China growth and what it means to Natural Resources

The Devouring Dragon

The Devouring Dragon

The Devouring Dragon by Craig Simmons is a gripping account of what the future holds if the developing world plays on the same playing field as the United States. China with its billions of people see the Madison Avenue  coke soda ads and what it too.

I’ve been thinking about natural resources and as an elder, with an expected longevity beyond my parents time that means I would be using more natural resources for possibly an extended life.  This is not good when you think of how many of us there are.

It is reasonable to think that with billions of people needing natural resources, there will be a great strain on the natural world to provide raw materials to house, cloth and feed more people than ever before.

What is going to happen? Edward O. Wilson wrote in The Future of Life, “The juggernaut of technology-based capitalism will not be stopped. Its momentum is reinforced by the billions of poor people in developing countries anxious to participate in order to share the material wealth of the industrialized nations. But its direction can be changed by mandate of a generally shared long-term environmental ethic. The choice is clear: the juggernaut will very soon be either chew up what remains of the living world, or it will be redirected to save it.”

Many of us are on the side to save it. I wish so for governments of all nations. Native nations, environmentalists, citizen scientists and scientists are teaching and trying to reach the masses in order to educate the public about the preciousness of natural resources. I teach on the wings of a butterfly. Jason Graham teaches about building natural nests for native solitary bees. Karen Oberhauser teaches about Monarchs in the Classroom and Journey North. There are countless others.

We simply can’t put our heads in the sand. We must plant seeds of wisdom in the hopes of regeneration of the earth.

Sources:

Simons, C. The Devouring Dragon (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2013).

Wilson E. O. , The Future of Life (New York: Vintage Books, 2003), 156.

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After the thunder

Over  the last few days I have witnessed the moon go from full moon glow to cloud cover to thunder storms with crashing thunder overhead. One night in particular I saw my father’s hydrangea lit up where Ronnie has a grotto to our Blessed Mother. It was pure white blossoms that pulsated in light.  Jack Hohos, brother-in-law, loves hummingbirds. I heard him ask Ronnie, my sister, if she had seen any hummers? It was then I started to pay attention and witnessing when I did see hummers. Then I told Jack where I saw the bird and what plant, shrub, or tree it was around.

I have been hearing little tree frogs. There was even a frog species that I didn’t recognize by voice. I have entered a more Zen way of Being. I love starting the morning off with ceremony. I find this slower pace restorative and contemplative. Recently while walking down a trail by the barn, I spotted a flat boulder on top of a stone wall fence. I was reminded that a similar setting could be found that I could claim as an outside alter for my rocks that I will now move from WI. Before this discovery, I wondered what I would do with beloved rocks from Great Lakes glacial bedrock, near Duluth, MN; sacred small rocks from Bear Butte near Lakota tribe; Pipestone from a sacred Ojibwa site on Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation, Great Lakes tribe in Hayward, WI. Jerry Smith, traditional medicine man, graciously permitted me to go along on a day bus trip with tribal youth group. Jerry teaches many about sacred Ojibwa culture. Again while on the trail coming back up the hill, I noticed what I believe to be Turkey tail mushrooms growing on a tree on front property. They did have a white bottom. I will need to look more closely to properly ID this mushroom species. Reason I am looking for it is that it is a cancer treatment. Learn about Paul Stamets, mycologist, Fungi Perfecta at http://www.fungi.com/ We were both speakers at Tesuque Pueblo in few years ago. You can learn more about the pueblo people at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesuque,_New_Mexico

I am amazed by the delicious taste of garden fresh fruits and vegetables, in forested central MA, near Fitchburg. As close as I can presently research, a theory is starting to evolve. I am not a scientist; rather I am a citizen scientist and researcher in my own chosen field, which is monarch butterfly and food safety issues. Central MA has a heavy canopy of luscious extended forest, with  giant glacial boulders that have lots of lichen on them. The lichen helps  desolve minerals in boulders, which then slowly leach into the earth; add compost of decaying tree leaves, and you have very rich nutritional soil. I am almost finished reading Patrick Moore’s forestry book Green Spirit Trees are the Answer. Moore’s book is outstanding. I am understanding forestry better because of his expertise and ability to write to the average citizen. Sandy soil in northwest WI, Washburn County, does not have the ability to offer much flavor simply because sandy soil does not hold water or nutrients. Of course, I compost and have added aged manure through the years, but still there is a definite difference between the taste of garden fresh vegetables and fruits. Massachusetts wins hand over in flavor.

