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.
A friend described a dead bird she found at the top of her outdoor stairway leading to the front entrance of her house. From her description of the bird and my familiarity with the location, I guessed it was a Towhee, or maybe a young Flicker or Robin. The description was mostly of the colors. A description of the beak would have nailed it. It turns out it was a House Finch. Still in the same spot a day later, and no ants or other signs of decomposers. I noticed that it had some pine needles tightly in the grasp of both feet. I pulled the needles out of one foot, but they were held very tightly in the other. My hypothesis is that the bird was hit by a passing car and grabbed at whatever was there when it landed. Sort of a sad scene, but a closer view of the bird than I usually get.