Nearly a month has gone by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I'm finding that teaching writing classes not only involves lots of time grading papers but also focuses my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but not focusing in the short run on material I want to post here. We'll see what develops. Let's just say, my cessation of blogging is not due to deterioration of my health. I might be back soon. It probably depends on how spring unfolds - wildflowers, lizards, interesting insects, etc., usually fire me up and prompt me to keep my camera batteries charged.
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.