...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.
A very brief rain occurred this morning when I was at the coffee shop. I didn't know it was happening until I went outside. I took a quick drive over to Dellinger's Pond thinking I might get some good photos of rain drops and check out the resolution on my new camera. My plans changed right away when I noticed that the whole pond (above) and surroundings seemed to be freshened by the rain. The dust was washed off the leaves, the fragrances of flowers and leaves and even the soil were awakened also. And a better variety of insects than I've seen in weeks suddenly reappeared. I wonder where they were hiding out?
There's a small California Black Oak right at the entrance gate, and an acorn I had photographed a couple of months ago had grown considerably and was still healthy-looking with no ant holes or other damage. (above)
There was a lot of fresh-looking Chicory at the roadside, so I chose one to photograph that had an attractive little wasp on it. I didn't even see the aphid until I put the photo on my computer screen. Click on it for a closer view of both bugs and the details of the stamens and pistils.
A little way down the pathway, which is actually the dam that creates the pond, I found some nearly-dead Tansy on which was resting a very large Grasshopper. He must have not yet been warmed by the morning sun as he made no effort to hop away when I picked him up. I got several photos from different angles, then placed him back on the Tansy. For all I know, he might still be there.
Last, I came to a huge patch of thistles, nearly all of which had gone to seed. The few remaining blooms were getting frequent visits by bees. It felt like early summer again, although there has been no rain since, and we didn't get nearly enough. I hope it stays dry through the early evening for FRC's football scrimmage, then rains all day tomorrow. We need the rain, and I need the incentive to stay indoors and grade all my students' papers. I love my new camera, but I won't talk about it any more. I'll just take pictures and share stories about the things I see.