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.
We drove to Chico last Thursday for the first time in many months. Took a little Stretch break as we neared the Oroville Reservoir and was struck by the beauty of Gray Pine, Pinus sabiniana, AKA Foothill Pine. Ironically, my favorite field guide to this region uses these politically correct two names for the pine that was formerly known as Digger Pine, yet adds "large heavy cones with savage spines." [italics mine] The cones are certainly impressive, but I don't think I'd call them savage. That implies a motive! Very heavy, and I'd hate to get hit on the noggin by one. I brought two cones home and photographed them on my front lawn. I've eaten the seeds of this pine, and they taste very good. However, the shells seem as hard as ebony and are very difficult to crack. This pine has three needles per bundle so it's in the yellow pine group like the Ponderosa and Jeffrey Pines at higher elevations. I'll share more information about this pine another day.