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.
Does Katydid qualify as onomatopoeia? Not to my ear. Doesn't matter, though. When the word Katydid was new. probably in the 18th Century when Bartram was traveling, and possibly coined the name of this beautiful insect, other observers, or should I say listeners, thought it sounded like Katy Didn't! On this warm afternoon, my son caught one on the college driveway and it didn't make a sound. He released into the car, and we drove it into town. When we got home, we took a couple of photos then released it to the wild.
To me, attempting to replicate animal sounds with English words is futile. It's interesting to compare how the same process is done in French, Spanish, and German, much less languages I know nothing about. One quickly learns that French, Spanish and German cats sound different than American cats.
Maybe it's because the cats are trying to imitate us. This view is consistent with my belief that babies learn "baby talk" from adults who imagine they are imitating babies.