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.
A few days ago I set myself up by promising to write about interesting sights on the way to my weekend at Donner Summit, and more sights while there. Strangely, I managed to post a few photos and some text about the journey home. Well, school work, among other things, threw me off schedule. Belatedly, here are the two most memorable images made on the way to Donner. First, I was excited to see many Blazing Star blooming in the area between Spring Garden and Blairsden. Most were growing near the chain-link fence at the edge of the highway, but I managed to get a few nice shots without the fence. The early morning light made it easy to get a glowing feeling from the flowers while letting the background go black.
Then, around Blairsden and Graeagle I got a hint of the smoke coming from the fire south of I-80. But, when I dropped down into Sierra Valley around Calpine, the smoke was intense. I could look directly at the sun. Every few minutes it was bright red, but never too strong to look at directly. The effects on the respiratory system were obvious, too. When I got to Donner, it was pretty discouraging. I can only imagine what it's like around Yosemite now. Much worse. Many people who came up to Donner for the weekend chose not to go on hikes. I hiked a few miles, but definitely felt the effects of smoke on my eyes. Fortunately, I didn't have any trouble breathing. The best thing about the experience was the stimulus to talk a lot about fire policies, logging practices, and speculate on whether humanity will wake up and take care of the land. We also talked a lot about trees and smaller plants adaptations to fire and the need for fire for healthy ecosystems.