June 22, 2020 – In the early morning at 7 AM, at the Saratoga Community Garden (SCG), there were six wild canaries (yellow Goldfinches) perching on flower stems in the cut flower garden. They ate seeds from the corn flowers (Bachelor buttons.) Maybe they wanted to fill up early because it is going to be 90 degrees F. today. Birds need to find refuge when it is hot out. Also, a European honey bee zoomed in for nectar at the Herb Bed. Goldfinch photo state bird of Iowa copyright QUORA.
Then I walked over to the Woodland Pollinator Garden, on the edge of the woodlands. I spotted a small butterfly, dark with white markings on its wing. It was the small Silver-spotted Skipper. Copyright Jeffrey Glassberg, NABA.
I don’t expect much activity of pollinators this week in the heat that is upon us. One thing I do know, we need to keep small shallow water dishes out for smaller insects, such as bees and butterflies. All creatures need water. There is an active birdbath in the Saratoga Community Garden, but a deep birdbath is too deep for the littlest of beings.
On 24 April 2010 Happy Tonics held the III Annual Earth Day Event in Shell Lake at the Native Wildflower and Butterfly Garden. This year it did not snow like it did in 2008 but it rained. Heaven smiled upon us in sending the rains in the 7th year of drought.
We all took a pinch of tobacco and offered our good thoughts along with tobacco to the Ojibwe birch bark basket. Then Dr. John Anderson offered prayers to the Creator in thanksgiving for the rain and we dedicated our ceremony “To honor the bees.”
John taught the audience that man once honored all the four legged, finned and winged relatives. Somehow we have become disconnected. He gave an example of how the dog dances when he sees you return safely home. Every one with loving smiles looked at the dog he was speaking about. The four-legged one just listened intently to John speaking .
Ginger Wilcox gave a message as she held the sacred Eagle Feather. We need to protect and honor the pollinators. The Earth will survive without human beings.
Mother Earth knows how to protect herself. We must reconnect to Mother Earth and respect her so that human beings can survive too. We need to protect the butterflies, bees and native plants and stop destroying the natural world or there will be no natural resources for future generations.
Paul Schaefer spoke about beekeeping. He and his wife Beverly are beekeepers in Shell Lake, Wisconsin, USA. The pure and organic honey that they produce is absolutely delicious. There is an urgent need for younger generation to get involved in beekeeping. Without bees, we will have no food. Native bees are also in decline including four species of the beloved bumble bee. Xerces Society is a good start to learn about native bees and beekeeping. The local lunch was made possible by a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board.
The Wednesday Sit and Stitch Quilt Group made this handmade butterfly quilt as a Fundraiser for Happy Tonics. It took the senior ladies a year to complete the project and the quilt was on display for the Earth Day attendees to view. It will be auctioned off online or through a raffle later this summer. First the quilt is being entered into the 100th Anniversary Fair in Spooner, Wisconsin, this summer. We surely hope this beautiful quilt wins a ribbon.
The last message of the day is that we must all do our part to protect Mother Earth for the next 7 generations.
Let us plant host and nectar plants for the pollinators so that Baby Eden will have a natural world when she grows up.
Happy Tonics Environmental Education Intern Tabitha Brown is a student at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Community College. She took the initiative to email the entire student body with permission from the college staff. Tabitha is also getting out the word out on her MySpace Blog So what’s up? She is recruiting for friends and students to Sign Up and Vote for Happy Tonics grant proposal at Brighter Planet for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden in Shell Lake, WI. We need your votes at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100
Our Morph Your Mind Environmental Education Program teaches about Colony Collapse Disorder and importance of native wildflowers as pollen sources for bees that need our help. Seeing Beyond Ourselves, we hope you too will help our friends the native plants, bees and butterflies and the crops that feed us. All these species are experiencing stress because of climate change. Help us make a difference in our hometown. We are a sustainable city but to plant gardens and maintain a Restored Remnant Tallgrass Prairie and butterfly meadow, we need funds to do so. We are grateful to Brighter Planet for this opportunity.
You are voting for species that cannot speak for themselves. Bless your hearts.