Brazilian Amazon

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Mon Jul 20 05:31:17 EDT 1998

Chris Raper wrote:
> If the trip was a 'sightseeing' butterfly-appreciation trip then
> perhaps the members wouldn't have to know what they were looking at
> but if I go to a place like that I would want to come away with a
> pretty good idea of what I had seen - as well as apprectating the
> beauty of the butterflies themselves of course :-)
> Chris R.

If you are conducting a busload of geezers on a "Isn't Nature grand" 
expedition, you can be pretty vague about the identifications. I have 
for years gotten along fine just being able to say "that's a sulphur". 
(Alas, no longer, since we started counting the darned things.) Just lie 
about the Heliconias; people don't need to know that there are 16 sorts 
and they all look alike and some of them are moths. 
If you are a passenger on such a trip, you will find yourself leading it 
and instructing the instructor. Most of us welcome that, and are happy 
to hand over the microphone to our betters. If enough people enjoy the 
experience, the field books will be generated in response to the demand. 
	There will be demand; school children seem to have a great 
interest in butterflies; they will grow up and there's your market. 
	If you are on a tour with genuine butterfliers, you'll take 
it more seriously, with nets and permits (in case type specimens are 
found.) Hoi polloi don't appreciate nets; they think you are 
interrupting a butterfly with important tasks in mind. They also 
categorize you as a bug-killer and therefore dangerous to the 
environment. Which is what we're working on here. 
	Leaders with nets, however, can quickly change the mind-set of 
the passengers by netting the little guys, giving you a really good look 
at them, then releasing them unharmed. Leaders can also deputize the 
attending experts as assistants, giving them free range with their nets. 
	Any time we get levitation mastered, so we don't trample 
non-target critters while we're horsing around with net or camera, we'll 
be fine. Silent, of course; a jet-ski type of racket would not be 
agreeable. Just a little personal flotation device. 
	Actually, with one of those I could probably keep up with Jim. 
	I notice that none of you are after moths in this imaginary 
outing. And yet, happy evenings around the white sheet and the sticky 
trees could be enjoyed by all. Light traps, properly filled with egg 
cartons, scarcely disturb their captured moths. They are easy to 
photograph as they emerge in the morning. (Oh, wouldn't a monkey have 
fun with one of those ...)
	Shall we turn over a few logs as well, carefully replacing them 
afterwards as I teach the children to do ... for I'm sure our leader 
also knows all the beetles, bugs, ants, spiders and scorpions ... 
	Ah well, I've been out pulling moonflower in a belated and 
ineffective attempt to tidy up a little around here (or at least find my 
rose bushes) and I guess it's true what they say about the sap. A nice 
little dividend for the gardener. 
Anne Kilmer 
South Florida

More information about the Leps-l mailing list