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.
I took a walk around the gym at FRC this past weekend, before the rains came, and found some beautiful plants outside the mowed and landscaped areas. In fact, the above photo is of Pineapple Weed, a non-native that traditional field guides call an "alien." I don;t think of it as an alien because that word has negative connotations. This little plant loves to grow in cracks on sidewalks and at roadsides. There's a nice patch of them along the main paved driveway in front of the campus library and quite a few in an area that hasn't yet been planted in grass between the library and the Campus Center. Among the prettiest of weeds, it has a nice pineapple fragrance, especially if you squeeze the flower head. Often loosely called Camomile, but it is not the one grown commercially.
When I discovered the Lemmon's Wild Ginger growing in Boyle Ravine, earlier than expected, I decided to check on a familiar patch around 50 feet from the gym. This beautiful little wetland is hidden under a grove of alders and willows, and the Ginger is blooming there. The first photo in this series shows the flower's position beneath the leaves. This was a lucky natural setting because usually there's a dense canopy of leaves so you can't see the flowers unless you push some leaves aside.
These next two photos of the Ginger show more detail of the flower and the hairy stems. Click on either photo for a much closer view.
In this same wet area the corn lilies are growing fast and the low morning light provided a nice glowing effect for photography.
In the background of this last photo is the lawn at the front of the gym.