Butterfly corner

Ryall, M. E. (21 March 2012). Butterfly Corner. Washburn County Register, p. 11.

Marlene Darmanin, with my book bound for Viwa Island, Fiji

Marlene Darmanin, with my book bound for Viwa Island, Fiji

March 12 – Michele Darmanin, Sydney, Australia, spearheaded a project to donate books to start a school library on the remote island of Viwa Island, Fiji. Michele and her husband visited the island in 2011. Michele explained they traveled by two boats to get to Viwa. In March 2012, she made a request via an Internet writers group. A Google search documented that monarch butterflies do indeed live on Fiji.  I mailed Michele a copy of my book, My Name is Butterfly. It is known that monarchs often land on ship when they are far from land. Most likely a passing ship made it possible for the monarch to take up residence on Fiji.

March 14 – According to Journey North, “Here they come! Monarchs are leaving the overwintering sites and appearing on the breeding grounds to the north. According to our observers, they may already have spread more than 1,000 miles northward. During spring migration, female monarchs leave a trail of eggs behind as they travel.”

Cassandra Thompson model for My Name is Butterfly

Cassandra Thompson model for My Name is Butterfly

March 17 – The Spooner Garden Club and the Spooner Agriculture Research Station sponsored the Eighth Annual New Ventures Garden Seminar, Northwood School, Minong. Over 240 gardening enthusiasts attended the all day seminar. Cassie Thompson, Northwood School and Dakota Robinson, Shell Lake School assisted Happy Tonics with displays. Cassie is the model for My Name is Butterfly. She participates in High School Forensic Class. Cassie is a public speaker, winning a state award in 2008 for the environmental talk Trumpeter Swan. She is boning up on her skill to hopefully compete at state level. The next competition is March 29 in Spooner. This will be the deciding event.

Dakota Robinson with Monarch Butterfly Migration storyboard and petition

Dakota Robinson with Monarch Butterfly Migration storyboard and petition

Dakota brought a petition to stop mowing during migration. She worked on the environmental project to earn a Silver Badge, which she won in 2011.   Over 30 people signed the petition at the event. Three individuals at the event told me they had seen monarch butterflies, in Hayward, Ashland, and Superior. How can this be? The milkweed isn’t even up yet.

Milbert's tortoiseshell butterfly

Milbert's tortoiseshell butterfly

March 18 – I saw a Milbert’s tortoiseshell. Perhaps the ladies at the seminar mistook the tortoiseshell? Tortoiseshell butterflies overwinter and could fly about on a 70 degree F. day. Monarchs do not overwinter. I didn’t notice the tortoiseshell’s front wings with color. I only saw the dark body tones with orange outer wings on hind wings as it flitted by. Is climate change impacting the timing of migration? The unusually warm weather in March is triggering migrating birds back to our area. Some male robins arrived last week. This week I see more males setting up display areas. This is their way of inviting females to choose a partner. Butterfly news was reported to Mike Reese, Wisconsin Butterflies Organization at http://wisconsinbutterflies.org/butterfly/sightings. My listing is posted on the link.

LCOOCC Logo copyright LCOOCC

LCOOCC Logo copyright LCOOCC

March 23 – 2nd Annual NW WI Regional Food Summit will be held from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, in the auditorium and outside. Happy Tonics will be exhibiting and distributing common milkweed seed. My Name is Butterfly will also be offered.  Break-out sessions: Farmer, Buyer, and Coop Perspectives; Entering the Local Food Arena for Community Members – Why, Where, and How. Keynote Speaker: John Peck, Family Farm Defenders. Topic:  Food Sovereignty.

According to Dr. Lincoln Brower, Monsanto’s Roundup garden pesticide and Roundup Ready Crops, such as GMO corn and soy, contain glyphosate. The impact of glyphosate has been linked to environmental and pollinator decline including monarch butterfly.  Roundup Ready crops are planted most frequently in the Midwest. Mexico, the mother country of corn, has also switched over to Roundup Ready crops and GMO corn seed.  It has been documented that the 17 year decline in butterfly population is directly related to Roundup Ready pesticide and GMO crops that have the pesticide in their DNA. Mind you, this is not the only cause of monarch butterfly decline. Development and roadside cutting during migration and lack of the native host plant, specifically milkweed, also play a big role in monarch decline. Source:  Insect Conservation and Diversity, March 2011.


New Ventures Garden Seminar

collagegarden2012

collagegarden2012

I was delighted that two of my young apprentices helped with Happy Tonics exhibit at the Northwood School, Minong, Wisconsin. This was the eighth annual New Ventures Garden Seminar and it was very well attended.

Cassie Thompson was the model for my book, “My Name is Butterfly.” She has been a butterfly advocate since a young girl. Cassie lives in Minong, WI. Dakota Robinsin, Shell Lake, WI, won a Girls Scout Silver Medal for her project to educate about the monarch butterfly migration. Dakota made a story board that she uses to educate others about the Endangered Migration Phenomena. She made a petition to stop roadside mowing. So far she has 91 signatures. Her goal is to reach 100 signatures before she sends the results to Senator Jauch and other legislators.

Also in the collage is Marlene Darmanin of Sidney, Australia. Marlene started a project to build a school library on remote Viwa Island, Fiji. Marlene’s story to follow shortly on this Blog. All thee of them are heroes in my book. Each of them stepped outside of their comfort zone to implement change for good.

