October 21 – The environmental film Hummingbirds by Nature was shown at Terraceview Living Center. Film crews used special cameras to capture 500 images a second. These wondrous tiny birds are the only bird species that can hover, fly backwards and fly vertical. I have seen male hummingbirds perch near a nectar source in order to defend their territory. The film showed one species of hummingbird that was trained by a flower. In the tropics, intoxicating datura flowers grow and only the sword bill hummingbird with its extra long bill can pollinate the flower. The movie literally shows the tiny bird as magic in the air. Hummingbirds are the smallest warm bodied creatures on the planet. They are fast and their wings can beat up to 200 times every second.
After the event I stopped by City Hall to chat with Mayor Sally Peterson. She donated the 2010 donor fee for Terraceview in memory of her mother Angeline (Angie) Klopp. It just so happened that October 21 was her mother’s birthday. Mayor Peterson said, “My mother loved hummingbirds.” It was a good feeling to know that the first film to celebrate the fall had an intention beyond simply showing a film.
October 22 – Happy Tonics, Inc. held its Annual Meeting at Lakeview Bar and Restaurant. Officers and board are currently exploring long term plans and goals for the nonprofit and the Restored Remnant Tallgrass Prairie. The purpose is to insure that both the public charity and habitat are secure into the future. The Monarch Butterfly Habitat, two blocks north of downtown Shell Lake, is on the long range Comprehensive Plan for Shell Lake.
Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to improve Route 63 near the habitat which in turn will naturally become a Pollinating Corridor. This improvement could benefit the Highway Bettering the Economy and Environmental Act (Highway BEE Act), Bill H.R. 2381. Happy Tonics is involved with Pollinator Partnership which says, “The bill promotes conservation practices on 17 million acres of highway rights-of-ways (ROWs) by encouraging reduced mowing and native plantings that provide improved habitat for pollinators, ground nesting birds and other small wildlife.”
Another consideration for Happy Tonics is the state owned DNR land on the south side of Shell Lake. In years to come the City plans to upgrade the woodland trails. This would allow more opportunities for the public to visit the Wild Butterfly Habitat that is maintained by the nonprofit on the south side of Shell Lake.