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 email@example.com 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.
Up on Mt. Hough cutting firewood last week, we came across this beautiful dead Black Oak. Beautiful, you ask? It's dead! However, it is and has been a home to many creatures, not the least of which are woodpeckers. A nest hole is apparent in the second and third photos.
Then there are the lichens. Soil makers. And moss. Beetles. Oak Treehoppers (although they only live on the oaks when they are alive. With the aid of lenses, one could probably identify a hundred or more species of organisms that depend on this oak at all stages throughout its life until it becomes soil again.
There is considerable controversy over so-called salvage logging - taking out of the forest all salable wood after a fire. I'm siding with the critters. I think the damned federal government knows what it's doing in this case, The people of the United States own this forest, not just the people of Plumas County who own wood stoves, of which I am one.
AS the bark begins to separate from the wood, the resulting cracks are great hiding places for lizards, beetles, spiders, and all manner of other invertebrates. A great situation for kids to learn about ecosystems, and not just about board feet or cords of wood. We should be thinking about salvaging