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.
Last night at Feather River Art Camp, during my portion of the traditional slide show, I included the above shot of Lemmon's Wild Ginger that I took several weeks ago when these flowers were at their peak. Several of the people who came on my nature walk wanted to know where to find them, so I promised that today I'd show what to look for. The continuous carpet of heart-shaped (cordiform) leaves (below) resemble at a glance the sort of Ivy ground cover that lots of people choose for their landscaping. One would never suspect flowers are on the ground near the bases of the stems, hidden by this carpet of leaves.
During this morning's hike, I parted a few leaves in the above scene to reveal the now-dried up flowers (below). My finger tip provides some scale. The flowers are roughly 1/2-inch in diameter. As seen here and in the top photo, both the blossoms and the stems are quite hairy. I lover close-ups of details like that. When viewed on my 15" screen, I can pretend I still have 20-20 vision. In fact, sometimes I discover tiny bugs in the photos that I didn't notice when taking the pictures.
Happy hunting. The plant is an ever green, so if the drought doesn't kill them, the leafy carpets may be found near still or slowly moving water all summer and fall.
On last night's hike, we also spotted Goldenrod Crab Spiders. I found some again this morning, so in my next post I'll give a little more background on them. It was enjoyable to be back on the trail again at camp.