...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 haven't posted since the end of January, and had a spotty stretch before that. On March 8, while attending a gathering in celebration of International Women's Day (bottom photo here), I saw the tiny Spring Whitlow Grass all over the place, hiding in the grass. One would have to know it was there to notice it. After all, who besides me always looks at the ground while walking around? That encounter Whitlow Grass, actually a member of the Mustard Family, stirred my urge to resume blogging regularly. But, I got distracted by an over-booked teaching schedule, and the urge didn't strike again until March 16. On that day, I decided to introduce one of my classes to nature writing. I said let's take a walk, each going alone in his or her chosen direction and write about the first natural object you see that interests you. Tree, bird, bug, worm, whatever. You just have to look until you get motivated to stop and take notes or draw a sketch. They were asked to report to the next class with a 100-word description. I did the same and walked up a hill above my office. Lo and behold, I found a Chorus Frog out in the open (above on my left hand) and Whitlow Grass (below) along the sides of the dirt road.
On the next day, I looked up Whitlow Grass on this blog and discovered the last time I wrote about it was March 15 2015. Two years ago almost to the day! Even on that day, I promised to write more about it, but was immediately distracted by a trip to Table Mountain. I posted several days' worth of Table Mountain photos before I got back to the Whitlow Grass where my story about it continued.
Here's a shot someone took of the Women's Day gathering from a hill or deck above it. Not sure which. I'm the guy with the white hair just to the right of the center. I hope that now I've finally got around to this, I'll be more regular. For instance, on that walk up the hill I also saw the first blooming Shelton's Violets of the season. Will see if I can post those tomorrow and get this thing going again.