Butterfly Corner

Ryall, M.E. 20 June 2012. Washburn County Register, Butterfly Corner.

ImageJune 9: Amber Nagel, Muncy, PA, reports that her daughter Emilie came across a butterfly on her walk back to the family car after the Memorial Day parade. The butterfly took quite a liking to the youngster and spent about 10 minutes resting on her finger. Emilie was very excited and had a hard time leaving the butterfly behind, once she reached the car (as did he since he kept circling around her before flying off). Emilie has researched to find more information about the red-spotted purple butterfly (Limenitis a. astyanax) and hopes to see more of them over the summer, around her little butterfly-station she made. Her mother wrote that Emilie is a Girl Scout and has started a butterfly project with her young friends. Every time one of the girls discovers a butterfly, she excitedly calls and reports the findings to Emilie.

June 13: Land and Water Conservation Department, Shell Lake, made a visit to Northwood School, Minong. An agency representative met district school administrator Dr. Jean A. Serum and a volunteer parent Shelby Renoos-Ausing. It turns out that the site chosen for a butterfly habitat does receive water that seeps naturally into the ground from the sloped driveway. The land is normally dry, sandy, and a good site for a prairie type setting. There are two ways to implement the habitat. One is to plant a seed base in the fall, before the first snow. Butterfly garden perennials can be added in early summer and purchased through Land and Water Conservation Department. We learned that seed companies may be receptive to donating seed for a school conservation and environmental project. NorthStar Community Charter School has the ability to do soil testing beforehand to provide gardeners with an idea of the soil makeup. There are two AmeriCorps personnel that will assist with the new environmental education project. Visit the website to learn more about going green at Northwood School District at http://www.northwood.k12.wi.us/se3bin/clientschool.cgi?schoolname=school571

ImageJune 16: The Flea Market at the habitat took place from 8 am – 10 am. It was a cloudy day and good for photography. There were many small European skipper butterflies sleeping in the tall grasses. It was a perfect day to do photography because it was overcast. This is one reason the butterflies were not out and fluttering about. There will be no Flea Market on June 23.

June 23: Join us for the National Bee Count at 10 am. Meet at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat at 9:30 am to learn about bumblebees and other native bees. Let’s see who’s buzzing at the habitat. Reports and photographs will be submitted to The Great Sunflower Project and Pollinator Organization at http://pollinator.org/npw_events.htm#wi  Bring along a camera if you have one. Do you have a magnifier? Sometimes it is easier to spot pollen on bee legs and body with a magnifier. Bring a lawn chair. Water will be provided. Register at 715 466-5349.

ImageJuly 4: Happy Tonics is celebrating the holiday. We plan to sell framed small fine art watercolor paintings on July 4, at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, throughout the day, providing it is not raining. Happy Tonics received a large donation of fine art in 2012. This is an opportunity for the average citizen to take home a real painting. The nonprofit is also hosting its first artist sponsored exhibit on July 4. Joe and Jacki Valdez, Hayward, WI, will be displaying and selling their wooden and colorful butterflies. Butterflies are mounted on posts or can be nailed to a tree or building. The butterfly colors are vibrant and sure to please a crowd. Be sure to stop by. The National Butterfly Count will take place: 10 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 2 pm. Sign up beforehand at 715 466-5349. Happy Tonics will supply materials for recording. Meet us at the habitat at 9:30 am for a short talk and photos on butterfly species. Bring a lawn chair. Water will be provided.

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Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book Published

I am updating this post because Cindy Dyer, Dyer Design, prepared the cover and text for a post card. Here it is…..

Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book

Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book

The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book was published by Butterfly Woman Publishing. The coloring book sells on Amazon for $10.98 FREE SHIPPING with orders of over $25. To view the book on Amazon, click on the link at http://www.amazon.com/Monarch-Butterfly-Coloring-Book-Volume/dp/1477476466

I am excited because now one can look inside the book.

Mary Ellen Ryall wrote the environmental text and Mora McCusker illustrated the book. Valerie J. Downes edited the book. Cindy Dyer did the art layout for the book and photographed the cover.

Teach children about the importance of native plants for pollinators. The book teaches about the life cycle of the butterfly.

Butterfly Corner “Washburn County Register” 06/13/12

Ryall, M.E. 13 June 2012. Washburn County Register, Butterfly Corner.

Fresh start lending a hand to spruce up the habitat

Fresh start lending a hand to spruce up the habitat

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, staff at Wisconsin Fresh Start Rusk Co., Weyerhaeuser, WI  54865

Chad Olson, staff at Wisconsin Fresh Start Rusk Co., Weyerhaeuser, WI

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.

RAISING MONEY FOR THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY ORIGINAL BUTTERFLY QUILT OFFERED

Butterfly quilt

Butterfly quilt

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

Myrna Atkinson and Carol Hubin quilting the butterfly pattern

Myrna Atkinson and Carol Hubin quilting the butterfly pattern

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.

Heart appliqued border

Heart appliqued border copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

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.

Closeup of blue butterfly copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Closeup of blue butterfly copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

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 master quilter copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Myrna Atkinson master quilter copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

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.

PAYMENT: PayPal

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!   

Talkupy – Jason Graham – Native Bee Nest Site Project 06/07 by Talkupy | Blog Talk Radio

Talkupy – Jason Graham – Native Bee Nest Site Project 06/07 by Talkupy | Blog Talk Radio.

I was listening to the interview, which I like very much. Tomorrow when I am fresh, I will relisten and contact Annie Lindstrom. She asked if I would be interested in coming on the Blog radio station. I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to talk about monarch butterfly as a pollinator. The life cycle of the monarch now has an Endangered Migration Phenomena.

I have authored two published books about the butterfly. The books are illustated children’s book, My Name is Butterfly can be used by teachers and parents to teach children. One is a charming story about a girl in her garden who discoveres the wonders of the monarch butterfly. The other book is a Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book. This too is a teaching book, ilustrated by Mora McCusker, artist in Gordon, WI.

 

Butterfly Corner

Ryall, M.E., 06 June 2012. Washburn County Register, Butterfly Corner.

False indigo is in in first book after planting three years ago

False indigo is in in first book after planting three years ago

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.

Wet bumblebee after a storm copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Wet bumblebee after a storm copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

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.

Red Admiral copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Red Admiral copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

The Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake was alive with red Admiral butterflies.

Common buckeye copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Common buckeye copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

There were several of them nectaring on native ninebark shrub. Common buckeye and

American Lady copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

American Lady copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

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 coloring monarch from Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book

Gideon Fegman coloring monarch from Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book

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.

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