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.
Lots of drama happening on daisies this past week. That's one reason I don't like to mow my lawn. That's where the daisies grow. The above photo is of a pair of Longhorn Beetles. That's the family they are in. I haven't identified the species, although it could be Stenocorus nubifer. We have many species of Longhorn Beetles around Quincy and many get quite large. Adults can be more than 2" long and some of their larvae can exceed 4" in length and make sizable tunnels in the roots of pine trees.
The Pacific Ambush Bug is beginning to appear. A few weeks from now it will be the most abundant bug on Tansy (below) and occasionally visit the Daisies (above). I've never seen it on any other plants.
Defying gravity, this is one of my favorite photos (below).
The most abundant beetle where I've been exploring this past week is the Common Checkered Clerid. The word "clerid" is the Anglicized version of the family name, Cleridae.
When this pair sensed my presence they started move across the Yarrow. Or, I should say the female did. Looks like the male didn't have much say in the matter.
A pair of Convergent Ladybird Beetles (AKA Ladybugs) having fun among some young Stonecrop.
Two's company, three's a crowd, or maybe not. A menage a trois?
Another couple having fun on the edge of some Yerba Santa.
Longhorn Beetles on Angelica.
A couple of Dendate Eleodes, AKA Stink Bugs, uncovered while making love under a piece of bark (below).
Two pairs of tiny beetles mating under the watchful eye of a Skipper on Mountain Dandelion.
I call this last one "Double Dating on Buttercup."