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.
I'm wrestling with ideas about what can be called "wild" or "wilderness" or even "natural" as we find ourselves experiencing "The Sixth Extinction." I'm hoping we can begin to have more nuanced conversations about our past perceptions and treatment of the land, water, and sky, rather than continue the quick, blunt conversations (especially typical of Congress and political campaigns these days) that assume there are just two sides to every question and that every comment is either right or wrong. The above photo shows Dellinger's Pond in early June during a fourth consecutive year of drought. I have some older photos of the pond when it was mostly full of water and had very little floating vegetation. Since this photo was taken, the pond has dried up further and hardly any exposed water is visible from the shore.
The second photo shows the gate and a stretch of dam that was cleared of most non-native vegetation this spring by a college class working to "restore" the place to something closer to "natural." In the two months since I took the photo, the weeds have grown back with a vengeance (a 'color' word, for sure) and the Tansy and Thistles range from knee to waist high. This is a great place to observe and ponder what you may love or hate about weeds. It's also a great place to ponder different ideas about what constitutes a weed and what might be an appropriate relationship with such plants.