Orange tip

Mark Walker MWalker at
Tue Jun 12 11:53:27 EDT 2001

Anne wrote:


> There's a butterfly house in Galway, and I suppose I can go look at
> their dead bug collection. And there's a museum in Dublin. 
> But wouldn't
> it be handy if the schools or libraries or some such could display a
> nicely curated collection, so that beginners could go look at 
> the actual
> bug, holding still? Because I'm sorry, but a photo, even of a pinned
> specimen, is just not as good, for learning the bug, as the 
> real thing

The old guy who helped reinitiate my passion (and sickness) for leps passed
away some time ago.  Those of you that have been lurking on this list for
some time have heard me talk of him before.  I met him in the barber shop in
El Segundo - him wearing a pin of the El Segundo Blue on his ballcap.  Larry
Mueller was a fanatical collector, and only regretted that he himself
started the hobby well into his later years.  He, like many of us, became a
consummate and skilled preparer - a master at the art of spreading.  The
many late hours that I spend at the spreading board are only exceeded (and
not by much) by the hours I spend in the field.  The butterfly cases of
Larry Mueller were a sight to behold - with drawers dedicated to genus, and
in some cases even to species.  My favorite experiences with the butterflies
of Larry Mueller, however, took place at the El Segundo Library.  You see,
as an active citizen of this small community (the town was plucked out of
Iowa, and wedged between Los Angeles International and "the second" - hence
the name - Chevron oil refinery), Larry had an ongoing relationship with the
library and maintained a dynamic display of his butterflies for all the
world (especially the children of El Segundo) to see.  I made every attempt
to take my children to the library - where I spent many hours not reading to
my children (shame shame shame), but admiring his fascinating world.  

This all reminds me of my younger days - when I would make special trips to
the L.A. County Museum just to admire the walls of pinned insect specimens
that USED to be openly exhibited.  Now, if you want to see any of the
thousands of insects in that collection, you have to dig them out of
storage.  Sigh.

I, for one, have only awe and admiration of "dead butterflies".  I rather
like the live ones, too.

Mark Walker
enjoying sunshine in New Orleans, LA


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