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 email@example.com 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.
A brief side trip from showing my visitors around my favorite Quincy area trails was to run an errand at FRC. One of the beautiful surprises there, as far as Fall Colors are concerned, is a patch of Orange Peel Fungus under a stairway near the administration building. This fungus is very convincing; I've had several friends think I was trying to pass of an actual orange peel as a fungus. Of course, eventually, most orange peels end up getting consumed by fungi, but not such pretty ones.
I took my friends to Butterfly Valley Botanical Area. Upon approaching the Darlingtonia Bog, one sees mostly dried up, brown vegetation with some of last year's Pitcher Plants poking up, but they too looked spent from our dry summer. However, as we patiently crawled around and looked closer to the ground, there were many colorful surprises, including quite a number of blooming Asters (above).
A new patch of Darlingtonia looked so cute I had to place a quarter on top for show scale. And the Sundew were still looking good in the wet areas. It was a cool morning, so we didn't see any flying insects.
One of the man lilies found in this area is the Tofieldia (both common and scientific name) which was still standing with its seed pods looking almost like blooms from a distance.
After spending an hour or so wandering around the bog, we adjourned to the Keddie Cascades Trail. Most of the color was the green of evergreens and the yellow-brown of oaks, maples, and many different shrubs. But a few patches of Umbrella Plant were showing off their reds, oranges, and yellows. Overall, the Umbrella Plant didn't produce the solid rows of brilliant red along the creek side that happens in some years. But I enjoy looking for the individual spectacular leaf anyway.
The dusty, gray trail was decorated with occasional Wooly Bear caterpillars. They can winter in the leaf mulch, even under several feet of snow, and they turn into a Tiger Moth in the spring.
So, we saw more than satisfying amounts of Fall Colors, even though we never saw the seasonal standards: large groves of Aspen, Black Cottonwood, Black Oak, Big Leaf Maple, and Dogwood.