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.
My last trip out to Oakland Camp was mostly a reconnaissance trip to see if the Leopard Lilies or Indian Hemp were blooming yet. They weren't. And I was looking forward to more insect activity. None yet. But, I had to take a few pictures anyway. Here are some easy-to-spot flowers that are blooming and all but the Lady Slippers should be blooming for quite a while. These first two photos are of Blue Gilia and were taken right by the Southpark Trailhead on the way to Oakland Camp.
The Mountain Lady Slippers are at peak and should last another couple of weeks.
The Orchard Morning Glory are along the roadsides and some are doing some impressive climbing on other plants and trees.
Several species of Phacelia (below) adorn our roadsides. The flowers do not contrast much with the stems and branches, so these are seldom noticed while driving. Quite complex and interesting when viewed close up.
The Purple Milkweed are in full bloom, and should be attracting insect visitors by now. My last visit was on a cold morning so I didn't see any insects.
The Bluebelly or Fence Lizards are active and doing their pushups and turning bright colors. The less common, but similar-looking Sagebrush Lizard (below) is distinguished by a slightly different kind of scales - you won't notice that - and a rusty-red armpit. Click on the photo for a clearer view of that. I hope to visit the area again this week to lok for newly blooming flowers, insects, and spiders.