Nearly a month has gone by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I'm finding that teaching writing classes not only involves lots of time grading papers but also focuses my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but not focusing in the short run on material I want to post here. We'll see what develops. Let's just say, my cessation of blogging is not due to deterioration of my health. I might be back soon. It probably depends on how spring unfolds - wildflowers, lizards, interesting insects, etc., usually fire me up and prompt me to keep my camera batteries charged.
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.