humorous encounter

William Oehlke oehlkew at
Mon Jun 18 06:57:59 EDT 2001

Irish moss is harvested on Prince Edward Island, Canada, when on-shore winds blow the sea herb ashore.
Last night as I was making my midnight moth collecting run at various security lights in the community, I spotted an RCMP officer.  I flashed my car lights on and off a few times and pulled over to the side of the road.  I wanted to let him know exactly what I was doing.  He pulled over and our conversation went like this:
"Hi, I'm Bill Oehlke and I just wanted to tell you that I visit several buildings late at night to collect moths.  I usually go to Holland College, the Services Center, Dodge dealership, school, etc."
"What do you collect the moss with, a rake?" he asked.
"Pardon?" I ask.
"What do you use to gather the moss?"
"Oh, not moss, M-OT-H-S; I've got one in the bag.  Do you want to see it?"
"No, that's okay.  What do you do with them?"
I had to chuckle.  Strange as moth collectors are, the thought of someone gathering moss at midnight seemed even stranger.
I managed to pick up females of Actias luna, Antheraea polyphemus and Hyalophora columbia as well as a good laugh.  

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Bill Oehlke
Box 476, Montague, P.E.I., Canada C0A 1R0
oehlkew at
Phone: 902-838-3455
fax: 902-838-0866
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