...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.
I drove out to Oakland Camp yesterday afternoon to see what I could see. I had low expectations. Just wanted to get away from grading essays for a while. My first stop was by the small stand of Mountain Ladyslippers a short distance past the bridge over Spanish Creek. As I kneeled down to take a few photos, I heard a voice from deeper into the woods. Something about Ladyslippers and Coralroot. I walked up hill to see who it was. A young, well-equipped photographer was photographing Ladyslippers, some specimens a little less covered with pine pollen than the ones I was photographing. We chatted a while, and I discovered he had driven here from Redding to take these photos. I asked how he knew they were here. he said a natural history blog by a guy named Joe Willis! That's me!!! He thanked me profusely for this and other tips he had found on my blog, and he gave me his card. He's a REAL photographer. Check out his work at www.wildmacro.com. His name's Tim Boomer. His photography is better than mine. As I remind my followers from time to time, I'm a story teller interested in all things natural. I supplement my stories with adequate (I hope) photos and sketches, but I know that several of followers and friends are much more serious photographers than I am, and I love to point people toward their work. Another, who comments here from time to time, is Spencer Dykstra. After exchanging "warm fuzzies" with Tim, I drove on down the road and got lots of interesting photos. It's the one above that gave me the idea for the title of today's post. The bee on a blossom of Checker Bloom looked warm and fuzzy, but I decided not to test my hypothesis.