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.
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.