Amaranth leaves are better tasting than spinach

Yesterday Joan Quenan, Deborah Healy and I pulled weeds at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake.  I pointed out red root pigweed or amaranth as I know the plant. We decided to pick wild edibles and so I loaded up a bag with this tasty wild edible. Meanwhile Deborah picked purslane and lambs quarter.

Amaranth plant with young tasty leaves

Amaranth plant with young tasty leaves

I am here to tell you that young amaranth leaves taste better than spinach. I sautéed them in a little olive oil and water and steamed the tender leaves. Then I scrambled two organic brown eggs into the mix. Upon completion I sat down and eat one of the best meals I have ever prepared. I noticed my brain started to spark like little lights going off. It was as if my cells were lighting up and thanking me for REAL FOOD.  Is this called a natural high? It was to me. I have been eating more wild edibles all the time and I am starting to notice an internal chemical reaction to and in relationship with my food.

Amaranth with young leaves and starting to go to seed

Amaranth with young leaves and starting to go to seed

Update: Lots of Amaranth is growing in my garden and I do not pull it as a weed. Rather, I am picking it and starting to freeze small bags of it. Also, I will use with basil and garlic when I make pesto.

July 30 – Last night at the Water Ceremony held at the Hospitality House in Minong, I served a dish of steamed leaves and the water sisters enjoyed a taste on the wild side.

Nutritional value of Amaranth: 90 % Vitamin C, 73% Vitamin A and 28% calcium. Want to learn more about Amaranth leaf nutrition? Visit http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2304/2

There is another side to this story which is Amaranth seed. I haven’t ventured this far yet. It is all in the seasonal timing.

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DR. EMOTO’S WATER MESSAGE FROM JAPAN FOR JULY 25, 2011

Wisconsin Point, Lake Superior

Wisconsin Point, Lake Superior

July 25 will be a World Prayer Day. You can listen to Dr. Emoto telling about a sacred shrine in Japan and sacred water. Let us all offer prayers and water on July 25. Listen and see video at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqCXpbU4Z0o

Please let us all stand together on July 25th either in circle or on your personal time to give blessings to our waters, and prayer for World. Peace for our Mother Earth..
The Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites has just now received this notice through our Sister in Utah, Paula DeJoshua of www.intothelightinlove.com
Let us do the best we can at this late notice to comply with Dr. Emoto’s wishes…
Waterblessings to All,
Grandmother Whitedeer

Weather outside too hot to enjoy but what a moon

sky
sky

I am listening to Gong music on Heart of Space this morning. Bought hamburger
and steak to cook outside today. Last night I waited for the full moon. It was
a mosquito annoying time at first. But up she came. I lit the candles and
earlier had filled the kids pool. It was still pretty cold but refreshing
after being so sticky all afternoon.  All by myself. How I revel in these
free times with the full moon.

I never made it to Shell Lake yesterday. It was simply too
hot and I am not pushing it. Rode my bike over to the motel. Gary and I sat on
his bench outside and enjoyed his dog Toby who is now my new friend. Gary and
I laugh because life here is even better than the TV show Northern Lights. Then
I rode to Stony’s. Neat I can put my bike on his deck so I don’t have to worry
about some kid taking it. Had an ice tea and then it was time to come home and
wait. The moon how glorious she was. Came up orange and like a
big oriental lantern light. Rising quickly in the night’s sky. Every moment
precious as I joined my heart to hers.
Two days ago a beautiful black bear walked through the
field next to back property and then casually walked over to Erv’s. Beautiful
creature. So rounded and black. The neighbor was just out taking a
stroll.
Stay cool. Hope tomorrow cools down or I probably won’t
want to venture out. Talk later.
The heat zaps
me.
Good thoughts coming your way,

PRESS RELEASE “My Name is Butterfly” is published by Salt of the Earth Press

PRESS RELEASE

The new Salt of the Earth Press children’s book, “My Name is Butterfly” educates about the life-cycle of Monarch butterflies with a sense of wonder and discovery.

Cassie Thompson and Mary Ellen Ryall on Earth Day 2011

Cassie Thompson and Mary Ellen Ryall on Earth Day 2011

Shell Lake, WI – Thursday, June 30, 2011 – While children may find butterflies and their early life as caterpillars exciting to stumble upon in the garden, “My Name is Butterfly” will leave them with a new sense of these fascinating creatures. Mary Ellen Ryall writes and Stevie Marie Aubochan-Mendoza illustrates this beautiful little book that educates as it immerses the reader in the life of the Monarch butterfly.

