The southern journey has begun. According to Journey North
Journey North citizen scientists in southern Ontario, the Midwest, and the Northeast still reported monarch activity, including roosting behavior and directional flight. With temperatures falling and daylight shortening, reports in these areas will continue to drop over the coming weeks.
Yesterday I was out in the Saratogo Community Garden and I did not see any Monarch Butterflies. The nights are dropping to the 40 degree F range and butterflies can not fly under 50 degrees F. Last week was a definite week of Monarch Butterfly sightings. There were Mexican sunflowers that the Monarch is drawn to with its bright orange color.
Be safe little Monarch Butterfly and may you have a successful journey back to Mexico. El Dia de los Muertos is on November 1, and the people in the mountains of Mexico look at the Monarch Butterfly as their ancestors returning, and they celebrate their annual return with festivities to honor the butterfly and their own departed.
“Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.” — George Eliot
Worth Cooley Prost was my friend. Even before I met her, she knew of my water ceremony work. Out of the blue, she mailed me a glass water necklace. years later we met up in Virginia and went to my friend’s art show. Then she gave me the glass water earrings. I miss her still. Worth is spirit and always was.
When I read Viking, NJ, I questioned if any part of the story was genuine? Were the Vikings in America? According to BBC, “If [Sarah] Parcak has found evidence of another Viking site, it will ignite a new search for Viking settlements across eastern Canada and New England, perhaps as far south as New York and even beyond. Source: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/video/vikings-unearthed/ The link supplies the transcript.
Eric Green, the author, came up with an imaginable story about a former people. The Vikings have fascinated the public for what seems forever.
How does one protect a society? Follow the story of Olvir’s mountain and Olvir’s people in Dellinholm and Tyrholm. In the story, the Vikings build a settlement on higher ground, so the community is protected.
Any book that opens the door to scientific curiosity is good because it is going beyond simply storytelling. Viking, NJ, allows the reader to learn something at the same time.
Butterflies of the Prairie Habitat is a book about the love of a butterfly, the Monarch Butterfly. It took a town with vision and a person willing to take on a mission to create a Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin.
Mary Ellen Ryall needed a wealth of volunteers. Sandy Stein, for instance, spent a winter in her cabin filling out the IRS documentation.
Happy Tonics, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Environmental Education Organization, became the engine, and the mission was born. Artists, authors, Lambert Lumber Company, 4D Builders, Shell Lake High School student interns worked at the habitat, office, and store, and included carpenter students, reporters, graphic artists, photographers, and a tribal college collaborated to provide student interns to the project. Ryall was a graduate of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College in Hayward, Wisconsin.
Donors contributed memory benches, metal art, a butterfly pond, and memory bricks to support the mission. Diane Dryden and her family donated the pergola.
Meet the characters inside the book that made the vision possible. Walk in the habitat and learn about native plants and butterflies that frequented the 1/2 acre restored prairie habitat.
Learn about how you can help create native habitat for pollinators. Help save a species on the brink of existence due to climate change and loss of habitat. Most of all, come away knowing that the planet can be a better home because of you.
Stephanie Stephenson has written an easy-to-understand guide to Vegetable Gardening. The book speaks to all aspects of gardening. One needs to know about space, vegetable selection, insects, and how to rid pests in the garden.
I enjoyed reading about square-foot-gardening for those of us that only have a raised bed. Then there are the hints as to what kind of other containers would be suitable. It is interesting to read about vertical gardening. I liked the idea of so many choices so everyone can become sufficient and grow food. It doesn’t matter if one only has a balcony, window, or garden plot. We can all become more healthy and sustainable.
Stephenson also speaks to the different soil types, weeds, composting, companion planting, and the list goes on. The book makes a handy reference book for a variety of garden subjects. It is easy to read and enjoyable at the same time.
Read about Mr. Wuffles and friends and how your cat can become a purrfect therapy cat. Written by Sally Cragin and illustrated by Kathryn Swantee.
The book promotes pet therapy in the Fitchburg grade schools and the Fitchburg Public Library. Fitchburg schools have an estimated 50.1 % Latino students. African American students at 7.9 % and Asian students at 5.5 percent. White students range about 28.6%, according to the 2019-20 Race/EthnicitySchoolDistrictState in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.
Any student that is suffering a disconnect at school could benefit from pet visits. Pets in the classroom help young people who struggle with social and emotional challenges. For example, a child can read to a pet. Another child can hold a pet and feel comforted. The simple act of pet visits can improve a young person’s grades in school, and they can feel better because of a new way of learning and connecting with the heart. I applaud the publication of The Therapy Cat Book.
Sally Cragin recently gave a Zoom inspirational talk at the First Parish UU Church at a Sunday service at Fitchburg and Lancaster. She talked about goats visiting a school and how the students responded.
