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.
It felt like a desert by Noon. Walking the power line just north of FRC on the road to Snake Lake, we were impressed by the hard-packed soil and the lack of vegetation other than Manzanita and various dead stems still standing after the early spring blooms. Then a lizard dashed by and came to rest in the shade of a Manzanita (above). It was rather brown, so I wondered if it might be a Sagebrush Lizard, Sceloporus graciosus, rather than the more common (around here) Fence Lizard (AKA, Blue Belly), Sceloporus occidentalis. As I approached the resting lizard, I took my first shot while still 3 feet away. I slowly moved closer and kept clicking (below), and he didn't move.
Finally, I took my last shot (below) from less than a foot away! He still didn't move! Apparently, he knew my camera was harmless. As soon as I reached one hand slowly forward, he took off. So, I'll never know which lizard I saw unless I can see enough details on a big screen to identify it. This is all the evidence I have. He's pretty plump, so apparently there's no lack of appropriate food in this area - probably mostly ants and termites living under pine bark.
Click on any of these photos for a closer view, and maybe you could wager a guess as to which lizard it is. Post your guess in the "comments." Sorry, no prizes offered today.