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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.