The two damselflies in this photograph have mated, but the male is still clasping the back of the female’s head so as to guard her and prevent her from receiving the sperm of another male before she is through laying eggs. Damselflies lay their eggs both in the water as well as in plants. The pictured female (bottom damselfly) is in the act of using her ovipositor (thin black structure at tip of abdomen) to puncture a cattail leaf and insert her 1 mm- long egg into the plant tissue. If you look closely, you will see holes in the leaf blade above the hole she’s currently making, where she has previously laid eggs. Thousands of these holes may be drilled and eggs inserted into them during her brief life.
Join in some Bee fun this summer.
Gateway Park, Natural Pollinator Habitat
Sheldon and West Street, Fitchburg, MA
National Bee Count
Saturday, June 22, 10 am to 12 Noon.
Learn why bees are important and what bees are found in Massachusetts. Massachusetts Bee Count will be recorded. Data will be sent to Pollinator Partnership, San Francisco, CA. The nonprofit will coordinate bee counts from around the country to obtain scientific information on bee health.
Bring a light weight chair or something to sit on, sunscreen, water, hat, pad and pencil.
If you are in the area, come on out and help pollinators, which are suffering a decline anywhere from 40 to 90 percent.
First Thursday was a splash. Many people attending the Fitchburg Farmers Market at the Fitchburg Art Museum. Nick Capasso, new director, was on hand to greet visitors, Museum staff served refreshments.
I tended the community table on the second floor where my book My Name is Butterfly was available. Robert Lanciani of www.ishootwildlife.com and Terry Impostato, Semi Precious Gem Treasures, had tables. I purchased a pair of turquoise drop earrings from Terry.
Sheila Lumi, Director of the Fitchburg Farmers Market, brought honey to sell. People bought it by the pound, because it is local honey. I bought a bottle too. We know local honey is good for allergies, cold and flu. When I came home I tasted it; the honey tastes like delicate flowers. It is that good. A Spoonful of Medicine says, “Honey has been shown to have potent antibiotic properties. Scientists have discovered that it naturally produces hydrogen peroxide, a substance capable of killing disease-causing bacteria.”
Vee Lashua sold organic vegetables, eggs and meat to a sold out crowd. Her spicy grass fed beef chili was delicious and I bought a cup. I bought a steak, which defrosted overnight and cut into five portions.
I cooked the meat up with tomatoes, onions, fresh baby portabella mushrooms, with vinegar and butter. One portion was used in the slow cooker. I made delicious stew with tiny potatoes, onions, mushrooms, garlic, bite size tomatoes, carrots, celery and fresh dandelion greens from the market.
Charlie grew dandelion and other greens, at Red House Farm greenhouse. He had beautiful greens for sale. Next month I am going to buy a lot more. There was quite a selection of bagged green and purple lettuce also. The carrots were beautiful.
I met Diane Burnette. She and her husband run Johnny Appleseed Visitors Center, in Lancaster, MA. Visit them at www.appleseed.org They sold darling children’s books about Johnny Appleseed. She offered MA maple syrup and other home grown products. Diane uses the Farmers Market to connect and network with community. In greeting guests, I met grade school teachers. They took butterfly postcards and business cards. Now teachers know that I am available for environmental and butterfly classroom talks. They can contact me at www.butterflywomanpublishing.com I will be mailing Diane postcards of my books. She thought there might be an interest for the books at Johnny Appleseed Visitors Center.
Afterwards several of us went to First Parish UU, on the Upper Common, to attend First Thursday Drum Circle. I love this time to unwind. I brought a squash rattle, noticed some brought bells. Next month I am going to bring bells, clapping sticks, and rattles. I am new to drumming. The music takes me to an inner, deep and calming space. You may be interested in reading an article “Research indentifies health benefits from participation in drumming circles,” by Kimberly Ann Holle, Columbus United Examiner at
Friday the weather turned into The Blizzard of 2013. Fitchburg had a snow fall of 23.5 inches of snow overnight. The Governor told everyone to stay home. If you were caught out driving you could have gone to prison. People paid attention. I was perfectly safe up here on the 9th floor. It is a little nest and I am self contained. As of 4 p.m. today, the Governor announced that vehicles could use the roads again.
