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.
I took these photos of this morning's hike yesterday. Let me explain. Friday morning I hiked with my camera from the northern boundary of Oakland Camp to Gilson Creek and back to look for things I might point out to my guests on this morning's planned nature hike. I figured I wouldn't bring my camera on today's hike so I could pay more attention to my guests and their questions. I carefully inspected all five species of milkweeds in the area hoping to find a variety of bugs. One can never guarantee the same bugs will show up on any given day, but the bugs shown in these photos did show up again today, so my story holds. The above photo of the Narrowleaf Milkweed shows a guest with the unimaginative name, Small Milkweed Bug. That is, bug as opposed to beetle. After a while, I realized that I was paying so much attention to the flowers at the tops of the plants that I'd forget to inspect the stems and leaves up and down the plant. When I did (photo below) I found a caterpillar of the Monarch Butterfly. We found another one today.
On many of the milkweeds, both the Narrowleaf Milkweed above and the Showy Milkweed which was also blooming abundantly, we also found many Checkered Clerid Beetles and several types of tiny black and brown beetles we didn't identify. When I catch up on my blogging I'll post a photo I got of two Blue Milkweed Beetles mating that I came across in a different part of camp.