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PMOTO BY BIL1 FAVH
THIS YEAR'S butterfly count will be held at 200 locations sometime between mid-June and mid
Counting The Butterflies
BY BILL FAVER terfly lovers add to the storehouse of knowledge of
Following the successes of the twice-yearly Audu- these amazing creatures who taste with their feet and
bon Bird Counts, it seems those who study butterflies smell with their antennae.
are beginning to have very sue- Butterflies belong to the Order Lepidoptera and are
cessful Fourth of July butterfly the insects from which most of us learned about mcta
counts. morphosis, or the change of form of an insect.
The bird counts have for many Remember how the egg hatched into a larvae (or eater
years given scientists information pillar), the caterpillar spun a cocoon and turned into a
on distribution patterns and the pupa or chrysalis, only to emerge as a full-grown but
changes in bird populations. The terfly? The adults then laid eggs and the process re
bird counts have been around pcated itself.
Christmas and then in late spring We are fortunate to see many butterflies in our area
when much of the migration is tak- and by late summer, just prior to fall migration, we ex
ing place. perience the monarchs as they begin their journey to
A ER Volunteers have been helping the tropics. Late summer flowers attract swallowtails
with butterfly research since 1975, and this year they and sulfurs and others to add beauty and motion to the
will cover about 200 sites north of Mexico for the an- blossoms.
nual butterfly count The count this year runs from Those interested in the butterfly count in later years
mid-June to mid-July and is organized by the North should send a stamped self-addressed envelope for in
American Butterfly Association. formation to Ann Swengel, NABA Vice President, 909
Like the volunteers for the bird counts, amateur but- Birch St, Baraboo, W1 53913.
r* GALLERY <3
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Could 'On Hold' Be
Part Of A Conspiracy?
"Company X, could you hold
"Yes, but..." Click.
The music began and the voice
had already gone away, perhaps to
soothe another caller or perhaps to
sip a nice cup of coffee.
I never had a chance to explain
that (1)1 was calling long distance;
and (2) I just needed to know if an
expected shipment had arrived, so 1
could arrange to pick up an order.
Instead, processing news releases
all the while so the time wouldn't be
entirely wasted, I "held" for what
seemed like ages. Then I heard a
promising click, followed by a more
threatening click, then a busy signal.
It figured. When the receptionist
finally got to my call three to five
minutes later, she disconnected us.
Feeling a growing sense of des
peration, I dialed back, trying once
again to get the tidbit of information
needed. The scenario repeated itself,
except this time some guy in the
wrong department picked up the
telephone. We had a nice chat before
I was returned to "hold," but 1 still
didn't know if the order was in. The
right department never answered the
You've been there, listening to the
Muzak or some other equally gfat
ing noise, convinced that the party
on the other end of the line is polish
ing nails, reading a magazine or
chatting with a friend of the opposite
Like the day last week when a
friend and I were trying to reach a
particular federal office. After 10
minutes on "hold," she assumed
they had forgotten her and hung up
to call again. I argued in favor of a
letter, but then she reminded me of
my own experiences with the postal
service. We put through another call.
It doesn't matter if you're dealing
with a taxpayer-supported agency or
a business, the routine can be the
same when it comes to "hold." Even
callers to the Beacon get put through
the wringer sometimes, though not
intentionally, I assure you.
I've come to the conclusion that
what this country needs isn't call
forwarding or call-waiting, but a
way to get rid of the "hold" button.
Electronic or "E-mail" is touted
as one solution. You can call and the
receptionist transfers you to E-mail,
which allows you leave a message
in the person's "box." But there's at
least one drawback to this: Unless
the receptionist tells you right up
front, there's no way to know if the
person you're calling is even in the
office that day or if there's a chance
in 10 your call will be returned by 5
Meanwhile I'm numb from hear
ing, "Please continue holding. All
our customer representatives are
busy. Do not hang up as calls are an
swcred in the order they are re
Who's got enough nerve to hang
up and risk losing a place in line af
ter 10 minutes of waiting?
So I wait, almost patiently but
with little "might have been" scenar
ios running through my head.
No doubt there arc times when
putting a caller on hold is necessary
in its own gruesome way. But I'm
not convinced that some of those
holds aren't meant to satisfy a sadis
tic urge, a power game of some sort
A friend counseled the other day
that it was time for a vacation, that
she could tell my zeal for getting the
news was lagging.
I should have told her the truth:
the "hold" button is starting to wear
me down. 1 need a vacation from the
TTiere was a time when I would
have revolted, but instead I've be
come resigned to the situation.
These days I allow more time for
calls, and patiently ring again and
explain what happened when calls
get cut off or dropped during trans
Maybe the H button is part of the
great conspiracy we keep hearing so
much about. Maybe the goal is to
paralyze America, leaving us all
waiting, waiting, waiting. On hold,
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