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.
The title of today's post is slightly misleading as none of the photos were taken near Gilson Creek. However, when I parted with my guests after hiking to Gilson Creek and back with them, I scouted an area near Berry Creek on my way home. I know I'd be accompanied by the same people on today's hike to Berry Creek, and I wanted to check on the status of certain plants in that area. I found that the Leopard Lilies, Self-heal, St. John's Wort, Crimson Columbine, and several other notables were all doing fine, and there were a few small trout in the creek. As a brief side trip, we were going to check on the area where the Mountain Lady's Slipper bloomed a few weeks ago. I knew they would be wilted, but I found that the remnants of the blossoms combined with the well-developed seed pods were still a good photo subject.
Likewise, another orchid, the Spotted Coralroot, had totally gone to seed and their seed pods made a nice subject. Today my guests vowed to come back to this area when the orchids are blooming. It's an exciting little micro-habitat beneath some very tall Douglas-firs.
The Douglas's Spiraea is one of the hardiest and longest-blooming flowers around Oakland Camp, and it is now hosting lots of exciting insect and spider activity. In fact,m last week, when I didn't have my camera with me, a group of campers and I saw a Goldenrod Crab Spider feasting on a large Bumblebee several times larger than itself.
On the way home, along Chandler Road, the Teasel are beginning to mature and I stopped for a few photos.
The weed eaters that passed by this area two weeks ago only mowed a five-foot-wide path, so another zone at least five feet wide remains between the mowing and the barbed wire fence. Thus, not all my botanical adventures were destroyed. There will be a couple more months of botanical adventure here so long as no one decides to mow right up to the fence. These weedy zones are very important to wildlife.