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.
My Saturday morning exploring consisted of two local walks. One began in my neighborhood and that's where I took the photo of the Swallowtail Butterfly on a Lilac bush. From there, I walked to the library, then back up Boyle Ravine above my house. Then I drove out to the college specifically to see if the Bullfrog I've been watching all week was still there. There he is (above), not the least bit intimidated by my approach. In fact, after taking a few photos, I gently poked at him with the stem of a young willow, and he was very reluctant to move. I worried that he might be sick. But, finally, when he'd had enough, he quite skillfully dived under the Duckweed and surfaced right away a few feet away. It will be interesting to see if he's there tomorrow and if today's rains changed his habitat at all.
Dandelions have been spreading on my lawn and in the nearby woods for several weeks, but only this past few days have I been seeing insects on most of them. These small black beetles were on most of the Dandelions both around my neighborhood and at the college.
The Gooseberries in most places I visited Saturday were either not yet blooming or just barely bloomed. Then I found a few plants in a sunny spot in Boyle Ravine where they already had young berries and the flowers were wilted. Seemed like almost a month of season from the earliest to the latest, but all on the same day.
THe Thyme-leaved Speedwell comes back quickly after the lawn is mowed. The above photo taken at the college shows a few cut blades of grass and the relative size of the neighboring Speedwell.
Along the paved walking path at the college the Western Dog Violets are just beginning to bloom. Many of them were still mostly covered by last fall's Black Oak leaves, so I suspect there are lots of blooms I didn't see.
The Filaree are abundant everywhere around Quincy, and I liked this composition showing both a cluster of blooming flowers and a cluster of seed "packets." Each one of these pointed structures is a pack of five seeds.
Young Trail Plant is abundant in Boyle Ravine and this particular one had a few turned up leaves so it was easy to see the difference between tops and bottoms.
In a shady area adjacent to Boyle Creek there are lost of Stream Violet, one of several species of yellow violets in this area.
Currents are abundant along the trail I take to Boyle Ravine from my house. Most are blooming white, but some have noticeable amounts of pink in the flowers.
This five-petaled flower might be in the rose family, or possibly the buttercup family. I didn't try to key it out. AT first glance, I thought I was seeing Pacific Starflower, but that has a very different sort of leaf. I'll keep looking, but I haven't yet found this one in any of my field guides.
This bundle of tiny "roses" is growing on a tree where I park at the college. It's a beautiful, small tree, obviously in the rose family, and probably a non-native. This one is so riddled with the holes made by a Red-breasted Sapsucker, that I was surprised to green out again this year. That means the Sapsuckers should be returning soon.
Finally, back in my own yard feeling a bit feisty, I saw a scene that inspired an idea for a Mothers' Day card. A mother aphid and her babies on one of my tulips. I'm planning to print an 8x10 of this one to accompany one of my talks in praise of aphids. As for the title of this post - pun intended.