...an unpaid sabbatical. Just call it a break. I've fallen well short of my original goals for this blog and am too busy to continue at this time. Thanks for the comments and feedback people have given me by email and other means. I will continue to find solace in nature walks, with or without camera and notebook, but I will take at least a two-month break from posting here.
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.