To Collect or not to collect?

Mark Walker mwalker at
Fri Mar 6 17:58:38 EST 1998

Paul Naftzger wrote:

>Ever since I was a child I have been collecting butterflies and other
>insects. In fact, the best memories of my childhood are when I was doing
>just that. I loved to learn about and set traps. I loved the great chase
>across a field or through the woods to catch that one specimen that I did
>not yet have in my collection. Then I enjoyed reading about the life cycle
>and habits of my captors. Now I have children, two wonderful boys, and one
>is just getting into that age of curiosity. Has society changed? Is
>"collecting" the politically incorrect thing to do? I am interested in your

I'm going to assume you've recently joined this forum, so first let me say
welcome!  If you dream about chasing butterflies from your childhood, you're
in good company.  In response to your question, I will say only two things:
First, and sadly, things have definitely changed.  It is no longer the same
world that you remember - in all fairness, primarily because of the rapidly
declining butterfly habitat.  The thing that irks me is that much of the
blame is placed on those who like to collect.  To say that collecting is
"politically incorrect" is perhaps as accurate a statement as you can make.
It's total nonsense, from my obviously biased position.

Second, to say that you should not teach your children and encourage them
through collecting would be an overreaction.  Of course you should do that.
I also would encourage you to call BioQuip, get a starter kit for about $30,
and fall back in love with your old passion.  That is precisely what I did,
and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.

Mark Walker
Castleton, VT.

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