Water Ceremony September 27 in Minong, WI

Purple milkweed and Pond, Minong, WI

Purple milkweed and Pond, Minong, WI

Water Ceremony, September 27, 2011, 6 p.m.

 Weather permitting we will hold Water Ceremony outside in the Sand Dunes.
Afterwards we will dance in circle
around a rescued pine tree on the property at Hospitality House.

Before dancing, Jackie / Godarvi will teach us a simple chant that we will sing and dance to. Jackie says, “I’d like to read what qualities the names of God we’ll be chanting refer to and just give a brief statement or 2 about Siddha Yoga chanting.”  Description: “I would be happy to introduce you to a form of chanting that can induce the experience of the divinity within each of us, the source of universal Oneness. In the tradition I follow, Siddha Yoga (which originated in India), chanting is
a key spiritual practice. It can purify our surroundings, fill us with love and joy, free us from worry, bring us supreme contentment, and let us experience the divinity that lies inside. We chant different names for God, each evoking certain qualities of the one God.”

Community meal follows.

Please RSVP 715 466-5349. Thank you. Miigwetch!

Let’s share books that promote women’s advocacy to action.  Like a Tree by Jean Shinoda Bolen. How trees, women, and tree people can save the planet.

Animal totem: Turtle faces west September.

Beautiful intention:  Danka Brewer, Mother Earth Water Walkers,
“Maja awi mino niiban, sweet dreams May the Creator keep you safely in his loving arms and grant that we might rise and greet the dawning of a new day and each other spirits tomorrow. May The Dawning of a New Day bring you to a better place to start from and a bright path to travel tomorrow.”

August Deer Medicine: “When deer show up in your life it is time to be gentle with yourself and others. A new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened or born. There is going to be a gentle, enticing lure of new adventures. Ask yourself important questions.  Are you trying to force things? Are others? Are you being too critical and uncaring of yourself? When deer show up there is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for you.

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On the Monarch Butterfly Trail

Event Monarch Sighting
Number 3
Date of Sighting 09/12/11
Comments A male monarch flew into a Jack pine tree to rest. Then another monarch came
to the trees for the same purpose. Later in the day I saw one more monarch
flitting around the garden of milkweed and native wildflowers. It is late for
monarchs to be here. I hope they leave before the weather changes later this
week.
Location Minong
State/Province WI
Latitude 46.11
Longitude -91.81
E-mail email
this observer
(—-@centurytel.net)
Observer’s First Name Mary Ellen
Observer’s Last Name Ryall
Teacher’s First Name Mary Ellen
Teacher’s Last Name Ryall
Grade
School Monarch Butterfly Habitat
City Minong
State/Province WI

Migrating bluebirds

 

http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/administration_images/wwbluebirdleft.jpg

Eastern bluebird

This afternoon I woke up out of a sound sleep and by chance looked out at the birdbath. I was delighted to see one male bluebird and five females. Each in turn took a soak to dust off their wings. It must be a happy day because the little cheerful bird is called the bluebird of happiness.

Enjoy a beautiful bird on a warm and sunny fall day.

Image was available on Google images with property: http://www.dec.ny.gov/images/administration_images/wwbluebirdleft.jpg

According to SandyTSeibert’s article titled “Bluebirds Migrate to Find Better Weather and Better Resources”: “Eastern bluebirds do not simply shift southward. In some of the warmer areas of the country, many are year-round residents. Often, the birds from Canada and the northern U.S. will leapfrog over areas with many resident birds in order to avoid competition for food. These birds will travel as far as Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and the southern portions of Alabama, Georgia and Texas. Source: http://lansingwbu.blogspot.com/2010/02/migration-of-eastern-bluebirds.html
 

August New Moon Water Ceremony in Northwest Wisconsin

double rainbow over Minong

Double rainbow over Minong - Storm image. After every storm there is a rainbow even if we can't see it.

August 29 – Northwest Wisconsin Water Sisters held a Water Ceremony in Minong, WI. This is a monthly gathering where we join our spirits with other Water Sisters around the world and pray for sacredness, honor, purity and abundance of water for all living species and for future generations. We sing the Nibi Wabo water chant, speak water reflections, water prayers and dance with drum, birch bark clapping sticks and gourd rattles around a sacred circle. In warm season we hold ceremony in a sand dunes and go barefoot as we dance. Beautiful soft sand molding our steps and touching us back with gladness.

Afterwards we have a community meal of organic and local foods prepared individually by Water Sisters. This time is an opportunity to share ourselves, our joys and concerns. Everyone leaves feeling stronger than when they arrived.  It is as if a healing blanket is embracing us.

If you would like to join us by intention or directly let us know. When we give our Intentions to the water in Ceremony ,we will call your names off if you are joining us from afar. This month we remembered Worth Cooley-Prost, Alexandria, VA; Ginger Wilcox, Springbrook, WI and Water Sisters everywhere.  We remembered Akasa WolfSong, Ann Dunn, Jackie’s Remlinger’s mother and all mothers around the world.

