Liz Day lday at
Tue Sep 22 00:51:55 EDT 1998

> I am one of the few people I know who even SEES most butterflies - and
> especially most moths.  
> My awareness grew out of my "magpie" passion as a kid to find and keep to
> marvel at and show to others and to learn about the beautiful natural
> things around me.  

> I believe the butterflies and moths and songbirds will eventually disappear
> not because they were killed off by
> collectors or kids - but because most people had absolutely no awareness of
> them or little or no appreciation of them

This was exactly my experience.  If I hadn't been able to catch and keep
them in my hot little hands, I don't think I would have spent so much time
learning and caring about them.  There is no substitute for a bug in your
hand, nor for the experience of catching it yourself.  I was an
environmentalist even as a child because "my" butterfly fields were being
turned into houses.  Collecting gave me a much more intimate connection
with the bugs than any other activity (except rearing) ever could have. 
Looking for butterflies to catch everywhere I went made the world look
different, and made certain kinds of natural areas take on an almost
magical meaning to me, since I knew there might be "good" butterflies
there. I still love fields, flowers, and prairies because I felt their
heat, scent, and wind as a child during my favorite pursuit.  It is one of
the few things kids can do by themselves on their own without adult help,
too.  I believe people have to use or hunt or experience or DO something
with nature to really get into it, not *just* look at it. Some destruction
seems better to me than having a generation of people who have never gone
out into the field and done any activity on their own initiative. 


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