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.
All four of these orchids as well as the Rein Orchis are now blooming in various places around Plumas County. The Mountain Lady Slipper (above) is a little past its prime at the site on the Oakland Camp Road, but should be looking good for another week or so. The Stream Orchid (below) was photographed on the Caribou Road near the Caribou Powerhouse. This is the road that follows the main branch of the North Fork of the Feather River upstream from the point, just east of Belden where it joins the East Branch of the North Fork. There was an amazing number of these blooming at the roadside when we arrived. Then, in the short time it took to walk to the powerhouse and back the roadside weed-eating crew had decimated the majority of them. I must admit, the Stream Orchid is so green and the greenish flowers often drooping, the the plant blends well into the non-native grasses and other weeds that are legitimately being "controlled." I chatted with a couple of the crew members and they were great people, curious about why I would be photographing such boring stuff.
The Spotted Coral Root is never abundant in any one place which makes a pleasant surprise to stumble across a few springs of it on a hike through shady woods. This one was on the FRC nature trail, but there are also a few off the Oakland Camp road near the Lady Slippers.
Last, the California Lady Slipper was out all around a cascade that drops into the North Fork around 5 miles upstream from Highway 70. The bulbous part of the flower is such a bright white that it's very difficult (for me) to photograph. Near this spot there is also a impressive stand of Western Azalea.