Happy Tonics husband and wife team left today for Costa Rica. They are staying at Rancho Margot, a self-supporting working ranch in Central America.
I am staying at their cabin in the woods with Sadie the dog for the next ten days.
The first thing I notice when I look out the windows is that there are little woodpeckers and chick-a-dees flying to the porch and window boxes. Then I see the nut-hatch climbing down the tree backwards. It’s a winter wonderland of little birds. All of a sudden I am transported into the silence of winter.
A slow cook pot is on. Within the pot are lentils, organic onions and carrots, potatoes and cabbage. I added lots of cumin, a medicinal spice used for indigestion and a dash of smart balance for some fat. A teaspoon of powdered Turkey tail mushroom was added. It is a medicinal mushroom that has been researched as a cancer treatment.
After Sadie had her walk and a roll in the fresh snow, we headed back to the cabin for a good brush on the porch. She is a corgi and in winter Sadie sheds.
Even with the beauty of winter and being isolated in my retreat setting, there was a sad moment. Earlier I noticed a sweet little mole in the kitchen. When I went over to it I saw that it was barely alive. His little leg was broken. There appeared to be a few punctures in the little creature’s neck. I wrapped him up in some cabbage leaves and carried him out to the porch. I knew the cold temperatures would help end his life more quickly than letting Sadie experiment with her little pet.
When I went out to the porch to check on the little dear, it had already walked on. I already had my snowshoes on so I gathered oak leaves from the woods and picked him up while I sang him an honor song. There was a nice wood pile with a sheltered opening and I placed the little mole in a bed of oak leaves. I put down tobacco leaves to honor his life and to thank him for the gift he was giving me.
He may be preparing me for an experience that will call me into grief at some point. I felt stronger for knowing that we must all pass through different stages of life and each stage should be honored.
I photographed deer trails that wander along the woodland path.
I saw blue berries hanging from red stems and cotton soft down covering flower seed that wafts on the wind.
The sun was setting to the west. This is a little journal of my days in the woods. I thought you might enjoy reading about Sadie and my eco adventure in the Great North Woods of Wisconsin. Talk with you tomorrow afternoon.
We are pleased to announce that Sandy Stein and Pat Shields, husband and wife, will be in Costa Rica for much of December.
Stein is secretary of Happy Tonics, Inc. a nonprofit environmental education organization and public charity. Pat Shields is a board member and facility at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College.
The Reserva Biologica de Monteverde is just 15 km from the ranch. The natural paradise setting of the ranch is on Lago Arenal in view of the Arenal Volcano and the valley of the Rio Cano Negro and is surrounded by the Children Eternal Forest and the Arenal Forest Reserve.
Costa Rica has the most species of butterflies anywhere in the world outside of Ecuador. We hope the team is able to photograph butterfly species that are unfamiliar to us. A video camera will record interviews at the organic ranch. Happy Tonics mission is: Sanctuary for the Monarch Butterfly and Food Safety Issues. We are looking at other countries to see what we can learn about staying small, producing our own local and organic food, promoting biodiversity of habitat for butterflies and eco tourism. Be sure to keep up with the blog news in December here at Insectamonarca’s Blog.