August 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm (Dragonflies, Environment, Frogs, Native plants, Nature, Ojibwa, Turtle)
Tags: Box turtle, Cucumber plant, dog, Dragonflies, Dragonfly, Environment, Frogs, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Lady slipper, Massachusetts, Native Plants, nature, Ojibwa, Running cedar, Skimmers, Tia, Tribal College Journal, Turtle, Twelve-spotted skimmer, Vernal ponds, Wisconsin, Wood frog, Yellow-legged meadwhawk
Sympetrum olcinum dragonfly
Amelia, my niece was overhead saying to her brother and sister as they looked out the front door facing the expansive gardens and lawn, “It’s a dragonfly forest.” There were hundreds of dragonflies dive bombing mosquitoes and it did look like a dragonfly habitat. We often see them by the masses at sunset around the pool area when we have our dinner out at the picnic table. Honestly, there are no mosquitoes because of the dragonfly patrol. No need to spray here. I did get a photo of the red or rust yellow-legged meadowhawk (Sympetrum olcinum). We saw a twelve-spotted skimmer (Libfellua pulchella). The skimmer has a white abdomen and several spaces on the wings that are clear, with darker accented markings. It is rather large and noticeable.
Looking in a field guide for vernal ponds, I learned that the eastern box turtle is of special concern in Massachusetts. I feel fortunate to have a shell that my dog Tia and I discovered near the pond that was on the back side of our property in Lusby, MD. In December 2000, I carried the shell with me when I moved to Wisconsin. Once I was there, I learned that the turtle was a significant part of Ojibwa culture in the Great Lakes region. There is no such thing as coincidence, seeing as I had moved to Indian Country and would be studying with the Ojibwa at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College (LCOOCC). I graduated from LCOOCC in 2003. You can read about my journey to the Midwest online at http://www.tribalcollegejournal.org/archives/8298
I was granted a Creative Writing Award from Tribal College Journal where the article was published along with other tribal college authors. I am thrilled that the prestigious Journal published the issue online for prosperity.
Amelia, my grand niece
Continuing our woodland walk, Amelia and I saw many frogs. I saw a wood frog that wears a black mask across its eyes and has a yellow line that distinguishes this particular frog species. Frogs were not all we saw. There was cucumber root . My sister Ronnie told me what it was. Here is a photo of the plant. The upper set of leaves were growing through the beautiful ferns that exist within the woodlands.
The plant is unique because it as two separate sets of leave with berries within the top array of leaves that form a circle around the plant stalk. Ronnie also pointed out running cedar that grows near the far boundary of the property near the frog pond. . I have to jog my memory re: medicinal plants and look up both running cedar and princess pine. Something is nagging me about one of them being a medicinal plant.
On the walk down Ashby West Road yesterday, I came across lady slipper leaves visibly growing near one of my favorite grandfather boulders. I was really taken aback. There are at least eight sets of visible plants growing along the side of the road. I drove down the hill yesterday and Ronnie was able to be my eyes as we passed the large glacier boulder. Ronnie, being a plant expert herself, was able to spot the lady slippers. I love them because they are part of the orchid family and hardy enough to grow in our northern climate.
May 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm (Butterfly Corner, Environment)
Tags: Butterflies, Cable and Hayward Area Arts Council, Cindy Dyer, Dakota Robinson, Destination Marketing Organization, Dylan Hasbrouck, Environment, Facebook, Fresh Start, garden, gardening, Happy Tonics, Hayward, herbicide, Host Plant, insect, insecticide, Larva, Mary Ellen Ryall, migration, milkweed, Monarch butterfly, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, My Secret Garden, Native Plants, nature, Photography, Shell Lake, Wisconsin
Dakota Robinson's Story Board on Monarch Migrations.
May 23 – Happy Tonics participated in the “My Secret Garden” event at the Comfort Suites in Hayward hosted by the Cable and Hayward Area Arts Council. The nonprofit’s theme was butterfly gardens. One of the highlights was showing Dakota Robinson’s story board that illustrates the migration route of the monarch butterfly from Mexico to Canada. The youngster started a petition to stop roadside spraying of herbicides and insecticides during migration season. Roads and rivers are the main travel route of monarch butterflies. Herbicides kill milkweed, the host plant and insecticides kill larva and adult butterflies. Many guests attending the garden gala; were familiar with the plight of the monarch butterfly and signed the petition. Others also knew about Shell Lake’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat and plan to come this summer.
May 26 – Mary Ellen Ryall and Dylan Hasbrouck attended a Destination Marketing Organization meeting, at Wild Rivers Outfitters, in Grantsburg. Dylan will be working with Happy Tonics this summer to help maintain the habitat. He is under Fresh Start’s umbrella which is building a house in Shell Lake. Dylan will also be in training to learn Internet marketing skills at the nonprofit’s Visitors Center/Store at 25 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake.
In the morning, I stopped at the habitat and did a walk through to see what was starting to grow. Milkweed is emerging and averages 2” to 6” tall.
