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's hot and dry these days, I didn't expect to find anything interesting when I turned over random pieces of bark along the trail. I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few Millipedes beneath a large piece of Douglas-fir bark. They'll probably bury themselves deeper into the decaying vegetation before long - if they know what's good for them!
There's still a fair amount of False Solomon's Seal along the trail, and the green berries will probably turn red much earlier this year.
The Thimble Berry is one of several trailside plants that are blooming while much shorter than is usually the case. In a good rain year, these plants are often 3 to 5 feet tall before blooming. The one above is only about one foot tall.
The parasitic vine, Dodder, usually thrives on other plants' misfortune. But at this particular spot where I see huge masses of Dodder in an ordinary year, there were only a few, rather small specimens. Here's one climbing on a blade of wild grass.
Another early bloomer, this Crimson Columbine, compared to its usual growth pattern, seems almost like a Bonsai version. Very cute, and the only one in this general area.