Nearly a month went by without any new posts, despite my recent statements about blogging in earnest. I found that teaching writing classes not only involved lots of time grading papers but also focused my interest on writing. I'm actually writing a lot in various journals and notebooks, but was not focusing in the short run on material I wanted to post here. Finally, in the month of July, I managed to resume my average of one post per day for the month. I plan to surpass that volume from here on out. What I post here, combined with my daily writing in journals, is mostly fine-tuning what I hope to publish in a memoir about my experiences in education as student, parent, teacher, supporter and critic.
Meanwhile, I am still available for guiding local nature hikes. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about rates and parameters of time, distance, and personal needs regarding matters of health and fitness.
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.
A week ago I posted a piece titled "I was wrong." It followed another which claimed that nearly all the yellow wildflowers that usually dominate the local roadsides in August had either wilted early or never bloomed in the first place. That earlier post was based on photos of red flowers, the thistles. One trip to Reno revealed, to my surprise, some great patches of Blazing Star and Gum Plant. Well, since that trip last Sunday, I have looked around my immediate vicinity more intensely. The combination of very hot weather and the high cost of gasoline have kept me closer to home. So, these new findings show that I just wasn't looking closely enough to what's actually going on rather than what isn't. The above photo was taken along Golden Eagle Avenue and is of a healthy-looking Canadian Goldenrod. Ironically, my favorite local spider is the Goldenrod Crab Spider, yet I've never seen one resting on Goldenrod.
In the vicinity of the Goldenrod, as well as along my own driveway, are lots of Hawkweed, a composite in the Aster or Sunflower family.
The flower that most people love to hate, the Star Thistle.
Past its prime, but still hanging on, one can still find lots of St. john's Wort along the roadsides. In places with some standing water, or even a slight trickle, they may still look fresh.
The Mullein is also past its prime for this season, but there are still a few blooming near where I park on campus. I'm also seeing small birds land and eat the seeds where they are already formed.
Last, but not least, in some extremely dry places with mostly dead grass, some patches of Common Madia look "fresh as a daisy." Weird expression to use today when virtually all the daisies do not look fresh.