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.
I lined up some photos I took last Friday while hanging out in the parking lot by the South Park trail head. After a little editing, I was planning to show first some photos of Spanish Clover, but a more interesting encounter with nature occurred while I was washing dishes. I felt something crawling in my hair, and given the hot afternoon and the flowers blooming in my front yard, I was a little worried about Yellow Jackets. I quickly brushed the critter out of my hair and onto the tile countertop (above). It was wet, and I suppose a little soapy, so it perished quickly. I gave it one last chance to survive by carefully transferring it to a cutting board that I thought might absorb some of the water.
I was too late. My swipe was probably a little too violent as well as laden with dish soap. The critter in question is a Snake Fly. When these guys are alive (actually, this one is a female), they carry their heads high on top of a longish thorax and resemble cobras. I think they can bite, since they are predators, but they've never bitten me. They're in the insect group known as Neuroptera and are related to many other insects generally known as lacewings. I'll get back to the Spanish Clover in a little while.