For this website to become more useful to backyard naturalists, these kinds of volunteers are needed:


Some features of this website, particularly the encoding, are a mess. Back in the 1990s it was begun as a personal website by Naturalist Jim Conrad who at that time was a hermit living in the woods of Mississippi, with limited computer resources, and doing HTML code one keystroke at a time. In later years Jim tried to keep things updated but the site grew too big and cyberspace and society changed too fast for him to keep up. Besides, he was more interested in plants and animals than doing HTML and worrying about Google's latest algorithm.

Now this website is transitioning from Jim's personal domain to one kept going by individuals everywhere. The first of these volunteers is Bea Laporte in Ontario, Canada, who can be thought of as the site's transition coordinator as Jim fades from the scene. (Jim was born in 1947 and at this age is getting hermit urges again... ) Bea needs help. By the way, Bea is a self-taught butterfly and moth enthusiast who began in her own backyard. Check out a page that Bea put together on how to grow caterpillars. That's just one of several excellent pages Bea has contributed. Also there's K.B. Jinan's thoughtful piece on Nature Sensitization for kids.

So, if you think you can help, write to Bea at bea(at) (And if you become a regular helper, you can have a address like Bea's, too.)