Monarch eggs on milkweed
One colony of plants already has a monarch egg on each leaf. This is promising considering how cold and wet the spring has been so far. Remember monarchs do not fly when it is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Monarchs return to Shell Lake about lilac time which is about now. Native June grass is already up. Prairie smoke flower is budding. Oyster plant is at the edible stage. Native shrubs and trees are flourishing and many are in flower including Juneberry, wild black cherry and chokecherry. Earlier this spring an Experience Works member Mike Kremer applied a good dose of compost and mulch to the trees and shrubs.
Remember to call in your first monarch butterfly sighting in Shell Lake. You will win a butterfly gift if you report the first sighting. Be sure to note day, time, your location, weather, and temperature as best as you can. Dial 715 468-2097 and leave a message if no answer. Someone will get back to you.
Please Like Happy Tonics on Facebook. Join the conversations and track events and happenings. Visit us on the Internet and find out about summer events at www.happytonics.org and visit the Blog at www.happytonics.wordpress.com
March 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm (Monarch Butterfly Chatbook)
Tags: Abdomen, Caterpillar, Deposit eggs, Die, Drum, Egg dumping, farmland, Feet, Female, Forefeet, Head, Herbicides, Host Plant, Huevecillo, Let milkweed grow, Male, Mary Ellen Ryall, Mate, Mexico, milkweed, Monarch Butterfly Chatbook, Monarch butterfly migration, Monarch eggs, Mother butterfly, Native Plants, Pesticides, Sensory organs, Storms, Texas, The Egg, Underside of leaf
THE EGG – HUEVECILLO
The male and female monarch butterfly will fly from Mexico to Texas. There they will mate and shortly thereafter die. The mother butterfly urgently needs to find milkweed to deposit her eggs on. This last act will insure the next generation of monarch butterflies. There are four generations that wind their way towards Canada. The fifth generation is the one that lives the longest and returns to Mexico in early fall. How does the butterfly know where milkweed grows?
The butterfly flits over a field or garden looking for milkweed. Watch the flight pattern and you may see a mother butterfly looking for a host plant. Plants have ultraviolet patterns on their leaves and flower petals making them visible to pollinators such as the monarch butterfly. Humans can’t see this but a butterfly can. A monarch uses a combination of visual and chemical cues to find milkweed.
Once a mother butterfly lands on milkweed, she uses sensory organs in her feet and head to make sure it is milkweed. A monarch may even drum on a milkweed leaf with her forefeet to be certain. The forefeet are located close to the head.
Notice that there are three eggs on the milkweed plant in the illustration. The mother butterfly carries approximately 200 eggs in her stomach. She touches the abdomen to the underside of a leaf and deposits an egg. The mother usually deposits only one egg per plant. There is a reason for this. It is probable that the first caterpillar to emerge from an egg will scout for other eggs. A caterpillar is able to defend its own food territory when there is no competition. Eggs have protein. Sometimes a mother butterfly is in a hurry and may deposit more than one egg on the same plant. This is known as egg dumping.
By depositing eggs on different milkweed plants, eggs have a better chance of survival if something goes wrong. There are many risks to milkweed including: Some plants may not be as hardy as others; a storm could destroy a plant; milkweed might be removed because a gardener thinks it is a weed; a land developer could clear cut a large track of land removing all native plants; farmers may plant monoculture crops, genetically engineered crops and may spray crops with pesticides.
There is a loss of approximately 3,000 acres of farmland each year to development. Roadside crews may use herbicides (ER-beh-syds) which poison milkweed, a plant that grows along roadways, one of the major corridors of butterflies. If there is no milkweed along the migration trail, there will be no monarch butterfly migration. This is why it is so important to let milkweed grow.
February 11, 2010 at 4:43 am (Climate change, Community gardens, Grant, Happy Tonics, Honey Bees, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College, Meadow, Monarch Butterfly Habitat, Morph Your Mind Environmental Education, Native Bees, Native Habitat, Prairie, Shell Lake)
Tags: Bees, Brighter Planet, Butterfly meadow, Climate change, Daisy, Environmental Eduation Intern, Environmental Stress, Happy Tonics, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College, MySpace, Native Crops, Native Plants, Pollen, Restored Remnant Tallgrass Prairie, Tabitha Brown
http://vimeo.com/7327532 Check out Brighter Planent’s short video of a bee and a daisy.
Happy Tonics Environmental Education Intern Tabitha Brown is a student at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College. She took the initiative to email the entire student body with permission from the college staff. Tabitha is also getting out the word out on her MySpace Blog So what’s up? She is recruiting for friends and students to Sign Up and Vote for Happy Tonics grant proposal at Brighter Planet for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden in Shell Lake, WI. We need your votes at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100
Our Morph Your Mind Environmental Education Program teaches about Colony Collapse Disorder and importance of native wildflowers as pollen sources for bees that need our help. Seeing Beyond Ourselves, we hope you too will help our friends the native plants, bees and butterflies and the crops that feed us. All these species are experiencing stress because of climate change. Help us make a difference in our hometown. We are a sustainable city but to plant gardens and maintain a Restored Remnant Tallgrass Prairie and butterfly meadow, we need funds to do so. We are grateful to Brighter Planet for this opportunity.
You are voting for species that cannot speak for themselves. Bless your hearts.