...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.
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.