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.
..., well, I didn't want a cigar anyway. Less than a second before I pushed the shutter button for the above photo there was a Red-shouldered Ctenucha Moth resting on this Pennyroyal. The first one I've seen in a few summers. I was disappointed that I was not quite quick enough. I'll be visiting this spot again. Meanwhile, I tried to meet another challenge. There were lots of bees around, so I
thought I'd try to catch one hovering. The above photo was the best I could do. I did hang around long enough to get a few decent photos of bees that had landed.
A few yards down the road there was a good-sized patch of Spreading Dogbane. Some very large bees were visiting. They were aware of my presence and spent most of their feeding time on the backsides of the flowers. When they got carried away with feeding, they'd sometimes come to my side, and I managed to get one shot of a large bee with its wings spread.
I'll be visiting this patch of dogbane again as it's a good place to find butterflies and crab spiders, and
on a good day, maybe crab spiders eating butterflies.
I was about to leave this area only partially satisfied when along came one of the most spectacular-looking insects I've seen, the Thread-waisted Wasp. Click on any of these photos for a closer view, but especially these last two. It's an amazing insect that poses no threat to humans. It's a pollen-eater.