Nearly a month went by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I found that teaching writing classes not only involved lots of time grading papers but also focused my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but was not focusing in the short run on material I wanted to post here. Finally, in the month of July, I managed to resume my average of one post per day for the month. I plan to surpass that volume from here on out. What I post here, combined with my daily writing in journals, is mostly fine-tuning what I hope to publish in a memoir about my experiences in education as student, parent, teacher, supporter and critic.
Meanwhile, I am still available for guiding local nature hikes. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about rates and parameters of time, distance, and personal needs regarding matters of health and fitness.
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.
California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii, the tree for which this blog is named, is beginning to put on a color show at the Quincy elevation. The group of four leaves on a twig was collected on the ground beneath a very large old oak on the campus of Feather River College. It was on a south-facing hillside. The larger green leaf was collected off a young oak in my driveway in a shady, north-facing spot. I haven't looked at enough oaks with leaf size in mind to tell whether light, moisture, or age is the greatest factor in leaf size. Maybe some other factor I haven't thought of.
On the FRC campus, a few of the trees have turned entirely yellow-orange while others remain green. I plan to get some more photos out there this weekend. Now and then, mostly at roadsides, I find some of these trees will have some or all of their leaves turn bright red and orange. Not sure why, but they certainly are beautiful. On some of the hills around Quincy, large groves of Black Oak surrounded by evergreens make for a nice contrast when all the oaks turn orange. This will be happening over the next two to three weeks.
A couple of days ago, I found one last cluster of the Oak Treehoppers in trees on my driveway. After a couple of frosty mornings, I haven't seen them again. That might be the end of them for this season.
Soon, there will be a variety of interesting fungi popping up beneath the oaks.