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.
We've already experienced a fair amount of wind and rain and a bit of snow this fall, but a few days of warmer weather, although still rainy, has brought a lot of color of a different sort than what is normally celebrated as "fall colors." A couple of weeks ago the Goldenrod shown above was under six inches of snow for a few days. Amazingly, now that the snow has melted it is still blooming.
My walk around campus this morning was ostensibly a search for newly emerged mushrooms, but a few other items caught my eye on the way to the first fungi.
In front of the college library, I had enjoyed the brightly blooming Rabbitbrush for a couple of months along with the dense gatherings of Skippers and Thread-waisted Wasps that found them to be attractive landing pads. Now that the insects are gone and the Rabbitbrush has gone to seed, it is still attractive.
Some of the largest Black Oaks I've seen grow on the FRC campus near buildings and I'm so glad they were preserved when the campus was built. This one by the Student Center is huge and supports a great crop of moss that is very bright green during these wet days.
At the base of one of the larger oaks I found this pair of fungi which when viewed from above looked like the stumps of two young oaks. A side view shows the gills and the fact they are obviousy fungi.
This cluster of purplish brown fungi is growing near the Orange Peel Fungi I pictured here a few days ago. I think they might be of the genus Laccaria, but I'm no fungi expert. I found the color intriguing, especially when surrounded by the bright green mosses, leafy greens of various kinds, and the bright orange Orange Peel Fungi that are still thriving there.
In this same area I found patches of a fungus that reminded me of shredded brains. They might be in a group called Coral Fungi, genus Ramaria, but again, I'm no fungus expert. I just love looking at them and thinking about all the work they do converting forest detritus into soil and facilitating the absorption of nutrients by the plants.
These clusters of pure white fungi were partially hidden by a layer of pine needles, but they literally shined so I couldn't miss them. I removed some pine needles for the photo then replaced them. Much work left for them to do.
After checking my favorite areas around the buildings on the upper campus, I took the nature trail back to my car. One of the first great sights along the trail was the Turkey-Tail Fungus. There were clusters of them on the trunks of many of the oaks. Tomorrow I'll post Part II of my walk. The forest was dark and quiet, so I was imagining that I was being watched. I wonder....