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.
My previous post was my reaction to the stereotypical fall colors experience as reported on websites that advertise the phenomenon, usually to promote tourism. This post emphasizes those features of fall that make it my friend Dalynn's favorite season. I'm leaning in that direction myself. These first two photos begged to be taken, although they're not very good. When I stepped out on my front porch this morning, all the branch tips on my birch trees held drops of water from last night's rain. Lit up from behind, they glowed like jewels, and many of them radiated little rainbows. It was quite spectacular to behold, although my camera and I weren't up to the task. You'll have to imagine.
This little Dogwood hasn't grown much over the past several years. It is in deep shade of tall firs and pines, and is probably growing in very marginal (for it) soil. Nevertheless, the splash of pink was an attractive contrast to the darkness.
I revisited the large fungi at the foot of my driveway and, at first, was disturbed that someone came along and kicked them over. It turns out, though, that only this one was upsiade-down and detached from its stem.
Its neighbor, only a foot away was intact, although beginning to shrivel.
Then I found evidence! A large pile of fresh bear poop. I'm honestly not a coprophile in any weird sense of the word, but I enjoy the fact that wild animal droppings (there's a politer word) provide evidence of all sorts of biological phenomena. Scatology is another word that fits here when we're talking biology. However, in the sense of literary study, that's another story. I'm an amateur scatologist only in the former sense.
Evidence that the show is not over, another large one is just now emerging just a few feet away. As I said in an earlier post, these are probably all connected underground and are thus a single organism.
In some years, the Cascara Buckthorn leaves turn all the colors of the rainbow, but this year they appear to be turning only yellow then brown. On this particular tree, most were still green, and all the ones on the ground were shade of yellow or brown. I think they're skipping red and orange this year.
Lots of little fungi are growing in my lawn. Difficult to spot, but very cute.
This one (below) is backed up by a Yellow Wood Sorrel which looks like clover, but has yellow, trumpet-shaped flowers all spring and summer.
The only bright red on this walk was provided by this single, tiny blossom on the edge of my driveway. I believe it's a non-native, but I haven't yet identified it. It's around 1/2" in diameter. Click on any of these images for closer looks.