...an unpaid sabbatical. Just call it a break. I've fallen well short of my original goals for this blog and am too busy to continue at this time. Thanks for the comments and feedback people have given me by email and other means. I will continue to find solace in nature walks, with or without camera and notebook, but I will take at least a two-month break from posting here.
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.
Our lilacs seemed to remain in a state of "almost blooming" for over a month before the right combination of soil temperature, length of daylight, and available moisture, got them motivated to bloom. The lilacs in the sunnier parts of downtown had been blooming since late March. When ours bloomed, they were visited almost immediately by the usual array of insects: several species of bees and butterflies, the most colorful of which was the Painted Ladies (top two photos). I haven't identified the one in the bottom photo. It reminded me of all those little brown birds that I can't tell apart.