...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.
This has been a very satisfying day. Just the right blend of work and play so I could hardly tell them apart. The above image is of California Black Oak, the namesake of this blog. The open acorn cap reminded me of why I chose this tree for my blog name. Today, in my wanderings, mostly looking for Oak Treehoppers, I saw various oaks hosting mosses, lichens, mistletoe, treehoppers, grasshoppers, ants, Red-shafted Flickers, Steller's Jays, and Brewer's Blackbirds. The open acorn cap reminded me of the fallen or eaten acorn that is either starting a new tree or providing nourishment for some herbivore. And, incidentally, that cap can be used to make one of the loudest whistles you'll ever hear.
The fall colors at Dellinger's Pond are getting to be beautiful. Not so many reds, blues, and pinks as in spring and summer, but the range of earth colors is amazing. Click on this image and you'll see that the Cat-o-nine-tails are bursting with seed.
Most of the California Thistles have gone to seed, but some are growing in just the right conditions to keep on blooming as long as possible.
I love this image of a yellow jacket on Tansy. Click on it for more detail.
Another example of the range of earth colors at the pond.
The late afternoon sun accentuated the difference in color of the two sides of the willow leaves.