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.
Well, maybe just whelmed, as my old friend Leslie used to say. Took the short hike to Bear Creek Falls with my Nature Journaling Group this morning. Started off enjoying the several species of ferns growing alongside the path, then the views down toward the river got gradually more impressive. A few interesting fungi, two that were new to me but my companions recognized them (will post photos tomorrow), then the ladybugs. When we got to the open area with patches of Yerba Santa one of our group noticed the Convergent Ladybird Beetles had gathered. At that point, I suddenly felt there were too many beautiful and interesting things to take in during our allotted time of approximately 3 hours. I estimate it will take at least four more posts here to share the highlights. I need to go to this place more often and learn to calm down or I won't be able to contain myself when the flowers start blooming. In fact, on the drive down the canyon I was constantly having the feeling of "things about to happen." It was as if I were trying to will the flowers to bloom before their time. The third photo from the top looks to me like a wonderful composition for a painting. If I saw such a painting, I think I'd assume the artist exercised a great deal of license because such a beautiful arrangement couldn't happen. But there it was. Click on any photo for an expanded view. Tomorrow I'll post fungi, ferns, slugs, and a black widow spider seen on this hike. The bottom photo of a large salamander looked like a newt at first, but a fellow naturalist pointed out to me that it was actually a Yellow-eyed Ensatina. I've never seen such a large one, but the smooth, slimy skin and the yellow on top of the eyes are defining characteristics. Also, the tail is nearly transparent. The newts' skin is more like a football.