Ode Predation

Anne Kilmer viceroy at gate.net
Sat Sep 19 03:52:15 EDT 1998

Kenelm Philip wrote:
>         To supplement Mark Walker's observation of dragonfly predation
> on butterflies: back in the '60s I was chasing a butterfly (don't recall
> the species) in the Chena River floodplain near Fairbanks. I had run about
> as far as I could, and was on the verge of catching it--when a large
> dragonfly appeared out of nowhere, snatched the butterfly on the wing,
> and departed for distant parts--accompanied by a few unseemly words from
> me...
>                                                         Ken Philip
> fnkwp at uaf.edu

Memories ... One time, having done my butterfly song and dance for a
class of Master Gardeners, I took them out to the Botanic Garden to see
butterflies on the hoof. As we were watching a charming little Cassius
Blue, a great big green dragon came and carried it off. There was horror
among the multitude ... I was the only one excited and pleased. 
 Since then, I am careful to make sure that my students realize that all
of nature's events have equal beauty and validity ... or at least have
encountered the notion. (No, I don't make them watch screw worms eating
baby birds.)
	We haven't done much for the planet if we protect the butterflies at
the expense of the other animals. Nor is Hawaii better off with more
kinds of butterfly, if the original ones are gone. 
Anne Kilmer
South Florida

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