May 23, 2010 at 1:09 am (Bombus affinis, Bombus ternarius, Bumble Bee, Dandelion, Native Bees, Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden, Rusty-patched bumblebee, Shell Lake, Wisconsin, Xerces Society)
Tags: Bombus affinis, Bombus ternarius, Bumble Bee, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, native wildflower and butterfly garden, queen bumble bee, Xerces Cociety for Invertebrate Conservation
One of my favorite things is the bumble bee and here is her story.
Bombus ternarius from back
On April 14, I was walking through the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, USA, and thought I saw a Bombus affinis. This bumble bee is in decline. Even though the bumble could be located in Wisconsin, Washburn County is not its home. You can imagine how excited I became when I saw what I thought was the rusty patch bumble bee. I went scrambling into my purse for the iPhone and took some photos while the bumble bee flew happily from one dandelion flower to another gathering pollen.
On April 25, I emailed Jennifer Hopwood, Midwest Pollinator Outreach Coordinator at Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. She identified my bumble as Bombus ternarius. According to Jennifer, this species has orange rusty hair bands on the 2nd and 3rd segments, and then another yellow band on the 4th segment. This bee is the cousin of the rusty-patched bumble bee.
Jennifer says, “The rusty patch bumblebee has yellow hairs on the first segment, and then a rusty patch in the middle of the second segment, with yellow hairs on either side of the orange patch. She suggested that it was likely a queen bumble bee and that she will go on to produce 100+ bumble bees this year. I hope many of the queen’s offsprings will make their home this summer at the Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden.
Bombus ternarius with yellow band after rusty hair bands
Let’s do all we can to plant nectar sources for the pollinators. Let me know your bumble bee stories.
Be happy Insectamonarca friends where ever you are.
Bombus ternarius front view
May 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm (Happy Tonics, Monarch butterfly, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Monarch Butterfly Host Plant, Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden, Prairie, School Bus Trip, Shell Lake, St. Francis Salinus Mission School)
Tags: Camper's herb, English, Field Trips, fresh apple juice, Happy Tonics, healthy veggie and fruit snacks, Horsetail, Lion's outdoor shelter, Monarch butterfly, Oibwe, Pussy toes, Quaking aspetn, Reconnecting children to nature, School bus tours, Shell Lake playground and beach, Spanish, spring peeprers, squirrel's tail, St. Franics Salinus Mission School, Stone Lake, Washburn County AODA Grant, yarrow
Sister Maryrose and school mission bus
On May 14, St. Francis Mission school bus driven by Elmer Corbine pulled into downtown Shell Lake. Sister Maryrose accompanied the Kindergarten through 4th Grade students along with teacher aides Sarah Sisco and Laura Hoeft. The bus ventured down the road to the school bus garage on Industrial Drive to park. An average of 35 students jumped off the bus to romp in the woods and the south Monarch Butterfly Habitat. This was a good choice seeing as the children had been on a bus for over an hour. Now they could run and stretch their legs. All along the way the youngsters paid attention as plants were pointed out and uses were explained. They learned that there are two kinds of horsetail and that the plant is used to scrub pots and pans after cooking outside on a fire. Then there was yarrow called squirrel’s tail. The kids got a kick out of seeing how the leaves resembled a wagging tail. They especially liked learning about pussy toes which are soft as a kitten’s foot. Some saw a small butterfly that flitted so fast we were not able to identify it.
Happy Christina with wild pea vine
The sounds of wind in quaking aspen and spring peepers serenaded us. We named plants in Ojibwe, English and Spanish when we knew the translation. It was a cross cultural learning experience.
Then we boarded the bus once again and headed to the north Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden. I couldn’t help but notice that the children enjoyed the large boulder in area three.
Children reconnecting to nature and loving it.
They walked the path in twos respectfully in order not to trample on emerging plants. They especially enjoyed sitting on the memory benches scattered about and having a short rest in the pergola. Afterwards we headed to the Lion’s outdoor shelter for a picnic and play time at the beach and playground. A healthy veggie and fruit snack and fresh apple juice was made possible by a grant from Washburn County AODA Commission.
May 11, 2010 at 9:40 am (Bicycle ride, Fundraiser, Happy Tonics, Shell Lake)
Tags: Bicycle ride, Fundraiser, Happy Tonics, Shell Lake
- A ride along the shores of Shell Lake
Join us in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, on May 15 for a bicycle ride around Shell Lake. It is a 10 mile ride. You can participate in the race or take a more leasurely ride with leader Deb Nebel. Meet at Vitality Village at 246 Industrial Drive at 10 a.m. to register. Fee $5.00. Ride begins at 10:30 a.m. Vitality Village staff and Happy Tonics officers will offer refreshments at the Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden at about 11 a.m. The habitat is located two blocks north of downtown.
