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.
I was just beginning to pass this off as a bad year for treehoppers, and, therefore, treehopper photography when I saw this! I spotted a few earlier in the season than usual. Then there were very few additional ones over a period of several weeks. I was having trouble getting clear photos of those few with my cell phone. Then, a couple days ago, while I was toting my DSLR camera, I looked over some low-hanging branches of an Oak on my driveway, and spotted this cluster. More treehoppers were on this branch than were on all my previous photos combined. And there was this white spot in the middle that I couldn't make out wth my weary eyes. Click on either photos and you'll see that i've caught one treehopper in the act of its last molt. Note the wings.
Then I had one last thought. This was a low branch of a fairly tall California Black Oak. Some of them here and on the FRTC campus are very tall, approaching 100 feet. I've never used a ladder or a helicopter in my photography, but now I'm wondering if these Oak Treehoppers occupy the branches higher up on the trees. There may be millions on a tree that I just don't see. Maybe deer and other critters are frequently knocking ones off the low branches and I'm only seeing the survivors. If I seem a little obsessed with Oak Treehoppers, it's because I am. I wonder if I could raise them over the winter in a terrarium.