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.
Only about ten feet from the pavement, and I walk by it every day. Yet, I didn't see this Pine Drop until this morning. A member of the Wintergreen family, along with the familiar Manzanita, it was in a shady spot surrounded by tall Douglas-fir. Also, it was around 3 feet tall, so it must have been there for several weeks by now. Maybe on most walks I'm in a hurry or my mind is elsewhere. I still can't believe I haven't noticed it before today.
When you first see one of these Pine Drops, you'd never guess it could be in the same family as Manzanita. But when you get close enough to study the individual flowers it becomes more obvious.
One major difference, though, is Pine Drops doesn't have chlorophyll, so it doesn't make its own food the way green plants do. It gets its nutrients from the soil in much the same manner as the Fungi. It's a saprophyte.