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.
I grew up not far from the famous fall colors "mecca," the Mohawk Trail. Since I've been in California I've made a lot of photos of fall colors, but in recent years I've begun to enjoy zooming in on individual leaves more than taking the more popular panoramas of whole trees or whole hillsides of colorful trees. Here are a few from around the county courthouse. Above is a leaf of Bigleaf Maple, measuring around 9" across. Like every other leaf, a marvel of engineering - without an engineer.
Here's a typical leaf of Thimble Berry. They tend to stay green later into the season than the maples, then suddenly turn brown. This one's around 7" across.
On the northeast corner of the courthouse lawn is a popular Sweetgum, or Liquidambar, whose leaves turn many great colors, mostly on the warmer end of the visible spectrum. Reds, oranges, yellows, and combinations.
Liquidambar leaves usually change colors while still attached to their trees, although they often continue to change once they're on the ground. Some deciduous drop their leaves while they are still green, the the color changes take place on the ground. I've noticed that with White Alders and Cascara Buckthorn.
I'm still thinking snow is just around the corner and that I won't be taking any more leaf photos this season, but you never know. Next I plan to post some photos from the same walk through the neighborhood, but ones whose shape and venation are described as pinnate, or feather-like.