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.
Last Friday I parked at the edge of Chandler Road near where the Cascades trail crosses. I had my phone camera, a pack of gum, and no water, so I didn't expect to go far. I wanted to hike maybe a few hundred yards to see what I could see, and maybe come back on Saturday better equipped - my real camera and some water. As soon as I got away from the pavement there was no more greenery at ground level. That is, until I came across this healthy young bracken fern. I liked the setting - the shadow and the proximity to a rotting stump which is always a source of insect and fungus activity, and maybe even a spider or lizard or two. But I didn't pick at the stump. Save that for another day. The Western Bracken is particularly fascinating to me because I first learned Brackens from the Eastern Bracken in Florida. Same species, but totally different habitat, tolerances, and maybe some minor anatomical differences. The Western Bracken seems to be very tolerant of a wide range of conditions - wet, dry, hot, cold, etc. In Florida, it seemed to me there was not such a wide range of conditions on land, so I don't know how tolerant the Eastern Bracken would be if conditions changed. According to the latest news, we may find out sooner than we'd like.
A little further down (actually, up) the trail, I came across the remains of a squirrel's dinner. Since I had recently dined on corn-on-the-cob, this scene resembled that, and maybe even the manner of eating was similar. Click on the photo for an enlargement, then do your own archaeological hypothesizing.
I saw nothing else of great interest until I reverted to one of my life-long habits of tipping over rocks, logs, bark, garbage, etc., in hopes of finding items of interest underneath. Lo and behold, under a rather large piece of Ponderosa Pine bark, I spied this cluster of insect eggs, or egg cases. This whole cluster was only about 1/4" across. By now I was very hot and thirsty, so I turned off my curiosity, replaced the bark, and headed home. But, I remember where it was. Might make a return trip to see if anything hatched.