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 email@example.com 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.
Here are four more photos from our Sunday afternoon jaunt up toward Gold Lake in Bucks Wilderness. (See previous two posts.) The glassy surface of Silver Lake provides a nice reflection of the background hills. But, then, everything you see in the photo is a reflection of sunlight. So, I am reflecting on reflections.
A short distance up the trail from Silver Lake provides a view of Lassen Peak. Click on the photo for an enlargement. Lassen is barely visible. During most years, Lassen would be covered with snow by now, and by late afternoon, the setting sun would be reflecting off Lassen's snow and rendering it much more visible.
When we approached the western end of Gold Lake, we finally spotted some Mountain Ash. I was curious about how its condition would compare to that of the large Mountain Ash by the courthouse in Quincy, shown a few posts back. The Mountain Ash at this elevation, above 6,000 feet, get seriously battered by winter snows and never grow was tall and undamaged as the one by the courthouse. Also, the season up at Gold Lake is shorter. What struck me, though, was another difference. The leaves were brown and shriveled and still stuck to the branches. Down by the courthouse, the leaves turn bright red while still on the tree, then fall off intact. In another week or two, or maybe three, we'll start seeing beautiful, intact, red leaves on the ground. That is, if we get there before the nefarious leaf blowers come to rearrange everything. Up at Gold Lake the leaves are not going to get red and they're going to shrivel up before dropping.
One more reflection, the last picture I took before rapidly hiking back to the truck, hopefully before sunset. This is the rocky prominence just below the summit of Spanish Peak. I'm looking a little South of East, and the setting sun is behind me to the West. I love clicking on this one and looking at the details i the rock and imagining climbing up various routes to Spanish Peak. But not on this day. It would get dark soon, and we might end up as a Mountain Lion's dinner.