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.
Related to Cauliflower? Amazing. Whenever I see a dainty wildflower like Jewelflower (above) and discover that it's in the Family Brassicaceae (formerly Cruciferae), I am impressed all over again that it could be in the same family as Mustard, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Bok Choy, and many other nitritious greens. This series of photos is from the last half mile or so of the road up to Barker Pass and includes a couple from the parking area near the pass. Photos from the hike along the Tahoe Rim Trail, from Barker Pass to Twin Peaks, will probably occupy two more posts. Then, I can move to to the wonderful trip Ryan and I took to Brady's Camp and vicinity last Sunday afternoon.
Here's a dense bunch of the Red Elderberry - not safe to eat.
I never tire of photographing Pussy Paws. This was a particularly beautiful specimen grwoing out of the roadside gravel. I love how these are perky in the early morning, then lie down during hot afternoons and appear to melt into the ground much like our Labradoodle melts into the carpet on hot afternoons.
Photos of Leichtlin's Mariposa Lily will appear from time to. I'm always looking for one that's prettier than the last and/or is hosting an interesting insect or two.
The Mountain Spiraea is dense along the wetter spots of the roadside. We have this growing in our front yard, and I muist say if you're looking for low-maintenance landscaping plants, this is one. Blooms for a long time.
This is the highest elevation (approx. 7,000') where I've found Check Bloom. Usually at this elevation, especially in wet areas, i find its cousin the Checker Mallow. Along the Barker Pass road, we found both.
A small Phacelia, Faily Hydrophyllaceae, is a pretty flower that is easy to overlook when there are bright-colored ones nearby. The bright green leaf in the foreground reminds me of one of the Yellow Violets that bloom around here in the spring.
The first plant I photographed when I got out of the car at Barker Pass was this Spotted Coralroot. It ws growing right in the trail. I was amazed it hadn't been stomped to death.
This beautiful blue Larkspur was growing just a few yards from the Coralroot. Only about a foot tall, the blossoms were particularly large and bright. Maybe someone spilled some MiracleGrow here.
My favorite specimen from a group of Mariposa Lilies growing at this same spot by the trailhead.
My wife, Bib,standing by evidence that we were there. Next: the actual Tahoe Rim Trail experience. Leaving the pavement.