Nearly a month has gone by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I'm finding that teaching writing classes not only involves lots of time grading papers but also focuses my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but not focusing in the short run on material I want to post here. We'll see what develops. Let's just say, my cessation of blogging is not due to deterioration of my health. I might be back soon. It probably depends on how spring unfolds - wildflowers, lizards, interesting insects, etc., usually fire me up and prompt me to keep my camera batteries charged.
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