The book was inspired by a butterfly birth the author witnessed in her own gardens several years ago in Mining, WI. “My Name is Butterfly” tells the story of a young girl who stumbles upon a Monarch caterpillar in her garden one summer day. From
there, she and the reader learn about the life-cycle of the Monarch as well as how to maintain a garden habitat that will keep these amazing creatures coming back year after year.

The Monarch butterfly itself is perhaps the most well-known butterfly of North America, but is also threatened by habitat loss. Deforestation in their overwintering grounds in particular has led to drastic reductions in the population. The Happy Tonics Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, WI as spearheaded by the author to benefit the migrating Monarchs and educate the public.

“My Name is Butterfly” is available through Amazon for online purchase, Happy Tonics Visitors Center for the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, WI and the Visitors Center in Minong as well as at My Favorite Things in Shell Lake, WI.

The author Mary Ellen Ryall grew up n Saratoga Springs, NY. In pursuit of butterflies, she worked and traveled in South America in the 1970s. In the 1980s Ryall completed the Master Gardeners Program, University of the District of Columbia, and
became involved with community gardens. Living in southern Maryland in the 1900s, she wrote about the environment and founded Happy Tonics. Ryall moved to Wisconsin in 2000, graduating from the Woodlands Wisdom Nutrition Project at
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College in 2003.

The illustrator Stevie Marie Aubochan=Mendoza lives with her family outside the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, NV. She is inspired by the dusty, desert landscape and the secrets that it holds. When she isn’t painting dinosaurs and dragons, she
loves having tea parties and playing in the dirt with her young daughter.

For more information about “My Name is Butterfly,” please visit http://saltpress.com or contact Happy Tonic at
(715) 468-2097 or visit them on the Internet at www.happytonics.org

NOTES: Cassandra Thompson was the girl model for the book. She has been a monarch butterfly advocate since her early years. Cassie grows milkweed for the monarch. I felt it was important that the story have a real butterfly girl in the story. She reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

REVIEWS:

“What a wonderful, wonderful book!” Judy Ford, WI, USA and Mexico

“The little butterfly book is just darling. The text is smooth, informative and easy to comprehend. The illustrations are so sweet and the colors really pop.”
Ronnie Hohos, Fitchburg, MA , USA

“Thank you for the opportunity to own your sweet, informative butterfly book.” Gloria Thue, Spooner, WI

“Thank you for the lovely words! It means a lot to me that you like my artwork and I’m honored to be a part of your book. I started it while pregnant and finished it with my daughter sleeping in the next room so the butterfly will always have a special meaning for me now. I think what you’re doing is wonderful and I’m glad you can touch the world with your words and help people appreciate such beautiful creatures.” Stevie Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza, Las Vegas, NV, USA

“GOT YOUR BOOK TODAY AND I READ IT. I LOVE IT AND THE CHILDREN WILL LOVE IT. I HOPE EVERY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GETS ONE.” Eunie Smith, Miami FL

“What a wonderful, wonderful book! Published!!! Hooray!!” by Judy Ford, Iron River, WI

Probable Tornado High Winds and Rains Smash into Minong, Wisconsin, July 1, 2011

sky

Minong sky

Continuing story. Latest updates are below at bottem of this post.
Ju;y 2, 2011 Storm saga: The temperature was about 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the valley yesterday. Late afternoon I went outside and felt a few rain drops falling. I raised my eyes and arms up to the sky and silently said, “Thank you.” The vegetable gardens needed rain. It was too hot and I knew the rain barrel was near empty. I would be grateful for rain and lower temperature. Midwesterners in Northwest Wisconsin are not used to torturous heat. Besides, I have Lymn’s disease again and not supposed to be out in the sun for the next 21 days while on antibiotics. Instead of working I decided to walk down the street.

I can’t help it. I am an Earthy woman who loves and lives within the elements. My passion is gardening and butterflies. I am more at home outside than in and have always been this way since childhood. When it started to rain more consistently, I turned around and headed home.

I observed clouds coming from the south. They could be viewed at the top of the Minong hills and looked like an impenetrable wall. I puzzled why were the clouds so low to the ground? I didn’t feel alarmed in that moment simply curious. I did not know that something significant was about to happen. I walked inside the house and began to watch a Netflix movie in the living room. While spread out on a sleeping bag, all of a sudden the electricity went off. Loud groaning and tearing sounds mixed with high wind pitch. The sounds were beyond any beyond anything I had ever heard. I got up and walked to the only space on the main floor that doesn’t have windows.

