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 yesterday's drive part way up Mt. Hough, I found the drought conditions rather scary. But somehow the flowers that still manage to bloom made me feel cooler and more optimistic. The bright red flowers of the Snowy Thistle contrasting with the silvery white stems and leaves were like beacons, despite the accumulation of road dust.
The Pennyroyal seem to be having a better than average year, at least in the few places I visit regularly. I'm still hoping to see my favorite visitor to the Pennyroyal, the Red-shouldered Ctenucha Moth. So far, I'm seeing mostly Bumblebees and Swallowtail Butterflies.
On the opposite side of the road from the Thistles pictured above, I spotted a large one somehwat protected by a dense patch of Manzanita and Deerbrush. Less dust, too. My camera doesn't do justice to the brightness of the red.
The Yarrow seem to be doing well, too. It was so hot by noon there was little or no insect activity on any of these flowers. Will have to visit again soon early in the morning.