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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
My previous post was a short photo-essay on a non-native tree, the pistache. The current one is more typical of my work in that it focuses on a native species, the Mountain Ash, and pays some attention to the season, in this case the "holiday" season. To partially answer my title question: Christmas is partly about red and green, thus the Mountain Ash. It is also about buying lots of stuff, thus the despicable message on the window of a local shop. Maybe this was meant to be satirical, but maybe it wasn't. It might be interesting to do a natural history of Black Friday. Some merchants are acting a bit sheepish and apologetic about continuing the pressure to launch the Christmas shopping season earlier and earlier, yet doing it anyway. One such example is a merchant calling the big day "plaid Friday." I hope that posting the bottom photo will suffice to get my cynical streak out of the way. Then, over the coming days I will post items about ties between nature and traditional celebrations of the season. From the perspective of a naturalist, the many different pagan celebrations are the richer field to mine. Stay tuned, and Happy Thanksgiving.