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.
On Thursday morning, as I was leaving my regular coffee shop, I saw a sight that brought back memories of an essay I posted here a few years ago. It was a "Crack in the Sidewalk" from which was sprouting a tiny Pineappleweed. In that essay, which I plan to bring up to date this week, I mused about why we find the cracks in sidewalks so fascinating when we are children and develop certain rituals around them that probably never entirely leave our consciousness. That does happen to you, doesn't it? Didn't you try to avoid "breaking your mother's back?" I still do, even though my mom has passed away.
Here's a closer view of the "weed," probably around 3" across. This little non-native is often confused with Chamomile, also a non-native. Both are members of the Family Compositae, or Asteraceae. Each yellow blossom is actually a cluster of disk flowers, like you find as the central portion of daisies and other members of the family. No "petals" or, more precisely, ray flowers. If you squeeze the flower head, it smells like pineapple, and I suppose when intact they look a bit like miniature pineapples. I'm not sure which is the origin of the common name.