Monarch butterflies are being hit on all sides these days. Loss of habitat, climate change andnatural disasters are taking their toll on these and other beautiful pollinators. Thankfully, there are people watching out for them. Talkupy with Annie Lindstrom welcomes Mary Ellen Ryall, retiring Executive Director of Happy Tonics Inc., to the show on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Mary Ellen is passionate about helping people learn how to create pollinator corridors in their own backyards. She will discuss the work she did at Happy Tonics’ teaching garden in Shell Lake, WI and her books on Monarchs. She also will talk about the wild butterflyand solitary bee nesting habitat she is creating in Fitchburg, MA. For more information, visit Mary Ellen’s Facebook page. For an expanded slide show go to Talkupy.net
February 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm (Blog/Radio Talkupy, Butterflies, Pollinators)
Tags: Blog, Fitchburg MA, Happy Tonics, monarch butterflies, Pollinator collidors, Pollinators, Radio, Shell Lake, Solitary bee nesting, Talkupy, WI, Wildl Butterfly Habitat
Diane Dryden, each Christmas season, takes it upon herself to help decorate the Municipal Park with Christmas Lights for Happy Tonics, Inc. The nonprofit environmental education organization has a Monarch Butterfly Habitat on city land near the lake. It is an entrance to the city, along side of Route 63., a few blocks from downtown.
June 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm (Fresh Start, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Shell Lake WI, Wisconsin)
Tags: Carly Moline, Chad Olson, Dan Gunderson, Fresh Start, Happy Tonics, Hayward WI, Mary Schmocker, nature, Plants, Shell Lake, Shell Lake WI, Teens, Weyerhaeuser
Ryall, M.E. 13 June 2012. Washburn County Register, Butterfly Corner.
June 7: Fresh Start came to the Monarch Butterfly Habitat to help Happy Tonics with habitat maintenance. Eleven youth and five supervisors signed up to perform Community Service. Youth worked in teams and pounded in plant ID stakes, eradicated invasive species, dug up and transplanted native plants from the path at the Shoreline Restoration Project, near the Shell Lake Beach. Groups planted and watered transplants of elderberry, black eyed Susan, goldenrod and prairie rose at the Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden. If you think that is a mouth full, the green team accomplished all of this in 2 ½ hours.
Even if we worked all summer, Happy Tonics with limited volunteers and staff, could have not managed transforming area three in such an efficient way. Youth were attentive, happy, willing to learn about the habitat, and enjoyed learning why we are providing habitat for pollinators.
Chad Olson mentioned that teens usually grumble when asked to do manual labor. Not these youngsters. I think they enjoyed working outside with butterflies, native bees, and learning about native plants that allow pollinators to survive and insure a secure local food supply.
Happy Tonics wishes to thank supervisors Chad Olson and Carly Moline, Weyerhaeuser; Dan Gunderson and Sherri Anderson, Shell Lake; and Mary Schmocker, Hayward, for offering a day of service to the nonprofit. Special thanks go out to Jim VanMoorleham, Happy Tonics volunteer and Joan Quenan, Board Member and Volunteer. I appreciated their efforts in supervising different groups of youngsters and teaching them how to eradicate invasive species and identify native plants.
At noon, we all went to the Lion’s Shelter for a cookout. A few youth from Shell Lake stayed at the shelter while we worked at the habitat. They prepared a delicious cook out for us. Youth did mention that the assignment was fun and offered to come again, perhaps next season. Bravo green team! We love youth to participate. After all, it is their world which they will inherit some day.
June 8: Monarch survival statistics are in from Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, University of MN. Since the butterfly was first recorded in 1993- 1994, monarchs have been in decline in Mexico (overwintering site). 2011-2012 was the lowest on record. The average habitat over the past 19 years has been 7 hectares (1 hectare equals 2.5 acres). Last winter the monarchs occupied only 2.9 hectares. There is great concern about the Endangered Migration Phenomena.
Fortunately, a few interacting weather patterns this year have been in favor of the monarchs rebounding in a single generation. The Texas drought is finally over. This means there was lots of healthy milkweed to lay eggs on. Just when the new generation was born, along came a string of warm days with southerly winds. The winds pushed the monarchs northward in record numbers and much earlier than we have seen in many years.
June 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm (Applique, Fundraiser, Quilt, Quilting)
Tags: appliqued quilt, Butterflies are free, Butterfly quilt, Happy Tonics, Nonprofit, Public charity, Shell Lake Friendship Commons, Stitch and Chat Wednesday Quilters
I thought our butterfly friends might want to know that Happy Tonics, Inc. is raising money for the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, in Shell Lake, WI. We are hosting this orignal butterfly quilt auction on eBay at http://www.ebay.com/itm/290730362729?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649#ht_568wt_941
Please share the eBay auction site with your family and friends. Thank you!
BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE
Hand appliquéd quilt
Hand appliqued butterfly quilt, approximately 90” across and 102” length, double bed size. The Stitch and Chat Wednesday Quilters of Shell Lake Friendship Commons, Shell Lake, WI, made the handmade butterfly quilt for Happy Tonics, Inc. as a fundraiser. We implemented and maintain a Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, WI. Happy Tonics is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) environmental education organization and public charity. Our mission is Sanctuary for the Monarch Butterfly.
One can tell the ladies put a lot of heart into the butterfly quilt. The border has hand appliquéd hearts surrounding the borders. The quilters spent a whole year hand appliquéing the butterfly quilt. They met weekly to accomplish this feat. The butterfly quilt has a variety of butterfly colors, much like different species of butterflies.
With the sale of the Butterflies are Free Quilt, Happy Tonics will be able to fund the Monarch Butterfly Habitat into the future. The City of Shell Lake gave Happy Tonics land use to create the habitat in 2007. It is an entrance to a city, located along Highway 63, as you enter Shell Lake from the north. The butterfly quilt Won First Prize and People’s Choice at the Spooner Fair in 2010.
Myrna Atkinson is a master quilter and she supervised design and stitching. The other quilters are Carol Hubin, Mary Olsen, Mariah Brinken, and Mary Raehsler.
SHIPMENT: FREE USPS Priority Mail within three days of close of auction.
NOTE: I waited to put the item up on auction till the economy was a little better Not sure that it is, but hope more shoppers feel confident now.
Happy bidding and thanks for visiting the Butterflies are Free Quilt Auction!
June 9, 2012 at 11:22 am (Bees, Book, Butterflies, Butterfly Corner, Butterfly Woman Publishing, Monarch Butterfly Habitat)
Tags: American lady butterfly, bumblebee, Common buckeye butterfly, Family Festival, Fresh Start, Happy Tonics, Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Red Admiral butterfly, Volunteerism
Ryall, M.E., 06 June 2012. Washburn County Register, Butterfly Corner.
Saturdays at the Habitat: 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. The first and second Saturday Habitat Yard Sale for the butterflies took place. Folks came by to tell us how lovely the Monarch Butterfly Habitat looks. Others came on bike or by car and bought a few things. Saturdays are fun at the habitat. We planted a few violets for the fritillary butterfly. A Three Sisters Garden was planted, just before it rained. Weeds were pulled, wet newspaper put down, and topsoil added that Steve Degner delivered. We added aged sheep manure and a package of potting soil. This planting style is known as the lasagna method. The idea is to not dig into the soil, but add to it. We planted birdhouse gourd seed and hope they will grow among squash, heirloom beans, and Pungo Creek butcher corn, a variety of rainbow red, brown, yellow, and sometimes purple ears. For 165 years, the corn has been grown by farmers of Pungo Creek, Virginia.
May 25: The once rare brown Argus butterfly of southern England has found a new food source according to Butterfly Conservation, a science and advocacy group in the United Kingdom. The butterfly was located in southern England within a small area with a less common host rock-rose plant. Now the butterfly has migrated north due to climate change. A cooler environment was critical for its survival. To scientists’ surprise, the butterfly caterpillar is eating geraniums, which are abundant. ”The change in diet represents a change to the interactions between species – in this case between a butterfly and the plants that its caterpillars eat – caused by climate warming.” This is the first case of a butterfly that can survive with a change in host plant, due to climate change. More science research and documentation will be ongoing to track butterfly species adaption to climate change. Terry Root, Stanford University, states that for every winner, there will be three loser species. Source: Butterfly Conservation Organization.
May 28 – June 1: It was a virtual butterfly and bumblebee feast at the property in Minong. I saw a fritillary, American copper, red Admiral and many monarch butterflies. The fritillary deposited eggs on tiny violet leaves. The monarch deposited eggs on milkweed. Yesterday it was the bumblebees. I counted 18 large bumblebees on chive flowers. Some were sleeping while others drank nectar from flowers. Two species of bumblebees were noted: double banded rust and impatiens.
The Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake was alive with red Admiral butterflies.
There were several of them nectaring on native ninebark shrub. Common buckeye and
American Lady were also seen. American lady differs from painted lady in that the butterfly has two giant eyespots on hind wings.
