Lepidopterous Field Humor

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca
Wed Apr 19 10:47:33 EDT 2000

Herewith a tongue-in-cheek lepidopterists' guide to useful field techniques
(sources are deliberately not credited to maintain our pseudo-reputation as
normal and sane people):

Alpine ambling - highly effective in a flowery alpine meadow on a sunny day;
proper etiquette for watchers and collectors
Arroyo rambling - use this to turn up S. pulverulenta
Blossum bumbling - ideal for A. halesus
Bog bouncing - pursuing Boloria eunomia in bogs; when collecting these in
alpine meadows then shift to alpine ambling
Boulder bounding - this technique is only recommended for young, foolhardy
types who desperately want Oeneis melissa or Boloria alberta
Boulder budging - effective for locating Lycaena cupreus hiding under the
rocks; also useful for wiping out your competing collectors lower on the
Bug mugging - only socially acceptable on small plots of land in large,
crime ridden cities
Bush busting - not sure if this refers to breaking bushes while looking for
bugs or if it refers to breaking bones as a result of blindly leaping over a
low bush and doing a lip stand in a rock pile; reputed to be useful for
pursuing L. bachmanni
Bush whacking - this does not refer to a Mafioso killing a bush ! In western
Canada it is used to describe the odious chore of navigating through dense
woody vegetation. It also describes the technique of striking a bush with
your net handle to flush out the hairstreaks that like to do more walking
than flying
Cliff leaping - a not recommended technique used while chasing Boloria
astarte along cliff tops. The important thing is to not damage your net when
hitting the rocks at the bottom of the cliff.
Cloud forest clogging -never had the pleasure but it sounds like fun
Coulee crawling -bipedal motion often not effective in coulees
Creek creeping - useful adjunct to stream streaking; creep up on the silly
bugs as they puddle in damp areas of a dry stream bed
Cuesta cresting
Desert dawdling - too darn hot to move any faster
Ditch dawdling - drive slowly along road, when you see a butterfly in the
roadside ditch, come to a screeching halt, leap out with net in hand and
give chase; this also works at high speeds on paved highways but it is
recommended that you check your rear view mirror for following traffic.
Fen flitting - useful approach when the fen contains dry hummocks and you
forgot your rubber boots
Flark floundering - what happens when you foolishly try to traverse the
wettest parts of patterned fens
Glade lurking - most enjoyable when accompanied by a chair and a case of
cold beer
Glade sniffing - great for those who have been genetically modified to
detect the pheromones or butterfly armpits; I rely on the sound of the wings
Gulch grubbing - preferred approach to C. nessus
Hide and seek - hide from guerilla's while seeking lepidoptera
Hill hawking - more sedentary method of dealing with hilltoppers than the
strenuous act of ridge running
Hilltop hovering - ideal for a nectar source on a hilltop; pull up a chair
and enjoy - or you can simply levitate if you prefer
Jungle boogie - precipitated by afternoon mosquitoes
Jungle jogging - result of encounters with army ants and wasps
Limestone lounging - for use in alvars and limestone scree 
Marsh marching
Mesa moseying - another approach for topographic highs that appropriately
bear the name of this landform
Milkweed milking - proper technique for harvesting Monarch caterpillars
Mountain meandering - stratified random sampling of a mountainside to ensure
all habitats are captured in the dataset
Pampas prancing - South American equivalent to prairie prancing and steppe
Permafrosting - the technique of jumping into an arctic tundra pond while
pursuing a choice bug, and then slipping on the permafrost bottom. The
tricky part is to net the butterfly just before your head goes under the ice
water, and then keep your net from getting wet.
Prairie prancing - only in North America you say ? a pity !
Puddle pulling - ideal collecting technique for us clever types who realize
that there are places where in fact the mountain will come to Mohammed
Ravine wrestling
Ridge roaming - ideal way to get around and see flutterbugs in the high
Ridge running - best for fit folks who like to jog
Roadside romping - by far the most cost efficient and effective method of
sampling butterflies; and besides, everyone knows that the most difficult
decision a biologist must make is: where to stop the truck !
Sage sanitizing - removing the Papilio caterpillars from Artemisia arctica
and Artemisia dracunculus
Scree scrambling - appropriate for novices
Scree skittering - a true art form by accomplished practioners
Scree sliding - fastest way down after a day in the alpine zone
Scrubland scrounging
Seep scooping - used by volume collectors
Seep sifting - used by discriminating collectors to pluck out the choice
Shale shuffling
Steppe stepping - Asian version of prairie prancing
Stream streaking - describes chases along dry stream beds but note that
clothing is optional :-)
String striding - highly recommended in patterned fens unless you enjoy
being up to your ??? in loon poop
Swamp squelching - unfortunately necessary for those of us who are not yet
able to walk on water
Talus traversing - best done on a large mammal trail unless you have been
conditioned to engage in sidehill gouging
Trail tottering - a proper pace for old folks like me
Trail traipsing - use only with lightweight footwear
Trail tramping - unavoidable with rock boots or equivalent footwear
Trail tripping - quite entertaining when you are not the one doing the
Tropic traipsing
Tundra trundling - a sensible pace that will keep you on your feet
Tussock tumbling - guaranteed consequence of trying to move quickly in
tussock tundra
Waddle & Scoop - patented technique invented by N. Kondla to sample
butterflies without excessive caloric expenditure
Wayside wandering - only way to get new butterfly records for distribution
mapping without killing yourself bushwhacking or dodging unfriendly private
Woodland waltzing - this may look like the dance of the demented but it is
only your normal, sane butterfly collector turning round and round after an
Oeneis macounii in a forest opening
Yucca yanking - the only civilized way to acquire M. coloradensis

Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
Forest Ecosystem Specialist, Ministry of Environment
845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
Phone 250-365-8610
Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca

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