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.
I took the West Ranch Road loop this morning without my camera, and I saw a nice patch of Columbine. My Goldenrod Crab Spider, after eating several bugs these past two days, apparently is taking time out to digest. So, I thought I'd head back to West Road in the afternoon with my camera to record those Columbines. However, the first bright red spots I saw in the woods at 20 mph turned out to be the Red Larkspur (above). If you can imagine five of these blossoms wrapped around a central core, perhaps you can imagine their relationship to the Crimson Columbine (below), which is in the same family, the buttercup family, Ranunculaceae.
An unopened Columbine looks a lot like the Larkspur.
Here's a fully opened one which really stands out against the background of dark forest.
Another view that I love is the view from below. But these were hanging over a muddy ditch, so I decided to get this view in another way.
Here's my front yard Crab Spider, apparently taking a rest from eating. I saw an ant crawl right over its body and it didn't even flinch. Either full from yesterday's feast, or maybe too tired. The clover blossoms are starting to turn brown and wilt, so I'm eagerly anticipating the spider's move to a nearby daisy.