It isn’t always easy for a senior citizen to learn new tech skills. I am taking a course of book marketing with Rivka Kawano at New Media Design Studios. Today Rivka helped me get my Facebook page easier to find on Facebook at facebook.com/ButterflyWomanPublishing
Stop by, visit and like the Facebook page. You can follow my Social Network posts for Butterfly Woman Publishing there.
The city of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, comes alive the First Thursday of each month. Several events have been ongoing for months if not years.
For the first time, Butterfly Woman Publishing, Inc. www.butterfly-woman-publishing.comparticipated as a Vendor at the First Thursday Fitchburg Farmers Market, at Fitchburg Art Museum. The museum welcomes the community to participate at the museum, FOR FREE, on the First Thursday of each month. Through a generous grant, Ward Four residents are granted an annual free membership. First Thursday at the museum is dedicated to the Fitchburg Farmers Market. Other events may occur on the same evening, which proves to enhance the event. More traffic is generated when different functions take place.
Last night was no exception. Sheila Lumi, Community Organizer, invited Steve and Sue of The Fiddler’s Gardens to play Celtic music. Sue plays fiddle and Steve plays guitar. I absolutely loved it. I am sold on the idea of partnering.
I am a member of Fitchburg Art Museum and Fitchburg Farmers Market Association. Can you imagine setting up a table next to the Hudson River School Painting Exhibit? Yes, there are several rooms devoted to American Scenery: Different Views in Hudson River School Painting, on exhibit through June 2. There was also art on the walls where I was stationed. It is a tremendous privilege to be part of this program. I was raised in Saratoga Springs, New York, home to the oldest thoroughbred horse races in the world. Saratoga is near the Hudson River with its magnificent views. Fitchburg Art Museum has landscape paintings of Lake George and Seneca Lake, which are right in my childhood backyard.
Vee Lashua and her son Zack, student St. Andrews School, were selling fresh eggs, vegetables, and organic meat. I bought two pounds of grass fed ground beef and pork chops last month. This month I bought two dozen eggs (yes they are that good), cut kale, and beets. Vee’s crops are delicious and the pork chops are the best I have ever eaten. Zack was selling fresh made “Award Winning” chili that his mother had made. I had a bowl and suggested Vee make chili again for next month. It was delicious. They also served hot chocolate.
Nick Capasso, new 10th Director of the Fitchburg Art Museum, stopped by to introduce himself. Nick says, “I am proud to join a museum with deep ties to its community – in Fitchburg and in the surrounding towns and cities in Central New England.” Next month I learned that Nick is planning to host an informal meet and greet reception where he will greet museum visitors. This is why I love the art scene here. Everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to promoting Fitchburg to the World.
Terry Impostato of Semi Precious Gem Treasures assisted me by restoring some old family jewelry necklaces that had broken. Both were from the 1940s or earlier. The seed pearl necklace is gorgeous now set with some red inland stones and the cinnabar necklace has been interlaced with black onyx. I am well pleased. Now I can start to plan to buy some jewelry each month.
Robert “Duffy” Lanciani was there last night representing his wife Mary, who was ill. Mary is a fabulous photographer. Matter of fact, I bought two of her photos made up as greeting cards. Naturally one was a wet monarch and the other was a standing bear in fall. They both shoot nature, wildlife, artistic impressions. Check them out at www.ishootwildlife.com
Afterwards, I walked over to First Parish Church to participate in the monthly First Thursday Drummers Group that starts at 7 p.m. The music led me to the meeting room. How warm it was to see a Music Alter set with instruments around the lit candles set for intention.
Some participants’ play drums; others played talking sticks, flutes and wind primitive handmade instruments, while melodic drumming kept the beat.
I immediately fell into a meditative mood and played my gourd rattle that I grew and dried. Nature provides musical instruments. I would have liked to stay longer, but it had been a long day already. I did a wrap within an hour and walked home with Glenda Littlehale. We both live at The Sundial.
One can only anticipate that things are getting better in downtown Fitchburg. The more we partner and enjoy the fruits of our labors, the better we become.