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.
My favorite little apple tree on Lee Road shades a patch of grass maybe 10 feet in diameter. Not much shade now because the leaves aren't out, but enough that this patch of grass stays green through the summer and hides several species of small wildflowers, always earwigs and pill bugs, sometimes worms and spiders, and today, for the first time, a Southern Long-toed Salamander. Great find for first full day of spring. These salamanders, like most amphibians, are threatened by human activities and need protection. If you uncover one, enjoy the view for a moment, then carefully cover it up. They have no lungs and must remain moist in order to breathe through their skin. I photographed the Henbit Dead Nettle under the apple tree, then further down the rod, near the animal shelter, I found some fully-blooming Filaree and some Johnny Jump Ups that bloomed on sunny days but remained closed today when it was cold and cloudy. The Henbit appears here often. They are small and difficult to photograph, but quite beautiful. I keep trying to get the ultimate photo of them. Haven't achieved that yet. Forgot to mention, the earwig find was exciting today as I found a female guarding her eggs and a male nearby. I've uncovered earwigs hundreds of times, but this was the first time I found one guarding eggs.