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 email@example.com 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 usually keep my camera handy when splitting firewood. Today, as I quickly got my last half-cord under cover before the storm moved in, I exposed a couple of bugs that I enjoy encountering every summer at this time. The two crickets were fun to play with - one had all six legs, and the other was missing a read leg. Both were camouflaged by remaining very still as well as blending in with their backgrounds. I prodded them to jump in order to get new positions of pictures.
This beautiful, harmless beetle goes by many names, but I suppose Dentate Stink Beetle sums up the majority human attitude as well as any other name. When disturbed, they raise their abdomen and emit a mist which some people find unpleasant. Let's just say I'd rather sit next to one of these on a plane than to some people I've been stuck with.
These don't move very fast, so when I pestered this one he just tried to crawl to the underside of the log.
I then captured him and put him on his back for a photo. He was able to right himself very quickly, so it took several attempts to get a photo.
I then moved him to a safer hiding place while I moved the rest of the wood. By the way, I'm not sure it's a "he."
This encounter is just one of the distractions that has delayed my report on Tuesday afternoon's visit to Oakland Camp that included finding all five local species of milkweeds.