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.
Dutchman's Pipevine. A most interesting vine in the Birthwort family, Aristolochiaceae. I've only seen it in the lower reaches of the Feather River Canyon and on down to Bidwell Park. But, my flower-loving friend Jay Wright brought a "starter" up from the canyon a few years ago, and "Voila!" It's thriving, as it climbs on a Dogwood tree in his yard. An interesting phenomenon: lasat year the whole vine only bore two flowers. Today, I stopped by after receiving an excited phone call from Jay. THere must be a thousand blossoms!
Click on this photo for an even closer view. This exciting-looking flower has a history of medicinal uses (as suggested by the family name) and is host to the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly, and has an interesting way of briefly holding its insect pollinators captive while dusting them with pollen then releasing them to carry the pollen to other flowers.
THe above cluster, of which there were many on this one plant, reminded me of the grape vines in front of Patti's Thunder. Too many blossoms to count. Very impressive.
Another point of interest is the Fritillaries. Jay planted one bulb a few years ago, and now he has a half dozen of these spotted flowers (above) and a few albinos (below) from the same original bulb. We had fun speculating on how this happened. Seeds? Subterranean roots? Maybe both?
In this lasat photo, I was in the mood to play with the light. I call it Birthwort Abstract.