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.
Our parking area needs attention. I think most everyone would agree. But we may disagree on what kind of attention. If I had chopped down this patch of Yarrow a few weeks ago, before the recent rains gave it a boost, I would have missed the following - all observed and photographed in around five minutes. I'll go back outside soon for more relaxed observing without the camera. Maybe pay more attention to the fragrance of the Yarrow and be on the lookout for yet other buds to pay a visit.
This young Convergent Ladybird Beetle is about half the length of an adult which means about 1/8 the volume. I wonder how many grains of pollen it takes to produce an adult. Or is it even eating pollen? Maybe it's eating some tiny bugs that I can't see, or some sort of mold.
Here's a closer view.
Not sure if this is a butterfly or skipper. Click on the photos for a close-up that will include a view of the tongue.
I suspect these two are a pair - while a different color, that tell-tale line across the forewings looks like they're the same species, maybe male and female. Maybe when I go back outside they'll be locked together.
The Common Checkered Clerid beetle came buzzing in and out of range several times during my brief visit. Once they're eating, they tend to stay still enough for close-up photos. For all of these photos, I was able to bring the camera to within a foot of the subject.
This looks like a male of the Dimorphic Flower Longhorn beetle.
This looks like a "true bug," meaning a member of the Order Hemiptera, but I'm not sure. Hopefully, I'll get a chance for a clearer view.
A fly, no doubt. There are too many kinds of flies for me to feel motivated to become a fly expert. As the mad entomologist said, "So many bugs, so little time."
Another view of said fly. An impressive proboscis. Probably the biting kind. One bug I failed to capture in a photo - a rather large Bumblebee of some kind kept dive-bombing me, but never landed. Maybe try again in the morning when the cool air tends to slow things down.