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.
Even though I was driving, I call this a meander because I couldn't decide where to go. Headed for Oakland Camp, but changed my mind and headed for Keddie Cascades, then changed again and ended up at the Greenville Y. Had that weird sensation of wanting to be at several different places at once. I was rewarded. First, the Stout-beaked Toothwort was blooming. I love the plants with names so weird that Spell Check doesn't recognize them. This member of the mustard family has the technical name Cardamine pachystigma. I don't expect the Spell Check to recognize that. But, toothwort?
In the same vicinity I found a patch of the small Woolly Mule's Ears with just one blossom. The taller and more familiar Narrow-leaved Mule's Ears won't be blooming for several more weeks.
I saw one specimen of Dusky Horkelia over a week ago, but today they were all over the place. They're hard to spot amongst roadside weeds and grasses, but once you see one you start seeing many others. It's Horkelia fusca to botanists.
The Blue-eyed Mary also began to bloom a couple of weeks ago, but now one can find large patches of them at this elevation. Very tiny and difficult to spot. That is, until you see one or two. Then they start jumping out at you.
The Scarlet Fritillary aren't blooming yet at this elevation, but I couldn't wait. Had to take a picture to remind me of where to follow their progress. This one was on the right hand side at the top of the hill just north of Quincy. The hill with the passing lane. In most years, several dozen of these bloom in the forest on the right hand side of the highway.
A good-sized section of backbone made the forest floor more interesting. Couldn't suppress the thought that a Mountain Lion might be in the vicinity.
Viola purpurea is suddenly appearing everywhere. This one has so many "common" names, I won't venture to choose one. There are so many species of yellow violets that the common names get pretty mixed up anyway.
All the photos in this set were taken before I got to the Y. Will post a second set tomorrow.