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.
There are three or four places around the town of Quincy where I park frequently. One is in the shade of tall firs and pines at the edge of my driveway. Another is by the South Park trailhead near the Mt. Hough Ranger Station. A third is the main parking lot near the Feather River College gym. There's a tendency with any habit to start taking things for granted. On this particular day I decided not to let that happen. Near my usual parking space at home is a great little crop of Diamond Clarkia (above), scientifically known as Clarkia rhomboidea. I've seen more of it this year than in any year since I became aware of the species 10 years ago
Parking near the Mt. Hough Ranger Station, I sometimes wait 15 minutes or longer to meet up with other people. On this day, I walked around with my camera. Carrying the camera (or a notebook) makes me notice things. The above daisy-like flower is smaller than the common daisy. I suspect it is an Aster or an Erigeron. In this location they were mostly aroud 3 feet tall and each plant bore multiple heads of flowers. The "flower" you see above is actually a composite. The yellow center piece is made up of at least 100 disk flowers, and each "petal" is a ray flower.
The abundant Yarrow was swarming with Common Checkered Clerid Beetles. They were very active, flying and landing, dining and mating.
Past its prime (below) is a Wild Hyacinth, a cluster of lilies on top of a three-foot stem.
St. John's Wort (below) is abundant in many places I've visited this year - the above-mentioned parking areas and in and around Oakland Camp and roadsides all over.
Toward the end of its season at this elevation is the Grand Collomia, Collomia grandiflora. Side and top views, this flower cluster makes a nice photo subject.