There I waited in a darkened hallway. I felt and heard the bones of my aged redwood home creaking and moaning and knew that the structure was being tested. The high winds roared down the chimney. I could hear the wind in the attic above me. At the same time, some knowledge more ancient than I made me realize that I was protected by a healing blanket around me. I was not afraid. I felt secure in this thought. With my bare feet firmly placed on the floor I felt connected to earth. I reached for the water pendent necklace hanging from a nail in the hallway and felt the water totem would protect me now. I grabbed the necklace and put it on. I held onto it and knew matter how forceful the rain and wind were, I would be safe.

My Facebook friend Worth Cooley Prost had given me a glass pennant neckland as a gift. She creates glass water jewelry. Worth is immersed in ceremony before and throughout the creative process. Her Earthly role is honoring and loving water especially oceans. I have not met Worth yet. I know her through mutual water work. I am a council guide for the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites headquartered in California. Women carry the responsibility of honoring the gift of water. It is a woman’s role to protect water. The Sisterhood was formed to embrace water and to teach others to be grateful for the gift. Water is not a commodity that can be bought, sold or traded. It is a gift. Women share the role so that we can protect fresh water for present and future generations.

Notes: Thoughts on losing pine trees and birch. Bonding with an adult monarch as I lightly held my hand out and she walked on my fingers to reach nectar. Precious moment. A few weeks ago, I saw a mother monarch lay eggs on milkweed in this colony. The property maintenance people mowed over it a few days later. I hadn’t protected it quite fast enough. I did see that some of the milkweed continued to grow and quickly, low fencing was bought. This time by golly, I was going to fence the colony off. Today I witnessed the first monarch caterpillar to survive in this very patch of milkweed. Last year, July 4, 2010, I lost my husband to cancer.

Uprooted 60 year old or older red pine trees.

Uprooted 60 year old or older red pine trees.This year July 1, 2011, all the old red pine trees were uprooted along the southern property line. These trees had beautiful straight trucks worthy of being milled for pine furniture or paneled walls. I counted trees rings the best I could. They were visible up to 54 circles which in turn indicate the age of a tree. I know a retired logger. He was here today with his wife. She was just checking on me when I started to explore this idea. I will get the age confirmed. I hope to save the wood for some worthy purpose. I do not want the trees dishonored and simply treated as non living. I would like to preserve them. Hopefully this is economically feasible. They could make beautiful knotty pine furniture, walls, and door and window frames for “Up north cabin furniture and room decor.” After the insurance people come, I hope I will be able to have a local mill help me. This is my highest intention. Now it will be a matter of financial possibilities. One step at a time. What I already knew about tree migration and I had noticed condition of the hardwood trees. I was already thinking the landscape would change once the trees started to die off because of climate change. Where will the robins sleep now? I hear one instead of a chorus that took refuge in the pine trees to sleep before the storm. What happened to the little wren family in the bird house? Did the mother make it out with the babies? Were they ready to fly? My neighbor told me birds know about incoming storms and they take refuge long before it hits. I did hear a chorus of wrens in the back property in the deep canapy of standing small trees and near the toppled trees near the bird house. Was this the wren family I was hearing? It is all quiet in the birdhouse now. I hope they made it to safety. I did see one young robin who was swept away by the wind. The little bird was laying in the motel’s driveway. Poor dear.July 4 - Late afternoon I could hear the winds blowing through the still standing red pine trees across the street. I started to cry - no more will I hear the sweet music of the pines on my own little 1/2 acre heaven. I will miss these trees and their music. These trees made a certain sound in winter when the winds would howl through the wind tunnel on the south side of my house. What will replace this familiar sound?Janice Organ helping with storm clean up.

July 5 – My friend Janice Organ contacted me via Facebook  asking if she could help. Janice came today from Shell Lake. Both of us worked all morning to rake the back property and to pick up limbs and twigs. I feel so much better knowing that at least the open lawn areas are cleared of debris.

Janice Organ helps with storm clean up.
Janice Organ helps with storm clean up.

We had some transforming conversation too. Janice was able to see a mother robin teaching her fledgling to fly and also to pick juneberries ripening on a tree. It was thrilling to internalize the message. We all must learn to trust ourselves and fly. The old world order is becoming obsolete with deteriorating natural resources, diminishing world fresh water supply and humans being disconnected to the very natural world that supports life. What is needed now is to learn about sustainability of the changing environment and to find ourselves within the natural world order.

