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.
On my first "nature walk" of the day, the sight of a rotting beaver carcass spoiled my mood for photography. I did carry my camera for another mile or so, but I didn't see anything that I wanted to photograph. So, I headed back to the FRC campus where I thought I'd see whether the early violets were blooming yet. On the way down Golden Eagle Avenue I decided to crawl around in the grass a bit and see if any of the tiny wildflowers like Whitlow Grass and Dead Nettle were blooming. Then I spotted a Convergent Ladybird Beetle doing a "high wire" act on the top of a blade of grass. After a ....
little more exploring, I found another, and ...
still another. They had clearly found each other. Finally, I spotted some Henbit Dead Nettle blooming. I love that name.
I finally moved on and hiked the lower tier of the FRC nature trail from the parking lot to the upper campus. Sure enough, the first violets of the season were blooming. Viola sheltonii, I believe. I'll have to review my violet archives and my field guides as there will be many other species of violets blooming soon. At least four species of which are yellow. I saw some other interesting things along the trail, but I'll save those for my next post.