...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.
This lone Elderberry bush looks really healthy, so I thought I'd take a closer look this morning on my way to the recycling center and see if I could spot the elusive Elderberry Beetle. I haven't seen any this year, unless a immature beetle I posted over a week ago happens to be one. I looked at every flower cluster and saw no insects of any kind.
Here's a close-up of a flower cluster.
And here's a cluster of green berries. The ripe berries, due in a month or so, are blue and more or less edible. There's some risk of kidney trouble, and the berries are quite bitter unless cooked down into a jam or wine. I checked the bush again around 5:00 this afternoon and found many Longhorn Beetles of another kind, the same kind that invaded my son's bedroom one evening last week. The Elderberry Beetle is also a type of Longhorn Beetle in the Family Cerambycidae. I'll probably check this bush every day for a while in hopes of seeing the real thing.