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.
When I wasn't photographing mosses and lichens, I was tipping over small rocks and logs to see if any invertebrates were awake. I've already posted the centipedes and millipedes. The top photos here are of a click beetle I found under a rock. Upon first glance, it appeared dead. When I rolled it over onto its back, all six legs were still there, albeit folded up into dead position. However, when these beetles die, the legs don't last long. So, I breathed on it for a while, and it woke up and quickly took off. I was a little disappointed that it just ran rather than perform its characteristic click which feels like a small jolt of electricity. If it had been warmer, I think that might have been its preferred strategy. Next are a couple of photos of a wolf spider that had been living under a dead manzanita stump. These are easy to see when they are running, but when they come to a sudden stop they thoroughly blend into most backgrounds. Under the same stump I found a small colony of ground termites, and the residue from playing with these various bugs on my hand started to attract flies. The one pictured shows it's spongy mouth parts. Yes, I washed my hands before lunch! Click on any photo to view an enlargement.