Nearly a month has gone by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I'm finding that teaching writing classes not only involves lots of time grading papers but also focuses my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but not focusing in the short run on material I want to post here. We'll see what develops. Let's just say, my cessation of blogging is not due to deterioration of my health. I might be back soon. It probably depends on how spring unfolds - wildflowers, lizards, interesting insects, etc., usually fire me up and prompt me to keep my camera batteries charged.
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 mean that in a good way. I went out looking for flowers, Scarlet Fritillary in particular, but came across my first photogenic bug of the season and it made me very happy. This is the Checkered Clerid Beetle resting on a blossom of Umbrella Plant, mostly known locally as Indian Rhubarb.
A little further along, actually standing in a large patch of Fritillary (whose photos I'll post later) this huge Convergent Ladybird Beetle caught my eye. I've never seen one of these resting on Incense Cedar, so I assume that's all it was doing... resting. The whole time I was hiking with my wife and her dog, I had my Mom in mind. I got a call this morning saying she was fading fast. She's 94, and has been coherent and physically weaker and weaker, but apparently not uncomfortable, over the past several years. Now back at home, while posting these photos, my sister called again to say the Mom had passed away. My sister is a gerontologist and knows about these things, and she said it really seemed that Mom had decided her time had come and simply decided to "let go." Although there are tears in my eyes, I found comfort in hearing that. She was a great mom.
Another bug that makes me happy is the paper wasp. I don't like getting stung any more than the next person, but I've never been stung by one of these despite having spent many hours watching them close up. I hope to leave a legacy like this wasp some day, a paper product. I'll call mine a book. My last non-flower photo for the afternoon was this large Bluebelly lizard, a major bug eater.
The flowers and the bugs cannot get along without each other, and I can't get along without either. Immersing myself in the interconnectedness of all things is the greatest pleasure I know. Sharing it with others is also a great pleasure. Thanks for everything, Mom.