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.
Here are sic kinds of wildflowers currently blooming in the Feather River Canyon between the Pulga Bridge and Jarbo Gap. I ulled off the road the photograph the Redbud which was the only blooming plant I could spot while driving 55 mph. But walking around the immediate vicinity of the Redbud, I found lots of other species blooming. Here are 5 of them.
The Purple Nightshade, in the Nightshade family, always intrigues me because it is poisonous, yet the family contains many popular vegetables - the potato, eggplant, many kinds of peppers, and tomatoes.
The Indian Paintbrush, a generic term for several dozen species that occur in California, occurs at a wide range of altitudes, so we'll see this species and several others start "moving up the canyon" in the coming months. In the Lakes Basin area, by late June and early July, we'll see yellow and whites species as well as different red ones.
Arnica occurs over a wide range of altitudes also.
The Deer Brush, a species of Ceanothus, is sometimes called California Lilac, although it's in a different family than the true lilacs.
The Beautiful Blue Dicks is one of several kinds of lilioids formerly in the genus Brodiaea, and sometimes still called Brodiaea as its "common" name. When a few more current and former members of the Lily family are blooming, I'll photograph them and post an update on their current taxonomic status. Tomorrow I'll post a few more species I photographed on this same trip through the canyon. I'm looking forward to more species blooming closer to home in Quincy. Today I spotted my first wildflower blooming here while watching an FRC softball game. It was Spring Whitlow Grass, a tiny member of the mustard family, which is already prolific in roadside grassy areas.