...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.
A week ago, I was up on Mt.Hough with my son Greg cutting firewood. We found a nice group of dead Incense Cedar downhill from the truck. Maybe it was the prospect of carrying the logs up hill, or of the incoming rainstorm, that made me particularly prone to distraction. I did have my camera, so maybe I was hoping for distraction. In fact, we saw a Bobcat run across the road on our way to the site. No chance of getting a photo, but it did raise hopes of photogenic distractions. So, after cutting down our first cedar, the holes made by ants begged for attention.
The ants tried to hide by crawling deeper into their network of tunnels, so I kept poking at them with a pine needle with one hand while holding the camera in the other.
You can click on these photos for a closer look, but I never got what I'd call a great photo of an ant.
Most of them had wings, so maybe they were ready to find another home after our chainsaw disturbance. Before we left the scene, I did find one other photogenic scene (next post), but my delays were just enough to let the rainstorm catch us while we were loading the truck. Arrived home an hour later, cold and soaking, but relishing the fact that "real" weather seemed to have returned after weeks of drought.