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.
When I checked on "my" Ambush Bugs this morning around 8:30 a.m., I sensed an omen. The one in the above photo, resting on a Daisy that looked reasonably fresh (visual impression only), it was sort of sideways, not a great position from which to carry out an ambush. At least not from my perspective.
The one on the other flower seemed to be in more trouble. Or, I should say the flower was looking like it was about to dry up and go to seed. That means there would be no more food for the bugs that would land here and be potential prey for the Ambush Bug.
I turned that second flower sideways for a better view. You can click on any of these photos for even closer views. After my 8:30 photos, I went up to the office for a couple hours of work.
When I came back down the hill at around 11:00 a.m., both bugs were gone, and all the Daisies were looking drier.
Here's a broader view of the scene. There are no other blooming flowers in the vicinity, so I had to wonder whether the two Ambush Bugs I had adopted last Monday either flew or crawled away, whether they found new flowers for hunting grounds, or whether they perished because their time had come, too. These bugs can fly, but they are not really built for flying, so I suspect they crawled for a while, then keeled over in the grass. They may or may not have mated before arriving at these daisies. I need to move on to other subjects. Tomorrow, I'll be venturing to a higher altitude, which means I'll experience an earlier season. I might see some of the things up at 6,500-7,500 feet that I've been seeing at the Quincy elevation, 3,500 feet, but also some new things. I can hardly wait.