June 2: Family Festival was held in Spooner at the Fairgrounds. Hundreds a parents, grandparents, friends, and children were in attendance. Fresh Start and Happy Tonics partnered together to provide fun activities for children. My newest book, Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book, just came out on Amazon. Copies were made of the butterfly coloring pages.
Gideon Fegman enjoyed coloring a monarch and said, “I am a naturologist.” John Jess, of Minong, provided several clay birdhouses and paint. Dan Gunderson, Fresh Start, gave the bird houses a first coat of paint. Children painted decorative designs on the birdhouses. We plan to make a stand and exhibit the birdhouses at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake.
Remember to stop by the Habitat on Saturday mornings and join the flea market fun from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Visitors can volunteer to do a few morning chores also.
May 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm (Butterfly Corner, Newspapers)
Tags: Bob Forsythe, Building supplies, Butterfly garden, Caretaker, Garden shed, Happy Tonics, Jean Serum, JoAnn Flanagan, Josh Tomesh, Lampert Lumber, Mary Ellen Ryall, Mike Carpenter, Mike Jensen, Monarch eggs, My Name is Butterfly, Northwood School, Shelby Ausing, Shell Lake School, Sophie Belisle, Technical Education Department
Published by Washburn County Register, Shell Lake, WI, 16 May 2012
May 8 – Northwood School, Minong, WI. I met with Shelby Ausing, parent of students at Northwood School, Josh Tomesh, principal, and Jean Serum, Administrator. The school is implementing a Butterfly Garden on school property. I chose the site based on a gentle sloped terrain. Property has native hazelnuts, chokecherry, and Juneberry growing naturally in the background near red pines. The open sandy land is visible from Route 53. Land base is between ½ acre for restoration and up to 1 acre for total habitat. It flanks the school entrance driveway and parking lot. The habitat will be within easy access for students to walk to from grade school and charter school. The habitat will be used as an outdoor classroom.
While walking the site, I pointed out two native wild strawberry colonies; pussy toes, host plant of painted lady butterfly; and violets, host plant of fritillary butterfly. Minor invasive spotted knapweed was evident and will need to be eradicated. The area has been mowed, which will be discontinued to allow native habitat to emerge. Happy Tonics will work in liaison with the school. We will advise with conception, landscape design, planning, planting, and maintenance. Northwood School is an average of 8 miles, round trip, from my home in Minong.
May 9 – JoAnn Flanagan, Oregon, OH, reports, “Saw several monarchs today down at the state park. Had the binoculars out – biggest week in birding there. People from over 47 states in attendance.”
May 10 – Sophie Belisle, Shell Lake, called in the first monarch sighting for Shell Lake. She has followed the monarch’s arrival in Shell Lake for two years. She received a jade butterfly ring, metal butterfly book mark, and My Name is Butterfly, as gifts for her participation in this year’s monarch tracking.
Mike Carpenter, habitat caretaker, has the shrubs weeded. Open space was created around them. This will allow them to be visible from Route 63. A layer of wet newspaper and mulch will be added around the shrubs. Residents can use the same technique to kill weeds and allow air to get around shrubs and trees.
May 11 – I saw my first male monarch today. He looked like he was in good shape. Milkweed is up in Minong. Mother butterflies don’t need much, only newly emerged milkweed to lay eggs on. Later in the afternoon, I saw a female monarch searching for milkweed. She will tap the leaves and taste the plant with feet to determine if it is truly milkweed.
Mike Jensen, Lampert Lumber, in Spooner, donated building materials for a garden shed, approved by City Council last fall. Happy Tonics, through a grant from Wisconsin Environmental Education, matched 50 percent of the donation. Bob Forsythe, Technical Education Department, and students at Shell Lake School are building the shed. We are thrilled that Mr. Forsythe and students took the project on as community outreach. To learn more about Lampert Lumber Community Giving visit http://lampertlumber.com/about/community-involvement
March 13, 2012 at 4:55 pm (Common Milkweed, Happy Tonics, Happy Tonics Butterfly Garden, Milkweed, Monarch butterfly, Monarch Butterfly Chatbook - Emerged Butterfly, Monsanto, Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden, Roundup, Say No to GMO, Wisconson)
Tags: GMO, Happy Tonics, milkweed, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Native Tallgrass Prairie, Roundup, Shell Lake, Wisconsin. Truthout
Roundup kills milkweed, the only host plant of the monarch butterfly. Citizen scientists have known for a few years now that the decline of milkweed is due to pesticide use which has depleted monarch populations in the Midwest where most of GMO corn and soy crop is planted now. What was once a diverse pollinator corridor has been reduced to remnant tallgrass prairie. Prairie has gone down by 90 percent in the USA.
