NANFA-- The meaning of it all

Wally Billingham (
Sat, 24 Aug 2002 22:58:27 -0400

Hello all just wanted to pass along some somewhat random thoughts,

I am very active in the aquarium society scene here in Erie PA (and the
surrounding areas), and I often get asked from my "tropical" aquarium friends
why I keep, and especially COLLECT native fish. For me the keeping is the
extension of the collecting, and the collecting is just a very good excuse to
get outside and enjoy God's creation. I often collect alone, and while its
always nice to have a buddy to collect with I often REALLY enjoy the solitude
and peacefulness of doing it alone.

I had one such magical experience tonight along a rocky creek in Warren County
PA. This creek is in the foot hills of the Allegheny Mountains, very remote
and stunningly picturesque. I had spent a few hours collecting and was pretty
worn out. Dragging a 4x4 seine all alone through heavy current will do that. I
was ready to had back to the car when I noticed it was going to be a stunning
sunset. So I decided I would watch it. I sat down on a small gravel island in
the middle of the creek to observe. As I was watching the colors fill the sky,
I noticed that the air was filling with huge mayflies. They too had picked
this night to come out and see the world. I felt sad that this night was also
going to be their last, but if they had to pick the perfect night THIS was it.