Nearly a month has gone by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I'm finding that teaching writing classes not only involves lots of time grading papers but also focuses my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but not focusing in the short run on material I want to post here. We'll see what develops. Let's just say, my cessation of blogging is not due to deterioration of my health. I might be back soon. It probably depends on how spring unfolds - wildflowers, lizards, interesting insects, etc., usually fire me up and prompt me to keep my camera batteries charged.
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.
I was in a hurry to carry out an errand, but just as I fired up the truck I spotted a great beetle by the passenger-side window that was slightly open. I grabbed my phone and leaned over and promptly took five or six blurry photos (sample above). I then swiped at the bettle with a work glove and it flew to the driver's side. I really wanted a good photo, but I really need to rush off. One more swipe and it fell below my seat. Finally, it sat still long enough for me to focus (below).
My first guess is that it's one of the Fir Sawyers in the family of long-horned beetles, Cerambycidae.
I got an even closer photo before driving off, hoping I'll be able to identify it later. I also freed the beetle onto fir trees next to my drive. I'm sure the first service wouldn't like that, but I like thee beetles and they were around a long time before we started messing with the forests.
Third installment of last weekend's photos from our hike on the Mill Creek Trail. I'm having one of those rare spaces in my schedule in which I go downtown for the faster Internet so I can load photos. I've now posted about five sets without text, or with minimal text, and repeated my promise to catch up on composing text at home where not much bandwidth is required. The young Corn Lily above looked particularly fresh and stood out in its environment. There's lots of Corn Lily and Bracken Fern along this section of the trail, so I can hardly wait for them to flower and produce spores respectively. Will probably pay another visit some time mid-week.
On last weekend's hike on Mill Creek Trail, we went through the muddy stretch looking for the showy flowers, like Leopard Lilies, that are not yet blooming. But, among the many other interesting sights was the fuzzy stuff growing on the branches of young White Alders. It reminded me of a similar sight on the Oakland Camp Road by a wet spot that lasts most of the summer due to seepage from the hill toward the railroad tracks. Not sure what it is, but I had to touch it.
I couldn't see anything moving inside, but it was bad lighting and my eyes were tired. My best guess is Wooly Aphids.
Here are six more from Sunday's hike on the Mill Creek Trail. The ridiculously slow Internet speed at home means I am out of time for the session. It has taken from 2 1/2 to 3 minutes to upload each photo while at most any downtown venue with WiFi it takes about 10 seconds each. I'll need to finish up downtown at first oppoetunity. Probably in the morning. Meanwhile, enjoy the Bue Camas Lily and Columbine.
Spring is becoming so spectacular that I feel like I'm trying to go forward and backward both at once. By forward, I mean continuing to upload the many photos I've taken on recent outings, and by backward I mean adding the narratives to the several posts I've made so far from those same adventures. For now, while taking a yard work break, I find that when I go to retrieve a wheelbarrow, rake, of hedge clippers, some interesting bug, like the above Swallowtail Butterfly, intervenes. This is the Western Swallowtail and it is feeding on the flowers of Spreading Dogbane, a relative of the milkweeds. Click on the photo for a closer view.