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.
I made an excuse for low-quality photos in my last post, but, I lead a charmed life. My friend Spencer Dykstra, who accompanied me on that hike, just sent me these photos that he took with his trusty Canon. He brought his good camera, a tripod, and a lot of skill, so it's my pleasure to share his work with you. Top photo is the Milkmaids, a member of the mustard family, formerly called Cruciferae, but now known as Brassicaceae. Not only did he provide a better quality photo, but he chose a more photogenic cluster from among the big patch of Milkmaids we came across. And, he got a sharper photo of the California Toad than we could get with an iPod Touch. I've found adults of this toad in camp during the summer that were at least four inches long. Then the long, skinny centipede I've featured on this blog before. Not the same individual, but the same type:-) This one exceeded four inches in length, but was reluctant to stretch out for a pose. Fun to watch how they explore for food with their antennae. We saw some very tiny, soft-bodied insects under the same piece of bark that were likely potential prey for the centipede. A mere 24 hours later, all is now under snow. I hope it melts quickly as yesterday's hike really whetted my appetite for exploring the Oakland Camp area. Thanks for the photos, Spencer.