"A Girl of the Limberlost"

Mike Quinn mqnature at hiline.net
Sun Jun 20 12:22:24 EDT 1999

Dear Kathleen,

I am ordering a copy of "A Girl of the Limberlost" at your recommendation.
(But I'm not getting an original 1909 signed copy that goes for $900.00!!)

I have an interesting anecdote associated with this book. During last
year's Texas Butterfly Festival, a woman in her late 70's (?) came up and
showed me a large brownish-orange lepidoptera that she had collected about
10 years ago outside her home in Pharr, Texas here in the Rio Grande
Valley. I didn't know what it was and since the the antennae were missing,
I actually thought it might have been a moth. The specimen turned out to be
a Brassolid, *Opsiphanes boisduvalii*. Not only is this the first US record
for this species, it represents the first US record for the family too!

She had been trying for some time to find out what her specimen was. I
don't even know if she knows of the existence of the Lepidopterists'
Society, I doubt she would have ever joined it! But when she heard that
there was going to be a local butterfly festival, she brought her specimen
and now her record will documented. Our local festival is co-sponsored by
the South Texas Chapter of NABA. To me NABA is about reaching out to
people, not about taking their nets away from them.

Later I went to her home to get more information about the butterfly. The
first thing she said was, "do you know the book called "A Girl of the
Limberlost?" I had to admit that I didn't. She continued, "I was named for
the central character, Elnora."

Kathleen Moon Wrote,

>Before I get off my soap box, I think I need to say something about
>people.  Have you ever seen "A Girl of the Limberlost"?  I recommend it
>highly.  The main character is a dirt-poor teenage girl in a rural part
>of east central Indiana (the title refers to the Limberlost Swamp; now
>mostly drained, although I hear there is talk of bringing some of it
>back) faced with very severe hardships at home (father had abandoned the
>family, mother can't afford to send her child to high school, let alone
>buy her any books, so she earns her own way through by helping a nature
>photographer who is interested in the moths found in the swamp and its
>vicinity (a couple saturniids are specifically mentioned).  Despite the
>tauntings, at times quite severe, of her fellow students - and the
>hardships that the family faces, and her mother's opposition - she
>succeeds.  Much is made of her mother's amazement at the girl's success
>and her admiration for her daughter and her tenacity in the face of such
>staunch, unceasing and unyielding opposition.

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