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 still need to go back a post or two to finish my narrative about last weekend's trip to the coast. But today, I just had to escape the heat and go somewhere, like high altitude, where I wouldn't run into a crowd with the same goal. I made a lucky choice, and these two photos of Monkshood made the drive worthwhile, and I got lots more good photos which I'll post soon. The drive began at the road that leads up to Argentine Peak from the spot on Highway 70 across the road from Williams Loop. The first few miles were pretty dusty and bumpy and I was nervous about abusing my truck. I was looking forward to the first major stream crossing which has always been a good spot for wildflowers and the butterflies and moths that pollinate them. Several hopes were fulfilled, and others were exceeded. I saw blooming Washington Lilies, Leopard Lilies, and Corn Lilies, Pennyroyal and other members of the mint family, and some orchids and onions. But, the highlight was the Monkshood shown here. They belong to my favorite wildflower family, Ranunculaceae, to which the Crimson Columbine and Buttercups also belong.
The road was in rough shape and I wondered which damage was done by a hard winter and which was the result of aggressive logging. I wondered about a lot of things, but had time limits as usual, so some things I'll just have to keep on wondering about. I thought of Thoreau and what must have been on his mind when he wrote "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in." I titled this post "Spring is Back!" because going up in elevation feels like going back in time. The foothills are bone dry and most species of flowers have gone to seed long ago, but from 5,000 to 6,500' feet elevation where I explored today, lots of those same species are at their peak of blooming. Feels like spring again.