal, 50mm lens, I got within a couple of feet and was able to take a dozen photos without scaring it off. Click on it and you might see a hole in one of its wings. Reminded me of bad old days when I used to shoot them with my BB gun.
I took this photo as I peered over the edge of a log or board; I forgot which. I acted quickly because I didn't want these little critters to break formation. Was it a menage (household)? or just three beasties out for an adventure. Anyway, the Nine-spotted Ladybird Beetle is one of my favorite photo subjects.