the way it was

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Fri Jan 11 16:12:40 EST 2002

Barb -- This post is heart wrenching.  Too close to home as it reminds me
so much of my growing up in Iowa, which even though highly agricultural at
the time, the farmers all had an appreciation for things wild and left as
much alone as possible outside the fences.  Then money became our god.  Big
farms, big crops, big bucks.  The rest is history.  You are so right.  What
many of us today consider great day of butterflying  is only a shadow of
what once was.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Barb Beck" <barb at>
To: <monarch at>; <leps-l at>
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2002 2:11 PM
Subject: RE: Butterflies in manicured suburban habitats

My father-in-law was a ranger at Natural Bridges and my husband worked
there some as a kid.  Of course at that time Natural Bridges still had the
bridges and Santa Cruz was still miles away from the park.  We are talking
about a time when California still only had a few million inhabitants,
crystal clear air and a lot of the
San Joaquin valley floor that was still in Oak Grass Woodland and rivers
and streams that had not been enclosed in concrete.  The agriculture
practices at the time were far different from the "better living through
chemistry" agriculture practiced on our ranch today.  The "hordes" of
Monarch you see today are pitiful remnants of what flocked to the wintering
trees in those times.  Ten years ago we visited my home state and Jim went
to some of the parks he knew as a kid.  The docent that guided us to the
butterfly trees in Natural Bridges excitedly prepared us for what we were
to see by explaining how this was by far the best butterfly year that had
had.  We were astounded to see only a few branches of the trees with
butterflies... Grandpas photos showed trees completely covered with
butterflies.  She was not prepared for the looks on our faces when we saw
how few butterflies were on the trees.

sniped -- see Barb's previous post


   For subscription and related information about LEPS-L visit: 

More information about the Leps-l mailing list