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 stopped at Midtown Coffee for some liquid refreshment, then went back out into the hot morning to see if I could find some flowers that were not yellow. Bindweed, or Orchard Morning Glory, was plentiful, but for the first time I found a patch that looked like it was being grazed. I looked over several dozen like the above with ragged petals, but never saw any insect, snail, or other herbivore dining on any of them.
The Yarrow hosts quite a good variety of insects and spiders, but on this morning all I could find was the one Common Checkered Clerid Beetle shown above.
The opposite side of the road had been thoroughly mowed. I found this very disappointing because this particular stretch had often been populated by a good variety of flower species which were often visited by many different birds.
The most interesting item I could find here was a pen, undoubtedly discarded by a despondent nature journalist.
I went back to the east side of the road and found a few Showy Milkweeds which has insect visitors. Mostly Bees and Small Milkweed Bugs (that's actually the name of the one in the photo below).
In most areas I've visited this past week, the Showy Milkweed has gone to seed, but here there were several still blooming.
This was a pretty dry spot to find the Checker Bloom, but here they are.
Finally, a patch of Wild Sierra Pea backed up by St. Johns Wort.
It wasn't Brady's Camp, and it definitely wasn't Spring, but it whetted the appetite. I decided to go check on Oakland Camp after lunch.