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.
One of the secretive botanical delights of this area is Lemmon's Wild Ginger, Asarum lemmonii. It's a member of the birthwort family, Aristolochiaceae. If I had a video camera, I could show you how I stumbled across this plant. So, let's pretend. The top photo shows a patch of the typical heart-shaped leaves (botanists use the term cordiform or cordate), and you'd be forgiven for not knowing there might be flowers hiding beneath. In the second photo, as my eyes wandered over the scene, I spotted one little red blossom. Click on that photo for a close-up and you'll see it. The remaining photos show close-ups as I came to within 8 inches of that first flower then started seeing others nearby as I tipped leaves up one by one. Sometimes this leaf tipping reveals other surprises like interesting bugs, salamanders, frogs, and snakes. This little swamp-like area is due west of the FRC gymnasium in a grove of White Alder trees. It's to the right of the paved walkway leading up to campus from the main parking area. There are lots of young Corn Lilies there, too, so walk around carefully to find the ginger. This little grove faces more or less South. In Boyle Ravine, on the south side of Quincy, the creeks and forest face north, so the patches of wild ginger there, which are extensive, won't bloom for another month or so.