Another passion I have is to publish monarch butterfly books. Visit http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Mary+Ellen+Ryall to see published books. Sure wish I knew how to make the link active. If someone out there knows how, please send comment. Thanks!

Another difference between MA and my beloved independent WI life is Massachusetts has banned smoking. I wish I could say the same for WI. There,  I am exposed to second hand smoke. A bar is next to the Visitors Center on Main Street in Shell Lake. Bars have built three walled shelters to their buildings. Smokers can bring their drinks out there and smoke their brains out. Unfortunately I have COPD and I smoked once. I know it is hard to give up, this addiction is harder to break than heroin. At Winter Hill Farm, where my sister created a botanical paradise, the air is fragrant from herbs, woods and flowers. I haven’t smelled such sweet air since the 1980s, when I lived on East Coast and could travel to MA or Upper New York State.

The continuing saga of journeying in the natural world.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

Stacie Theis, Beach Bound Books reviews My Name is Butterfly

On exhibit at New Ventures Garden Seminar, Northwood School, Minong, WI

On exhibit at New Ventures Garden Seminar, Northwood School, Minong, WI

It is a thrill to have one’s book reviewed. Thank you Stacie Theis, Beach Bound Books, San Diego, CA, USA, for giving my book, My Name is Butterfly, a good review for parents and teachers.

My Name is Butterfly by Mary Ellen Ryall is a wonderfully written educational story about the birth and life of a Monarch butterfly. The story is told through the eyes of the Monarch caterpillar who eventually transforms into a Monarch butterfly.A young girl named Sarah discovers a mother Monarch laying eggs in their garden. Sarah enthusiastically experiences first hand the birth and transformation of the Monarch caterpillar. The butterfly becomes her teacher as she learns how the caterpillar is born, what it eats and how it becomes a butterfly.

The illustrations by Stevie Marie Aubuchon-Mendoza vividly depict the Monarch caterpillar’s and Monarch butterfly’s characteristics.

A great book for parents and teacher alike to educate children about the life of Monarch butterflies.

Available at www.amazon.com It has been a joy working with you Stacie.

Tomorrow I will be speaking to Mrs. Jean LaVave’s kindergarten class in Shell Lake. Mrs. LaVave teaches the children about monarch biology. I have been invited to her class for many years now. It makes me proud to see happy children who are monarch butterfly advocates.

I’ll wear my butterfly shirt, hand appliqued by Myna Atkinson. She is an elder master needlewoman. God bless all our butterfly friends. I couldn’t flutter without them.

Rav’n Art Exhibit honors published authors in Northwest Wisconsin

Rav'n Art Exhibit copyright Anna Martineau Merritt

Rav'n Art Exhibit copyright Anna Martineau Merritt

The St. Croix Writers Group of Solon Springs, WI, is being honored by Rav’n, Rural Arts Voice North, with an exhibit of published authors. The Exhibit will be on display at Solon Springs Community Center, January – March 2012.

I feel honored that as a member of St. Croix Writrs Group, my book My Name is Butterflyis on display in the Exhibit.

My Name is Butterfly copyright Salt of the Earth PressMy Name is Butterfly copyright Salt of the Earth Press

 

Photo is of exhibit copyright Anna Martineau Merritt, Misty Pine Photography, Gordon, WI.

Wisconsin Teacher Inspires a School Butterfly Garden

 News from Rhonda Richlen, Spanish Teacher, Valley View Elementary School, Ashwaubenon, WI. Rhonda bought milkweed seed in 2009 and 2010 from Happy Tonics online store at http://stores.ebay.com/happytonics

Since then, she has been passionate about starting a Monarch Waystation at the school. Rhonda says, “I am so excited by how beautiful it turned out! The 5th Grade Spanish Club students painted the sculpture for our garden focal point and it was donated as a gift to the school at the 5th Grade Graduation ceremony. I will be purchasing some more perennials to add to our garden.”

Happy Tonics is delighted to have inspired a teacher to grow milkweed for the monarchs. We have shipped common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) all over the country since 2008. Our nonprofit donors collect organic and wild grown seed from the East Coast and Midwest for the seed distribution program.

Jeffrey Glassberg, Past President, Xerces Society says, “Today butterflying is moving into a new phase. Primary activities will shift from collecting to field identification and study.” Happy Tonics has always believed in this philosophy especially for the monarch butterflies. The monarch butterfly is at risk as a migration phenomena (3).

Source: Butterflies of North America , An Activity and Coloring Book

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