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 visited the Butterfly Valley Botanical Area last Saturday with a group from the California Native Pant Society, and here I'm posted my first few photos from the trip. I'm at home with very limited bandwidth, so it took me a half hour just to upload these photos. I'll add more tomorrow ehen I visit a place with better Internet. Although the trip focused on searching for wildflowers, I was frequently distracted by interesting insect activity. The photo above hides a butterfly. It was easy to see when it was flying, but when it landed on a brown background, it seemed to instantly disappear. Can you find it? The photo below was taken in the same area a couple of summers ago, and whenever I see butterflies in Butterfly Valley, I am reminded of this dramatic moment when I watched a Goldenrod Crab Spider snatch a Checkerspot butterlfy the moment it landed on the Labrador Tea bush.
I have not been able to identify this impressive mint (next two photos), but I'm pretty sure it is a mint.
If someone knows what it is, feel free to post an ID in the comments section below.
White-veined Wintergreen (above) is a beauty, and in a quick glance it reminds of the Prince's Pines which were abundant in this area.
The White Brodiaea were abundant at the edge of the meadow. The most recent name I have for it is Triteleia hyacinthina, but the status of flowers at one time or another called Brodiaea seems to be forever changing, and they are now divided among several different families, having once been in the Liliaceae. I need to go back out to Butterfly Valley alone with a newer Jepson manual and figure those elusive Lilioids, the most memorable one I saw last Saturday being the Bog Asphodel. Being more of a herpetologist than botanist, I really enjoyed the expertise of the CNPS people and I saw several plant species for the first time. To be continued tomorrow.