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.
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.