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About The Backyard Concept
One of the objectives at this website is an attempt to demonstrate that, in many rural (or even suburban) locations, the backyard entomologist can (potentially) still uncover much that is "new" or previously unknown/ unpublished in the vast field of entomology....Ideal locations for such investigations will always include close proximity to the native flora of a district and the less disturbed or altered the habitat is, the better! Lacking that, one can create a "butterfly (or moth!) garden" by means of selected plantings that attempt to re-introduce some of the plants that were once native to the district, before the "developers" arrived and "improved" (denuded and flattened) everything, rendering that American sacred cow, "Progress"....
As your native plant garden grows and matures, more and more interesting insects and other arthropods will begin to appear and take up residence and birds will follow. Then, the studies can begin (right outside your door)!....All that will be required will be sharp eyes, a good notebook, the best camera you can afford, and (most important of all) an inclination to slow down and really notice what's going on in the garden! And then, invest the extra effort to document and record what you are learning, so that it can (eventually) be communicated to others via the written word, and/or by sketches, drawings, or photographs, etc.....It is NOT necessary to travel hundreds (or thousands) of miles to learn something interesting or NEW in the diverse and uncrowded field of entomology.... Start with your own BACKYARD!....You may never run out of things to investigate the more so if your interests and curiosity extend beyond merely one order of insects.
For REAL "backyard-inspiration", delve into the extensive writings of J. Henri Fabre (France) and/or H.D. Thoreau (New England). Two observations from Thoreau draw attention to this approach [The bracketed words are mine.]:
"It takes a man [or woman!] of genius to travel in his own country, in his native village, to make any progress between his door and his [garden] gate!" Journal, 6 AUG. 1851
"The discoveries which we make abroad are special and particular; those which we make at home are general and significant. The further off, the nearer the surface. The nearer home, the deeper." Journal, 7 SEP. 1851
SO, WHY NOT DIG IN and QUIT FLITTING ABOUT?? (This approach should garner even greater appeal as the price of gasoline climbs ever higher!)....
Moths and Memories
Where Are the Specimens Now?
ASH CANYON FIRE (2011)
Background and Introduction
Elfin Forests, Worldwide: MAQUIS / FYNBOS / KWONGAN / MATORRAL / CHAPARRAL
About The Backyard Concept
Motivations: Why Publish This Material?
Summarizing How These Projects Evolved
About the Photographs
Bias in Photo Representation
Taxonomy & Classification (the names)
About Moth Families & Subfamilies
Some Thoughts About Moth Surveys
Abundance Ratings Defined (8 Categories)
About the Flight Periods
Interpretation of the Flight-Phenograms
Miscellaneous Comments on Black Lights
Peculiarities of Moth Activity
Prime Time = Full-Moon-Plus-Ten
How To Obtain Perfect (Moth) Specimens
To Kill Or Not To Kill??
Beating or Sweeping for Larvae
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS & DETERMINATIONS
Miscellaneous Tidbits Dept.