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 email@example.com 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 never tire of wandering among daisies. There's always something going on - bees feeding on pollen at the very least. But several times this spring I have found a Goldenrod Crab Spider (above) and many different types of beetles. The Goldenrod Crab Spider below is on Yarrow, and it's from my archive of last year's photos. I include it here to show that the yellow and red can be very bright.
These spiders can also be white. You'll find I've photographed this spider every year since I started the blog. A couple of years ago I included some text about the significance of their ability to change between white and yellow, and may or may not have the red "racing" stripes. Some clever scientific detective work showed that the color change is not likely an attempt to camouflage, but is actually the opposite, an attempt to be seen and mistaken for a flower. You can probably imagine the rest of the story.
The daisies are also visited by various species of Ladybird Beetles. I don't know the species of the ones below.
Last, a female of the Dimorphic Flower Longhorn Beetle. The males are all black and a bit smaller than the females. I've found several mating pairs so far this season, and not only on daisies.