...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.
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.