...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.
I started photographing the emergence of the Oak Treehoppers about a month ago. This shot, taken by my driveway, shows a small group of juveniles and one adult of the olive-drab-with-spots variety. I was seeing these near my house, in the foothills of Mt. Hough, and in ne oak tree on the FRC campus. Then I stopped looking for them for a couple of weeks.
This morning, on my way to town to look for some early-morning-light photos, I made a quick stop by the large oak tree in my driveway. What I saw was a startling abundance of juveniles and a small gathering (above) of a different kind of adult. In fact, today, all the adults I could find were of this very different color pattern. Basically red, black, and white longitudinal stripes, a kind of 90-degree rotation of the juvenile pattern. I've done a little reading on this, and all I could find is that adults come in two basic forms - the two I've shown here - and I have not found any genetic studies. The differences seems much more dramatic than, say, the difference between blondes and brunettes, or between brown and blue eyes, in humans.
Here's a shot of these "new kinds" of adults tending their young.
And, in another part of the tree, a hint of fall colors to come.