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 email@example.com 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.
I spent four hours splitting firewood today. The real purpose, of course, is to prepare for warming our house when it gets colder. But I was driven by another motive. I had my camera close by, and I was hoping that the splitting would release some interesting bugs - larvae of large Cerambycid beetles, or Wood Wasps, and maybe even a Black Widow Spider or two. Nothing.
I saw a few ants crawling over my logs, but they had already been there before the wood was delivered. I started to amuse myself with geometry games. When I picked up a new round, I note the size and look at the cracks that were already there. The wood splits easier if I hit an existing crack. Also, it's fun to continually practice my aim, always trying for the minimum number of hits per round. I also try to visualize in advance: will this one split four ways, five, six, seven, or....? Then try
to hit accurately enough to get the result I estimated. While doing this wood splitting, I was taking a break from working on the Nature Literature course I'll be teaching this Fall. It wasn't a total break as I found myself continually thinking about some of the literature I had chosen, what else I'll look for, and what kinds of essays I'll assign. Restless mind. Blessing or affliction? Sometimes I wonder.
I love comparing the aesthetics of uncut rounds with the stacked split wood. It was time to pick up the camera, even though there were no bugs.
I think I've split about two cords. I have at least one more to split, so there's still a chance that I'll have some entomological excitement. I finished my day's work with a brief stroll into the woods across my driveway. The green color was pleasing to the eye. In this photo there are three kinds of plants that I can detect: Oregon Grape on the left, then mainly Thimbleberry with a few Trail Plant mixed in. No berries though.
A small bird's nest fell from a California Black Oak. Only about 3 inches in diameter. Cute.
Here is an assortment of things fallen from the large trees along my driveway. Douglas-fir cones, male and female. A White Fir cone almost totally eaten. Needles from both species of fir plus a few from Ponderosa Pine. A small piece of Lichen. What have I missed?