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.
A couple of sunny days was all it took. A very brief walk around the upper campus of FRC this afternoon brought out some of my springtime favorites. The Pacific Chorus Frog, Pseudacris regilla, was hopping ahead of me on the lawn, probably looking for a hole to hide in. She didn't seem to mind being picked up for a photo. I took several and she didn't hop off. When I first moved to California this was still called the Pacific Tree Frog and the scientific name was Hyla regilla. DNA "fingerprinting" changes everything.
The first native wildflower I've photographed was this Spring Whitlow Grass, known by many other common names, but the scientific name is Draba verna, and it's in the Mustard Family, Brassicaceae. These are very tiny, perhaps 1/3" in diameter, and blend into the lawn so well they can go unnoticed unless there's a dense patch, which there was today near the FRC parking lot.
Near several of the seasonal creeks that make their way through campus are new shoots of Corn Lily, Veratrum californicum. The tallest one here is about 10", and by mid-summer many will reach a height of 4' or more and be topped by clusters of white flowers. I will now be sure to carry my camera and notebooks wherever I go.