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.
While I was taking a course in parasitology many years ago, a scene like this excited me in a different way than it does now. I remember writing a paper on the flagellates I found living in the gall bladders of tree frogs. Then one on the trematodes found lining the mouths of Cottonmouth Water Moccassins. Now this scene just reminds me that when I first came to the Sierra in 1965, there were many places where I could safely drink the surface water, and I never got sick. Now I know I can't safely drink surface water anywhere. This little dammed up pond is by the side of Golden Eagle Avenue, and I often stop there to look at the Bullfrogs and dragonflies.
But now, when I look at the frogs, I imagine the dozens, if not hundreds, of different parasites I might find in each frog. When I was studying parasitology, that was actually fun. It was an adventure in discovery. I still have my 40-page, take-home semester exam from that class, and I get a nostalgic feeling whenever I read it.