The Therapy Cat Book has received high reviews by Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale; Fitchburg Public Schools Superintendent Bob Jokela; Children’s Librarian, Fitchburg Public Library, Nicole Irvin, and Massachusetts Association of Schools Committees, Elen Holmes, and The former Mayor of Fitchburg 2008-2016, Lisa Wong.
It is a distant memory as I recently stood in the Saratoga Community Garden, in Saratoga Springs, New York, on a cold spring-damp day. A beloved Redwing was perced on a catttail in the nearby wetlands. I am writing about Arpeggio of Redwings. I softly murmured a chant in thanksgiving.
In 1994, my husband and I moved to Calvert County, Southern Maryland, for a few short years. Audrey and I came together through our love of nature and our desire to find the elusive Cardinal Flower. Arpeggio of Redwings is like Audrey herself in the sense that I always think of her and Redwings. I was shy when I met her because she was a well-known writer in The Bay Times. I was a budding writer and didn’t even know it until Audrey told me.
Knowing now that Audrey grew up in the Dustbowl of Kansas and living many years in the dry Southwest, I can understand what an oasis Southern Maryland was to her in the water-world of the Chesapeake Bay. Audrey would have fallen in love with the abundance of wildlife and flora there on the small peninsula.
Reading her stories delights my heart. I can see her tiny house on the country lane, the crabapple tree, the arbor, and a sundry of plants surrounding the small property. From the bay window inside, I see the boat at its mooring. Audrey could feel the Chesapeake Seasons, the birds, the water, the air, the breeze, hidden glens with flowers, and the fragrances of blossoms. She was happy in that abundant natural world. Audrey had a keen sense of being able to write about the intrinsic world all around her. It is the sixth sense, and she possessed the rare gift.
Many Waters is a collection of stories from writers of the Greater North Woods of Wisconsin. It is a wild place where bears, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and where many more species live. Thousands of lakes draw the seeker to its quiet shores. Traditional Indigenous wild rice grows in the water. The area is known as Indian Country.
I write about the book as a former member of the St. Croix Writers Group. Once a week, the writers meet at the Community Center in Solon Springs. Because it is isolated, many members traveled to get there. I traveled 35 miles each way to attend the group. The writers are a kindred lot.
Reading the book, I remember writers who have walked on. Kay Karras was an elder, a Poet Laureate, and had a sense of uncanny humor. Weekly she drove to Spooner to visit her sister in the nursing home. That is a 55-mile trip each way. Minong, a village of 516 people, was about halfway. Kay would occasionally stop for short visit and to get her second wind. I loved the impromptu visits.
Kay invited me to her historical homestead on Karras Road. We visited her beloved roses. She showed me her favorite pine tree, along a walking path, that inspired her to write many stories. Kay showed me the native Lupine and host plant for the Karner Blue butterfly that grew near a pine row. She also taught me where Valerian grew near clear running water. Kay, I remember you in your stories especially Ghost Writers in the Sky.
When I read There is No Cat Like Your First Cat, I can hear Jo Stewart’s voice. Her laughter was contagious. That is how happy her spirit was. Every Christmas season, the St. Croix Writers went to Jo’s home for a Christmas party. Writers shared short works. We gathered in gladness, and oh, I do remember shy outdoor cats at the entranceway where Jo fed the babes she so loved. We miss you, Kay.
Agnes Kennard sent me a note to ask me to submit writing for the project. I am thrilled she thought to do so. The St. Croix writers would occasionally visit Agnes’s home. An artist lives here. Agnes gave me a cement block with glass pieces of a turtle that she made set in the cement. I loved it. It once proudly stood at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake, Wisconsin.
Agnes has been writing most of her life as a way of communication. Her stories have traveled near and far. She is a creative writer, as can be read in Coffee and Common Ground. As a thoughtful writer, Ages wrote, I am Buffalo. It reminds me of humanity now and Climate Change. As the Buffalo went, so shall the family of man. My heart feels that pain.
I wish I could write about every writer I knew. Each was unique, caring, and a giver of gifts. The gift was them. I still communicate with some of the writers on Facebook. Do read the stories. I am still reading the book. I enjoy waking up and reading segments from the past. Some writers are new to me, and I welcome them to St. Croix Writers. May we all walk with them as we read Many Waters.
Amazon notes, Many Waters brings voices from Wisconsin’s Northwoods together in this cross-genre collection of stories, poems, essays, and long-form excerpts. Personality and style converge in a shared love of the region and through works that range from the humorous to the historical, from the everyday to the fantastic. Readers are sure to find pieces that resonate in this excellent compilation.
I was a former student and graduate of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe College. Patrick Shilds, former professor of Creative Writing, invited the St. Croix Writers to the college to present a program for the writing students. The Writers who attended: Pat Shields, Jo Stewart, Agnest Kennard, Mary Ellen Ryall, Kay Karras, and two others I can’t identify.