The fundraiser for the Butterfly Garden is being sponsored by Vitality Village and the Potter’s Shed.
Organized by Deb Nebel, Owner of Vitality Village.
May 8, 2010 at 9:31 am (Nibi Wabo, Nibi Wabo, water, Water Ceremony, Water Meditation, Water Spirits, Wisconsin)
Tags: Climate change, Nibi Wabo, Water Ceremony, Wisconsin
Shell Lake, Washburn County, Wisconsin, USA
Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer sent this message:
Please join us in our efforts to unify en masse to help our precious waters through prayer and ceremony. Let us know how you would like to help. No matter how small of a circle or community, any effort will make a difference when we all work together! The Circles of Empowerment will be actively participating in this event. We are tasked with developing ceremonies in all of our Central Coast Communities. So if you would like to represent your community’s beach, lake, creek … gather together your circles for a prayer ceremony on the shore. Our goal is to have as many Blessing Ceremonies [Nibi Wabo] as possible in our area from Cambria to Santa Barbara.
Join us. Gather a vessel of water in a sacred place in your home and pray with it, put crystals in it, give it good intentions. Bring it to the ceremony and we will marry all our waters and pour it into the Grandmother Ocean! Feel free to contact Grandmother T. Water Sister Tonya on representing your area at email@example.com
Time and Place:
We will be gathering from noon to 1 pm at the end of Grand Ave. in Grover Beach [CA], just off the parking lot on the right. Adjust your time accordingly by your time zone.
Memengwaa Ikway suggests that you carry your home water to a free flowing water source near you be it creek, stream, pond, bay, lake or ocean. We are all uniting our love and respect for Mother water.
Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you live,
Memengwaa Ikway (Butterfly Woman)
May 2, 2010 at 9:58 pm (Brighter Planet, Climate change, Common buckthorn, DNR, Environment, Fritillary butterfly, Grant, Invasive species, Monarch butterfly, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary, Native Habitat, Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden, Polypore birch mushroom, Shell Lake, Wisconsin)
Tags: Blue azure butterfly, Brighter Planet, Climate change, DNR, Environment, Fiddlehead fern, Grant, Happy Tonics, Invasive species common buckthorn, Mary Ellen Ryall, Monarch butterfly, Polypore birch mushroom, Popple tree, spring azure
Brighter Planet is once again sponsoring our grant proposal on their social network. Happy Tonics gained 384 VOTES in earlier rounds and we hope to boost VOTES this round from May 1 – 15. Please log in or sign up to VOTE for Adapt to Climate Change Native Wildflower and Butterfly Habitats in Shell Lake, Wisconsin at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100
Woodland trail to habitat
Yesterday I went for a walk in the woods. I wanted to check on the Wild Monarch Butterfly Habitat. The DNR did a nice job in the fall of 2009 cutting down forbs and cutting popple trees that were becoming invasive. I noticed two azure butterflies (Celastrina argiolus) flitting about with their lavender colored top wings. This is the second butterfly species I have seen this year. The first was a fritillary spotted earlier in April, well before it should have been in Wisconsin. We will monitor butterfly species on July 4 as part of the national butterfly count sponsored by North American Butterfly Association. The public is invited to help us for a small fee of $5.00 to cover materials. Come for an hour or more, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Seeing that the fiddlehead ferns were ready for picking, I gathered some and brought them home to cook. They are delicious sautéed in butter with garlic. While exploring I noticed that common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) is taking over a once native birch tree forest. This is an invasive species.
Birch polypore mushrooms
The dead birch are now a haven to a birch fungus (Piptoporus betulinus) that breaks down the wood. This particular polypore is unique in that it lives throughout the year on dead birch trees. It only lives for up to a year but will continue to stay on the tree in its hardened wooden form. It is known as the artist conk and the bottom is felt like and can be carved into art.
One of the side effects of climate change is that invasive species move into an area that once was native habitat. They are hardy and once an invasive species gets a foothold, it is hard to eradicate.
Handmade sign DNR Donation
The DNR has been helping us to manage invasive species in the open field butterfly habitat surrounded by woods.
Your VOTE really matters. It may in fact help fund a book to be published on monitoring species in 2010.