Next New Moon Water Ceremony is September 27 at 6 p.m.

Source: Mary Ellen Ryall, Council Guide, Sisterhood of the Planetary Water Rites.

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.

Walking the walk: Mother Earth Water Walkers raise awareness of water

Walking the walk: Mother Earth Water Walkers raise awareness of water – MinotDailyNews.com | News, sports, business, jobs – Minot Daily News

Vulnerable White Trillium Lily

This year’s Water Four Directions Mother Earth Water Walkers is imperative as we realize we must honor water which is sacred and a gift to all living species. Please support the many who are walking and will converge at Bad River Reservation on June 12. A council guide from the Sisterhood of Planetary Water Rites plans to attend. We hope that several women from the Water Ceremony group of Minong, WI, will attend also.

The vulnerable white trillium lily of early spring grows in the sweet woods. The sounds of happy gurgling water and singing birds gladdens the heart. Sweet watercress grows in the stream where the water spills out into a pure stream. Watercress will not grow in unpure water.

We must protect our local drinking water sources. After seeing Blue Gold, I am going to ask my village where the water source is and where the sewage goes. The film suggests we do this to be informed about our own community water supply.

Wild Edibles Club First Excursion

The weather in northwest Wisconsin is below average and I am still heating my home in Minong. It is a wet and rainy season this spring and impossible to start a garden under these circumstances.

Debora with gathered leek greens.

 My friend Debora and I went out to the Washburn County forest at 5 p.m. last evening to a favorite haunt  between Hayward and Minong in search of leeks also known as ramps. There were large colonies of leeks and yellow trout lily. The lily bulbs were quite small and we decided not to gather them outside of a few that came along with the leeks when we dug in the deep, composted and compacted forest soil. I tried a few yellow trout lily bulbs and they tasted like raw potatoes.

Yellow trout lily

 I never saw as many trout lilies in my life.

Yellow trout lily in bud

 This was certainly a bountiful colony stretching across the forest floor in the near and far away woods.

closeup of leek plants

closeup of leek plants

The leeks are difficult to dig when growing in large clumps among other woodland plants. One needs to separate them out after digging. Leek leaves and bulb are both edible. Yellow trout lily on the other hand only provides an edible bulb. The fun is in the gathering.

Cleaning leek bulbs for freezing

Cleaning leek bulbs for freezing

I have learned over the years that it takes three times the work to clean, sort, cut roots and save leaves after gathering. 

Drying leek leaves

Drying leek leaves

Leek leaves need to be dried by using paper towels and placing single leaves in a tray, separated by layers of paper towel sheets between each row of leaves. Place the leaves  in the freezer for a few minutes to start the freezing process.

Then remove the trays from the freezer and transfer leek leaves with paper sheets intact to a ziplock freezer bag. Be sure to mark the bag in order to identify what you have preserved. Believe me, after a while, most foods will look the same after they have been in the freezer for any period of time.

Debora noticed something else in the woods and went to explore what it was.  She discovered emerging what we thought were ostrich ferns. 

Cinnemon or interrupted fern

Cinnemon or interrupted fern

  It was only later I learned that the fern was cinnamon (Osmunda cinnemomea) or interrupted fern (O. claytonia). I have gathered fiddlehead ferns before and I enjoy bracken fern as fiddleheads. Now I know why I prefer them.

For one the ferns left a stain on the plastic bag we were using. I should have been alerted then that something was wrong. Then I tried to eat one that I blanched and it tasted terrible. Even an experienced gatherer like myself can get confused. Always research before gathering. We should have carried the Forager’s Harvest or Nature’s Garden by Samuel Thayer to the gathering site and verified the species before picking. I had left the books in the van. Live and learn!

Fiddlehead ferns of cinnamon and interrupted fern have a hairy covering and simply are  not worth taking a risk. Don’t ever use either one. Seek true ostrich or bracken ferns for wild edibles. They are delicious and you will be well pleased.

Another group of wild edible gatherers are going to another forest where Happy Tonics has a wild butterfly habitat with land use for the habitat from the DNR. I know we have bracken fern out there in the clearing and I hope the ferns are ready to gather on Monday. I will let you know next week how this turns out.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

Winter appears to be leaving us

Hello insectamonarca friends,

Today I saw a robin across the street in a field. This is a sign that winter is leaving Wisconsin. Frankly, I could stand a little more winter because it passed too quickly for me. This is my retreat time. This past week I  observed two pigeons, a family of deer with their sweet yearling and a red fox. These interludes of happy times with nature sustain me.

Be well insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

Foxes Visit my Backyard in Minong, WI

Tonight two foxes came into my backyard. They both blended into the tree shadows and at first I didn’t know they were foxes until I saw their long tails. Late afternoon I had put out stale bread and dried fruit. It appears fox like these kind of treats. The treats were meant for tomorrow morning and the bird.

I wouldn’t take anything for the joy of having wild animals on my 1/2 acre property.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

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