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.
Went for a hike yesterday along Spanish Creek in freezing weather. I was not dressed warmly enough for patient photography. However, even though the air temperature was undoubtedly below freezing, I had occasion to lay my hand on the bark of a large Ponderosa Pine and noticed it was warm. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it was near what we call "room" temperature, say 70 degrees F or so. Nearby was a stump of a Ponderosa and I got curious enough to pull off a few slabs of bark. Sure enough, there was lots of invertebrate activity. Here I'm posting just a sample. The top photo features a Silverfish in the center and a termite in the upper left. While I was composing this shot at least three centipedes whizzed by and disappeared in various cracks and holes. The second photo features a sow bug which together with pill bugs is sometimes called a Roly Poly. The sow bugs can only partially curl up, whereas the pill bugs can curl up into a sphere. There are other differences, of course. The third photo features another termite, and the last features a centipede, approximately an inch long. Before long there will be several species of centipedes here that exceed 3" in length and are often reported as exceeding 6". That's called enthusiasm! I try to include accuracy in my enthusiasm, but don't always succeed.