"A Girl of the Limberlost"

Mark Walker MWalker at gensym.com
Tue Jun 22 07:24:54 EDT 1999

Mike Quinn wrote:

> 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.

Well, I gotta admit that NABA definitely does a better job of reaching out
to _plain_ folks than the typical Ento Soc.  This is a pretty good example.

Still, I agree with Guy VdP - popularization is not always a good thing.  

Education is the key, but admittedly you have to be able to get a persons
attention first.  I guess I can't fault NABA on the quality of the education
that they provide, either, although I do still resent the guilt trips I've
been given when talking about my experiences to NABA folks.  When I haven't
been accused of being a murderer, I've been treated as an ignorant dinosaur
- and often by people who don't know much about butterflies other than that
they're beautiful.

I'll never forget my first conversation with a NABA member at a booth at the
L.A. Insect Fair.  I was attracted by the materials they had available, and
began to inquire of their association.  Somehow, my interest in collecting
came up and I received a very condescending 'tsk tsk tsk' and 'shame on
you'.  "We (with the emphasis on being above such behavior) encourage
OBSERVING only".  Hence my decision NOT to join NABA that day.

Mark Walker.   

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