John Acorn janature at compusmart.ab.ca
Tue Sep 4 14:58:49 EDT 2001

Hi Barb,

Thanks for the kind words, but do take credit for your leadership role!  We
have a great thing here in Alberta, and it is surely a tradition to be proud

John Acorn
>From: "Barb Beck" <barb at birdnut.obtuse.com>
>To: "Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX" <Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca>, "Leps-List"
<leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
>Cc: "Tim Adams" <polydamas at ij.net>, "Clay Black"
<clay.black at swfwmd.state.fl.us>, "John Calhoun" <bretcal at gte.net>, "Patricia
Cracraft" <cracraft at gte.net>, "KeithSueEllen Kelver" <kelver23 at aol.com>,
"Shirley Don Koerner" <kk4vk at arrl.net>, "Sue Kralojansky" <skralo at aol.com>,
"Hattie Lee" <hlee at citicom.com>, "Kevin Murrell" <murr at akos.net>, "Lynda
Roger Peters" <lynro at webtv.net>, "Laura Schmidt" <cheetoh at microd.com>, "Anna
Terry" <wash114dry at aol.com>, "Pamela Traas" <pftraas at aol.com>, "Bonnie
Valentine" <valentine at cusave.com>, "Dixie Vassiliou" <vass35 at webtv.net>,
"Lois Weber" <lweber49 at aol.com>, "Richard Mae Wiggins" <mapawigs at aol.com>,
"'altabugs'" <albertabugs at majordomo.srv.ualberta.ca>, "'Barb'"
<Barb.Beck at ualberta.ca>
>Subject: BUGS: RE: COUNTING BUTTERFLYS - The Alberta Monster
>Date: Tue, Sep 4, 2001, 12:49 PM

>I really need to point out that Norbert Kondla was dead wrong on a couple
>points he made concerning the Alberta butterfly counts
>The Alberta monster was created by much more than work done by my husband
>and I and a bunch of volunteer compilers and counters.  It is based on some
>good books which allow amateur naturalists to learn relatively easily how to
>identify our butterflies.  The key is that we have books which show our
>regional forms of the butterflies and field marks which work here.  General
>books which try to only describe a species by its general characteristics
>ignoring or downplaying subspecies or in our case several probable species
>which have been lumped for convenience just frustrate beginner and
>intermediate butterfly watchers.  We have books that can for the most part
>allow us to identify the field identifiable forms we meet in our butterfly
>Our first book was a great little book to start with, Butterflies of
>Alberta,  which was published about 10 years ago by our very own Nature Nut,
>John Acorn  In it part of the  butterflies are photographed in natural poses
>and the rest depicted by line drawings.  He started our provincial butterfly
>counts and  started us butterflying the way we do today with a combination
>of nets and binoculars.  He even went so far as to promote a method devised
>by Carroll Perkins to convert compact binoculars into close focus binoculars
>for butterflying before close focus butterfly binoculars were generally
>available. Johns book has sold between 6000 and 7000 copies - pretty good
>interest from such a small province. That book was followed shortly by an
>excellent book by Charlie Bird, Norbert Kondla, Felix Sperling, Jerry
>Hilchie and Ted Pike, Alberta Butterflies,  which describes all of our
>butterflies and describes the forms we are likely to encounter.  For the
>first time we had pictures of all of our butterflies. It is a valuable asset
>and the main reference most of us use.  The monster is currently being fed
>even more by  hard work done on another book by Chris Guppy and Jon Shepard,
>The Butterflies of British Columbia , which covers most of the Alberta
>butterflies.  Because this book carefully illustrates the subspecies of the
>butterflies, our specific form or forms are illustrated in the book giving
>us another excellent reference. These people put in a lot of  time to create
>regional books for us so  we can start to learn what took them years and
>years of patient study and collecting to master.  People do not make money
>off such books they are labours of love and essentially these guys are
>important volunteers behind the Alberta Monster.   I can only imagine the
>work it took these people to sort out our species without having their books
>as a reference.  Just as Peterson's field guides stimulated birders to get
>out and learn their birds these books have done that for Albertans.
>Furthermore the authors of our butterfly books particularly Norbert Kondla
>and John Acorn  have gone out of their way answer questions and identify
>specimens and  pictures of butterflies which stumped participants.  Many of
>the authors including Norbert participate in our mailing list and are our
>online help desk.
>The second point on which Norbert is wrong on is that we do not have 36
>counts, we have a few more  8-)
>Barb Beck
>Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
>Barb.Beck at ualberta.ca
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX [mailto:Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca]
>Sent: August 31, 2001 2:08 PM
>To: 'rjparcelles at yahoo.com'; VA-MD-DE-Bugs at yahoogroups.com; LEPSrUS;
>Cc: Leps-List; Audubon Chat List; Tim Adams; Clay Black; John Calhoun;
>Patricia Cracraft; KeithSueEllen Kelver; Shirley Don Koerner; Sue
>Kralojansky; Hattie Lee; Kevin Murrell; Lynda Roger Peters; Laura Schmidt;
>Anna Terry; Pamela Traas; Bonnie Valentine; Dixie Vassiliou; Lois Weber;
>Richard Mae Wiggins; 'altabugs'; 'Barb'
>Hi Bob. Yes it is great that more and more people are getting out to enjoy
>butterflies and I am a keen supporter of butterfly counts due to the many
>good things that come from this activity. However I want to spark a little
>friendly rivalry and also recognize the work being done along these lines in
>Alberta, Canada. Please bear with me and do not take this as criticism. I
>read the article you referenced with interest. I saw with interest that it
>referred to 421 counts in the USA and then made passing reference to
>"several" counts in Canada. No sale on the picture painted by this info :-)
>My understanding is that this year the province of Alberta will have about
>36 counts to report on and I think that the numbers have also been
>substantial the past few years.  So this province with a tiny little
>population has been able to produce almost 10% of the counts produced in an
>entire country with a population more than 100 times its size. This is a
>stirling achievement that needs to be recognized. My hat is off to Barb Beck
>and others who have been leading the charge on butterfly counts in that
>province. So is there another state or province that has the work ethic and
>energy to even approach the results achieved by our friends in Alberta,
>Canada :-) I do not live in Alberta but the guantlet has been dropped anyway
>:-) Have a good weekend, one and all.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Bob Parcelles,Jr. [mailto:rjparcelles at yahoo.com]
>Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 12:38 PM
>To: VA-MD-DE-Bugs at yahoogroups.com; LEPSrUS; Butterfly-Pixs
>Cc: Leps-List; Audubon Chat List; Tim Adams; Clay Black; John Calhoun;
>Patricia Cracraft; KeithSueEllen Kelver; Shirley Don Koerner; Sue
>Kralojansky; Hattie Lee; Kevin Murrell; Lynda Roger Peters; Laura
>Schmidt; Anna Terry; Pamela Traas; Bonnie Valentine; Dixie Vassiliou;
>Lois Weber; Richard Mae Wiggins
>Check out NATURE POTPOURRI ISSUE # 32 for an excellent article
>on Butterfly Counting by Tim Adams...lots of other bug stuff
>naturepotpourri-subscribe at yahoogroups.com
>Bob Parcelles, Jr
>Pinellas Park, FL
>rjparcelles at yahoo.com
> "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."
>                       --William Shakespeare
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