“Evidence of significant patterns of change over the past 10,000 years confirms that substantial ecosystem changes can occur as a result of changes in climate. Presuming future changes occur to the same extent as past changes, tribes that trace their ancestry to the wooded regions will slowly become overtaken by grasslands. Such that the entire nature of place for many Native peoples is likely to change.” Source: Climate Change Impacts on the United States. Chapter 12 – Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change by Schuyler Houser, Verna Teller, Michael MacCracken, Robert Goughs, and Patrick Spears.

The city crews came today to cut and remove some of the street laden fallen trees. I am grateful to them and the new Board members who are making sure that village residents are helped with the cleanup. It is massive. Did I tell you about Hoppy (sp) who works for electric company? He made sure after being three days without electricity that my neighbors across the street were given higher priority because my friend Henrietta needed oxygen. My roof and electric pipe on the roof are damaged so Hoppy made sure I had a temporary wire hookup so I too would have electricity now. What wonderful people who you can count on where there is a natural disaster.

July 6, 2011 – Grandmother Tonya Whitedeer recently published portions of this article in the July issue of the Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites Newsletter. She said, “Mary Ellen called me the morning after this act devastation…at first I was amazed at her bravery and calmness…but then I realized that she understands the prophecies and knows that we are in the midst of them now…these are the changes that are preparing for a New Earth to be reborn. If we stand in our Trust as Mary Ellen did and stand also upon and within her sacred space of Truth…we can all be survivors and teachers for our Mother Earth…AHO…. Grandmother Whitedeer

NATIONAL BUTTERFLY COUNT – JULY 4, 2011

Bonding with monarchs day after storm.

Bonding with monarchs day after storm.

Today Happy Tonics is coordinating a National  butterfly count on Facebook which has been upgraded to an International Butterfly Count. We have confirmed butterfly friends as far away as Nottingham, England. Butterfly enthusiasts in several states in North America are participating also.

I had planned to orchastrate the count from our two habitats in Shell Lake, Wisconsin (WI), USA. However a powerful tornado (documented in Solan Springs – 20 miles from Minong on Hwy. 53) literally came crashing through the village of Minong, WI on July 1. It took down all the old red pine and hardwood trees on the property.  I am in the middle of a natural disaster on my 1/2 acre that once stood proud with aged trees of red pine and Chinese elms.

The good news is the butterflies were not harmed. They have been fluttering around the property for days now. Today I will honor the butterfly count from the property where I live. This is a healing therapy for me to think about what survives in Climate Change. I speak about violent storms because I believe they are a proven perdiction of scientists. One has to adapt. I feel as en envirmental educator I am walking the talk. I am drafting the start of this blog later and you will be able to read it as I process my own personal experience.

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed the day after severe storm slammed into Minong, WI.

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed the day after severe storm slammed into Minong, WI, July 2, 2011.

On July 2, one day after the storm I started looking on the milkweed to see if there was monarch life. Take a look at this! I felt so elated to know the the next generation of monarchs were alive and well and eating milkweed leaves. I should name this caterpillar “Survivor.” How did they withstand 90 mph winds? It boggles the mind.

For now, take the day off if you are celebrating America’s Independance Day. The butterfly count will confirm how pollinators do in severe weather conditions at least from this part of the country. I heard on the radio this morning that el nino or la nina seasons can bring severe weather also.

Mary Ellen Ryall reporting from Minong, WI, USA – National Butterfly Count.

July 4, 2011 – 10:30 a.m. Copper butterfly seen on valerian flowers. It was sunny and breezye today. Butterfly was on north side of property and in vegetable garden. 11:30 am. Europen skipper was on the the south side enjoying the native grass as a …resting place. I noted some extra delights also. A mother robin was teaching her fledging to dig for worms. She was seen feeding the baby. Fledgling was following her around on the front property. Back property saw a mother robin teaching her baby about the bird bath. Quickly I went to fill it up.
I ate Juneberry, fresh swiss chard, strawberry tomatoes growing organically in my gardens.   1 p.m. Monarch butterfly seen flying around on front propertty. Winds picking up. Then a saw a wren picking up twigs and the bird has started building a next in one of the wren houses.   3:30 p.m. Monarch was flying by front property.
Weather: 84.7 degrees F, winds 5.8 mph. Day is sunny and clear.
Lisa M. Johnson reports from Milwaukee, WI, “I did the butterfly count anyway.  My count was zero.  I picked the sleepy intersection in front of my house, which has a lot of prarie flowers and a little stream nearby.  I would be willing to do it another time.  It may have been too hot for a sensible butterfly to be out and about.”
Ethel Peoples of Shell Lake, WI states, “I saw one monarch butterfly by my carport.”
OK butterfly friends. Hope to see your reports here shortly. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the butterflies. They do need our love and help.

Be well insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

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