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.
No, not Muscle Beach. That's a southern California image. This is the "real" thing by Mendocino. Another beach comber got here first and tried to make order out of chaos. I liked it, so I photographed it. This is the beach just below Mendocino which I've been visiting ever since 1965, but never knew the name of it until last week's visit. I saw it called Portuguese Beach on a map. That makes sense since the area was settled (a few thousand years after the Native Americans) by Portuguese fishermen.
On the bluffs above the beach I found one of my favorite plants, Rattlesnake Grass, is still plentiful.
And the opportunistic Seep Spring Monkeyflower grows wherever there's a minimal amount of soil and a reliable water supply, in this case dripping off the cliffs.
Balancing among piles of driftwood, I got a shot of the beach with the tent of the Music Festival visible on the plateau above. Click on the photo for a closer view
When I turned 90 degrees to the right, I got a perfect view of one of the longer tunnels which during winter is the scene of explosive gushes of sea water with every incoming wave. In the summer, some folks paddle through on kayaks which practice can result in deadly surprises.
Punctuating the cliffside greenery were occasional blossoms of Nasturtium which can also be found topping salads in the finer restaurants around here.
I always find fragments of ocean-battered seaweed to be photogenic and also the hiding place of all sorts of small invertebrate creatures like amphipods and different kinds of flies.
This specimen of Bull Kelp was just beginning to get a bit smelly so I resisted the temptation to make a horn of it with my pocket knife.
Back up in the village we wandered the sidewalks for a while. I was stopped by the appearance of evidence for gravity at which point I looked up - and, sure enough, a Swallow's nest overhead. We watched the parents make frequent trips to feed their young, but they were too high up to get a good photo of their tiny heads peeking over the edge of the nest.
Growing out of a crack in the pavement was a nice patch of Scarlet Pimpernel, a plant I first learned about some 20 years ago on the baseball field of Leggett Valley School.
It was satisfying to spend several hours roaming around this interesting place without spending any money. We were trying to save it for anticipated bookstores and coffee shops as we continued our journey southward down the coast.