Happy Tonics created a restored native tallgrass prairie, as a Monarch Butterfly Habitat, in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. We must do more. Gardeners need to plant milkweed to enable the monarch butterfly to rebound.
February 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm (Butterflies, Insects, Photographers, Plants, Pollinators, Seeds)
Tags: Alexandria, Arizona, Butterflies, California, Cindy Dyer, Environment, Field Guide - Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Florida, Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio, garden photography tips, Green Spring Gardens, Happy Tonics, Horticulture Center, Large scale restoration project, milkweed seed, Minong Wisconsin, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Monarch Joint Venture, Nevada, New Mexico, Pollinators, Shell Lake, Texas, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grant, Virginia., Wisconsin, Xerces Society
Published in Washburn County Register, February 8, 2012
News from Xerces Society, “In 2010, with support from the Monarch Joint Venture and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Innovation Grant, Xerces Society initiated a multi-state project to increase the availability of milkweed seed for large-scale restoration efforts in California, Nevada, Arizona, New México, Texas and Florida. Xerces is working with native seed producers and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Plant Material Program to increase the production of local ecotype native milkweed seed.” The reason for the collaborative milkweed seed project is because pollinators, including the monarch butterfly, are besieged with a threatened migration phenomenon.
Prior to Xerces Society milkweed initiative, Happy Tonics has been selling common milkweed seed since 1999. Milkweed is the only host plant of the monarch butterfly. The seed is offered in the Visitors Center/Store in downtown Shell Lake. The store reopens on Memorial Day Weekend. Out of season, milkweed seed is sold online through eBay. Several seed buyers from around the country are now donors of Happy Tonics nonprofit public charity. Some buyers have gone on to build butterfly gardens at schools and monarch butterfly habitats on their own property. It is good to know that monarch butterfly conservation is an ongoing environmental education act that brings positive results to help the monarch butterfly.
Cindy Dyer, VP Marketing, Happy Tonics, will have a one woman art show at the Horticulture Center, Green Spring Gardens, in Alexandria, Virginia. The exhibit, “Garden Muse: A Botanical Portfolio,” will run February 28 – April 29, 2012. If you wish to take a sneak preview of Cindy’s extraordinary floral and insect photography visit http://www.gardenmuseshow.com Her garden photography was also honored by Nikon camera in 2011. Here is a link to their Web page featuring Cindy’s garden photography tips at http://www.nikonusa.com/Learn-And-Explore/Photography-Techniques/gr35ffdt/all/How-To-Grow-Your-Garden-Photography-Skills.html
In summer 2011, Cindy photographed butterflies and native plants while visiting the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. We are working on a Field Guide – Monarch Butterfly Habitat. The publication will highlight the symbiotic relationship between native plants and pollinators including the monarch butterfly, birds and small animals.
January 29, 2012 at 1:49 am (Bad River Reservation, Federal Treaty, Iron Ore Mine)
Tags: Bad River Reservation, Happy Tonics, Iron Ore Mine, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Representative Jeff Stone, Segway Jeremy Ryan, Tribal land
This news come from Segway Jeremy Ryan
This [Iron Ore Min
ing] bill is far too broad and allows for a $12 billion mine that would destroy Northern Wisconsin. Northern Wisconsin currently has a lot of natural beauty. There are also several tribes in this area, all of which have Federal peace treaties. Many of the tribes showed up today as the Assembly debated the bill. They worry for their land, their air, and their water. Smaller mines than this one have caused major issues. But rather than work with the tribes and local people, Republican Representative Jeff Stone said it was not his job to provide a seat at the table for tribes. They kept the bill as is.
Tribal land is considered its own sovereign nation. As with every sovereign nation, we have treaties so that we can keep the peace. It was agreed, by treaty, that these tribes would not have their resources infringed upon. This mine, however, would destroy their water and air, breaking the Federal treaty and declaring war on a sovereign nation. Treaties are not optional. The passage of this bill literally and legally declares war on the tribes of the north.
One day longer. One day stronger.
Happy Tonics, Inc., an environmental education organization and public charity, is standing with the Bad River Reservation to stop the Iron Ore Mine near Bad River Reservation. Personally, I am standing with the tribe because Northwest Wisconsin is my home. I want Northwest Wisconsin to stay pristine for future generations. I do not want the water to become contaminated. I say NO to the Iron Ore Mine. I am a graduate of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in Hayward, WI.
Read the full article at http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/01/27/wisconsin-gop-votes-to-break-native-american-treaties/