After a slow first five months, I'm back to blogging in earnest. In the forthcoming few months I plan to keep on tracking the blooming of wildflowers, the activities of bugs and reptiles and any other critters I'm quick enough or lucky enough to photograph, and to comment on ecological relationships. Since there is an increasing sense of ecological crisis among many people and more vigorous denial of such on the part of others, I will inevitably comment on the social and political dimensions of survival as I see them.
I am still an adjunct instructor in the English Department at Feather River College, but time permitting, I am available for hire as a nature guide in the region in and around Plumas County. A brochure describing my usual kinds of natural history adventures is in development. Email me c/o email@example.com with your mailing address and a statement of interests, and I'll send you a rough draft.
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.