...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.
For context, scroll back through my several recent blogs dealing with the impressive Shaggy Mane fungus. As promised, I checked the patch on Jackson Street this morning, and they has both grown and disintegrated! The stems are around 3: taller than they were yesterday, yet the caps are further along in their self-digestion. I suspect there will be no sign of caps remaining tomorrow.
I should add that neither "death throes" nor "hibernation" are technically correct descriptions of this scene. If I could use time-lapse photography and show what happened to these caps over 24 hours in a one-minute clip, it might look like "throes," but it wouldn't be death because the fungus will continue to live below ground. Then we can think of each "mushroom" like a wart - a wart the comes and goes, but happens to carry all the DNA of the whole organism. Maybe I'm stretching my poetic license a bit too far. It's also not really hibernation, even though the fungus is getting ready for winter.