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.
Around mid-day today I checked on my front-yard Crab Spider and she was gone. My hypothesis is that it was getting too hot. Hiding underneath a daisy blossom just wasn't working any more. Of course, since I could see her from my front door 50 feet away, various hungry birds could have seen her, too. Anyway, to take her place, I'm psoting this spidery-looking flower that's growing in front of Quincy Natural Foods. I identified this a couple of summers ago by a fence on Jackson Street, but I've forgotten what it is. I'll find out in due time, but for now, join me in appreciating its intricacy. Below is the seed capsule (ovary). Many stages of the flowering cycle are exhibited simultaneously on each plant. And, a few of them are blue. ID to come later.
Later: I found it. Nigella damascena. Family Ranunculaceae, that most amazing Buttercup family. I remember when retired botanist Jay Wright and I both discovered this by various fences along Jackson Street and went to lengths to discover what it was. In some nurseries it's well known, but we both tend to give most of our attention to native wild plants. Will probably continue to do so, except once in a while when we find something amazing that happens to be cultivated. Not purists.