NOT the collecting debate :-)

Jo jangle at
Thu Jun 24 21:51:35 EDT 1999

At 08:05 PM 6/24/99 GMT, Alan5319 wrote:
>We were not going to prolong this debate as it is a bit pointless - but - We
>did recall reading a wonderful letter on the matter from a most eminent
>We quote:
>**The best way to deal with do-gooders is aggression. Here is an account
of an
>actual incident, though of course I can't remember the precise words used:
>Indignent lady: "Why must you catch all the butterflies?"
>Me: "Actually, I'm not catching butterflies at all; but how splendid to meet
>someone who is interested in conservation. Which conservation body do you
>belong to?
>I.L.: "I beg your pardon?" I repeated my question with explanatory
>I.L.: "I'm not a member of any conservation body".
>Me: "Yet you have the effrontery to critise me, who was a contributing author
>to the Red Data Book on endangered insects; who in my younger days joined
>working parties to improve habitats by clearing scrub; who by my study of
>histories have helped provide the information needed for planning and
>conservation policy - you should be ashamed! Now if you will give me your
>and address, I'll arrange for your county Wildlife Trust to send you an
>application form for membership, so that at least your money can help the
>you hold so dear".
>At this point the indignant lady ran away, weeping copiously.**
>Sometimes things may not be as they seem......

=====Thanks for an amusing, tongue-in-cheek reminder of how to not ever
behave, anywhere, especially if one wants to make friends for conservation.
 Egotistical and intelligence snobbery surely belongs on the list of "Don'ts"

Morris Hewitt, a former neighbor of mine when I lived in the Catoctin Mtns.
of Thurmont, Md., had a favorable local and regional reputation for both
his knowledge and his ways with wildflowers and natural habitat.  He once
told me that a neighbor who lived in a trailer on top of one of our biggest
hills insisted on clearing acres all around him.  Morris remained friendly
with him and slowly educated him about the benefits of providing diverse
horizontal and vertical cover and food for wildlife.  I could see proof of
Morris's patient, friendly education after a few years when the trailer
began to disappear behind trees and wild native plants and shrubs, some of
which the neighbor planted on purpose.  

More to the point about drawing more amateur entomologists into the ranks
and educating people with a lay version of conservation, think of the
paucity of butterfly news and articles even in the popular "nature"
magazines.  The number of articles in the last 2 years in such magazines
you can count on one hand. Favored instead are the more visible cats,
bears, dogs, birds.  More writers are needed to promote knowledge of
butterflies and moths and gain potentially influential friends for them
from the public.  

Even more than that, our elementary schools must be lobbied to include both
science and conservation classes from the very first grade, with no grades
skipped through to graduation.  I was shocked to learn just today that the
elementary school system here in Blacksburg has no formal, ongoing science
program.  I intend to check out the veracity of this info...  All of us on
the list represent many little corners of the world, and that would be a
good place for each of us to begin changing things.  

My landlord and neighbors are good people, but for country folk, they seem
to have some weird notions about land and wildlife.  I have unconsciously
been following Morris Hewitt's example and have talked to Doug about not
filling in the wet areas around our homes because the Virginia endangered
Regal Fritillary likes them; and not to cut down the pin oaks because
they're not dead, they just don't shed their leaves until late winter, and
not to mow everything in sight because even the clover, dandelions and
grasses attract and supply all kinds of wildlife. 


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