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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
This series of photos of flowers blooming, and nearly blooming, around Oakland Camp was particularly enjoyable to shoot. I've been hiking these trails for about four years now, and I'm getting to feel at home in certain spots, knowing what will merge after the snows melt, and watching and anticipating for the next several months. The brightest new arrival (top photo) is the Showy Phlox, Phlox speciosa. The Arrowleaf Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata, was featured here a couple of weeks ago when the first ones bloomed. Now whole hillsides are covered, and its look-alike, the Mules Ears, are leafing out, but not yet blooming. The Buckbrush, Ceanothus cuneatus, is lush and fragrant. Several species of Cinquefoil, Potentilla spp., are blooming, and I'm going to have to review the species and report back later. Serviceberry, Amelanchier utahensis, is in full bloom and attracting lots of interesting insects. This little shrub is one of the more colorful additions to the scenery in the fall, but is upstaged by the colorful trees. False Solomon's Seal, Maianthemum racemosa, is beginning to bloom, but most plants still have many buds. The leaves are looking fresh and beautiful. The last three photos are of plants not yet blooming, but which give me a rush of anticipation as they are among my favorites. not only for their floral beauty and fragrance, but for their role as "bug magnets." They are Mountain Ladyslipper, Cypripedium montanum, Striped Corralroot, Corallorhiza striata , and Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa. The rate of new arrivals will only increase during the month of May, so get yourself a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a good water bottle, and maybe I'll see you on a trail.