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.
We returned from a hike near Oakland Camp five hours ago, and I'm still thirsty. We were on the Tollgate Creek Trail that starts across the tracks from the camp's pump house. About a quarter mile in is a crossing of Tollgate Creek (above), or what was Tollgate Creek a couple of weeks ago. It is now bone dry. Actually, bones aren't even that dry. Along the way we saw many dried up wildflowers and shrubs, gone to seed long before their usual seasons. The only plant that seemed to be thriving more than in previous summers was the Pennyroyal.
Some of the Live Oaks were sporting tiny, young acorns. I wondered if there is enough water in the soil for them to reach full size.
It was a relief to get to the Berry Creek crossing, maybe a couple of miles from our starting point. Along this trail, Berry Creek is in a deep enough canyon that there is lots of shade. Even though the creek bed is dry where it crosses the trail, there are so many large Douglas-firs, oaks, and Bigleaf Maples, that there's plenty of shade. We enjoyed walking along the creek bed in the shade, and I stumbled across a pair of Longhorn Beetles mating (above) on a shrub I haven't identified.