Yellow sulphurs

Leptraps at Leptraps at
Mon Nov 29 09:10:08 EST 1999

I read several posts of seeing yellow sulphurs in the late fall. They brought 
back fond memories of my youth. Before I went to bed last night, I looked in 
my collection and found three specimens of Colias philodice, collected in a 
field along the banks of the Chagrin River in Lake County, Ohio, on 21 
November 1960.

I remember it like it was just yesterday. I grew up collecting insects with a 
childhood friend, Walt Strekal, especially butterflies and moths. It was the 
Saturday before Thanksgiving, Indian Summer had come, and with it, the cold 
weather form of Colias philodice. We lived in Cleveland, the spot along the 
river was a three hour bike ride. We visited this field often during the 
season. It was several acres with a good deal of red clover. I collected many 
things for the first time in that clover field. But Indian Summer brought out 
the yellow sulphurs with the dark green scales underneath. Before collecting, 
a fire was made in the woods adjacent to the field. Bacon fried, eggs fried 
in the bacon grease, drop bread fried in the grease as well. Then consumed in 
the morning sun, sopping up the last of the bacon grease with the bread (This 
was no "low fat" meal, but God was it good!).

Once the temperature warmed up, collecting began, there were a few flowers of 
Aster and golden rod along the edge of the wood, a mad chase to catch a white 
female or sneaking up on males as they lay tilting to one side to catch the 
warmth of the sun The ride home in the dappled light of dusk with a dozen 
specimens in triangle. 

All were mounted on Sunday morning before church. 

I remember the great times as a teenage boy, net in hand. If more young 
people collected the things of nature, maybe our world would be a better 
place. (I'll bet NABA loves this story) It beats the hell out of dope and 
booze (But not girls, I remember chasing them too! Ah, but that's another 

Don't you just hate a reminiscing old fool!

Leroy C. Koehn
Lake Worth, FL

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