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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
My previous post was about a 9-day look at the life of a Shaggy Mane fungus on the FRC campus. These photos are from my other favorite viewing spot for Shaggy Manes. On Thursday evening, the 15th, there was no sign of any Shaggy Manes where I had seen them in previous years. By Friday morning, they had appeared and were around 5 inches tall. (First two photos)
By this morning, just 24 hours later, the process of self-digestion was well underway as shown in the next three photos.
I drove by the same spot around 4:30 this afternoon, without my camera, and the caps had shrunk further and the stems were around an inch taller. I'm wondering if there will be any remains tomorrow morning. The most obvious differences between the two settings: at the FRC campus, the spot caught early morning sun and was frequently the recipient of little rainstorms from the sprinklers watering the adjacent soccer practice field. The spot on Jackson Street where today's photos were taken is always in shade and is not watered - that is, until today's rain. THere may be other factors, but a whole week's difference in their life cycle! Very impressive.
Here's a view from above. That nasty black stuff almost looks pretty from this angle. It is hard to shake off the notion that we're really looking at a single fungus here, the caps being united beneath the surface by a very thin membrane called the mycelium.