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 email@example.com 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.
These past few days I've had to squeeze photo trips between other errands, dog walks, and the like, so there might be some repeats. As of yesterday's brief trip to the Oakland Camp area and today's dog walk up Boyle Ravine, here are some of the flowers that grabbed my attention. The Monarchs are chasing each other around in the Gilson Creek area north of Oakland Camp. They seldom alight on flowers for more than a few seconds at a time and are very skittish when I approach. But the one above is rather young, and maybe naive, and I sneaked up from behind while its tongue was committed to a flower. I got within three feet for this photo.
I photographed a couple of Leopard Lilies at a certain spot in Boyle Ravine a couple of days ago. Today there were two to three times as many blooming. With setting sun sending strong rays in from the side, there was quite a variety of lighting conditions. I used a large Douglas-fir for a background and used flash to get this photo in which the blossom glows and the background is nearly black.
A few days ago I posted photos of Hooker's Evening Primrose taken in the afternoon when the blossoms are shriveled up. I took the above photo in the same spot in front of Safeway but early in the morning.
The Mullein don't seem as tall or as plentiful than in previous years. This one at Oakland Camp is blooming while only about two feet tall.
The Thimbleberries are looking good along the trail from my house to Boyle Ravine. I see lots of green berries. I hope there's enough moisture in the ground for them to ripen.
The roadside standby, Chicory, also seems less plentiful and robust than in an average year. Maybe later in the summer they'll seem more prominent. I love the delicate flower parts. Click on the photo in order to better see the details.
Here's a parting shot of the Goldenrod Crab Spider that held fort in my front yard for over a week. I photographed her eating at least five different insects over that span of time. When I mowed the lawn on Friday, she had to relocate. Now there's a new one in the neighborhood without the red stripes. If it catches an interesting insect tomorrow, I'll post a photo of it here.