Girl Scout earns Silver Award for Environmental Voluteering

Dakota Robinson teaches Brownie about the monarch butterfly migration.

Dakota Robinson teaches Brownie about the monarch butterfly migration.

Saturday Nov. 19th an award ceremony for Dakota Robinson, Senior Girl Scout of Shell Lake Troop 4392, was held to recognize her for earning the Girl Scout Silver Award, which is one of the highest awards in Girl Scouting. Designed to help girls explore careers and gain leadership abilities, the Silver Award can be earned as an individual or as a group. Girls must be between the ages of 11 and 14 or entering the 6th grade to begin working towards this award and it must be completed by Sept 30th of the year they are entering the 9th grade.

 

Girls must first submit a plan for approval from the Girl Scout Council before beginning there project. Then they must first earn three charms, the Girl Scout Leadership Award charm, the Girl Scout Silver Career Charm and the Girl Scout Silver 4B’s Challenge Charm. Then they must earn at least three interest project awards of their choosing that go along with their project. The Earn Your Own Business Interest Project Award and the Studio 2B Focus: Uniquely Me! Charm is then earned.

 

The requirements teach girls to set goals and to identify and find a solution for a problem in the community. The biggest piece of the Silver Award is planning and developing the project. The project must take at least 40 hours to complete and provide a service to the community. Once all the requirements have been met and approved the Girl Scout must submit a Final Report to the council for final approval.

 

Every activity and badge earned must be documented in this report, including the date it was received and a signature from the supervising advisor. Girls must describe in detail how they helped the community and how the project was completed. The start and completion dates must be included, and the reasons why the project was chosen. Girls also must describe who benefited from the project and what was ultimately learned and achieved.

Dakota at Monarch Butterfly Habitat teaching about butterfly migration to attendees

Dakota at Monarch Butterfly Habitat teaching about butterfly migration to attendees

Dakota’s project was called, “The Amazing Monarch, Flight for Life.” She completed all requirements including choosing to earn the Plant Life Badge, Eco-Action Badge, and the Leadership Badge Interest projects. She has spent the last 4 years volunteering with Happy Tonics and the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, attending events at the Ag research farm, helping host environmental film fests over the summer, as well as gardening of herbs, flowers and vegetables in container gardens at Shell Lake Friendship Commons. She gave presentations at the butterfly habitat and IV Annual Earth Day Event, and was part of the Blessing of the butterfly habitat.

 

Dakota created a petition to stop the use of pesticides and road side moving during migration season, which has been sent on to the state government and she hopes to get enough signatures and send it on the president. She collected, bagged and handed out milkweed seeds for people to plant, to help sustain the monarch and she gave several speeches on the monarch’s plight. In all she spent 171 hours on this project. Although the project is officially over, she never passes up the chance to spread the word and hopefully gains new advocates for the monarch butterfly, after her ceremony she gave her presentation again to some of the local area brownies who were present.

Dakota proudly shows her cake to happy audience

Dakota proudly shows her cake to happy audience

The ceremony included The Brownie smile song sang by Shell Lake’s Brownie troop 4475, Junior Girl scout Emily Lloyd led the pledge of allegiance, Girl scout Promise and Girl Scout Law, Dakota was presented and pinned with her Silver Award by one of her troop Leaders Karen LLoyd, followed by punch made by Emily LLoyd and cake.

Emily Lloyd making punch for the Girl Scout Silver Awards Ceremony

Emily Lloyd making punch for the Girl Scout Silver Awards Ceremony

Butterfly Corner, May 23, 2011

Dakota Robinson's Story Board on Monarch Migrations.

Dakota Robinson's Story Board on Monarch Migrations.

May 23 – Happy Tonics participated in the “My Secret Garden” event at the Comfort Suites in Hayward hosted by the Cable and Hayward Area Arts Council. The nonprofit’s theme was butterfly gardens. One of the highlights was showing Dakota Robinson’s story board that illustrates the migration route of the monarch butterfly from Mexico to Canada. The youngster started a petition to stop roadside spraying of herbicides and insecticides during migration season. Roads and rivers are the main travel route of monarch butterflies. Herbicides kill milkweed, the host plant and insecticides kill larva and adult butterflies. Many guests attending the garden gala; were familiar with the plight of the monarch butterfly and signed the petition. Others also knew about Shell Lake’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat and plan to come this summer.

May 26 – Mary Ellen Ryall and Dylan Hasbrouck attended a Destination Marketing Organization meeting, at Wild Rivers Outfitters, in Grantsburg. Dylan will be working with Happy Tonics this summer to help maintain the habitat. He is under Fresh Start’s umbrella which is building a house in Shell Lake. Dylan will also be in training to learn Internet marketing skills at the nonprofit’s Visitors Center/Store at 25 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake.

 In the morning, I stopped at the habitat and did a walk through to see what was starting to grow. Milkweed is emerging and averages 2” to 6” tall.

Monarch eggs on milkweed

Monarch eggs on milkweed

One colony of plants already has a monarch egg on each leaf. This is promising considering how cold and wet the spring has been so far. Remember monarchs do not fly when it is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Monarchs return to Shell Lake about lilac time which is about now. Native June grass is already up. Prairie smoke flower is budding. Oyster plant is at the edible stage. Native shrubs and trees are flourishing and many are in flower including Juneberry, wild black cherry and chokecherry.  Earlier this spring an Experience Works member Mike Kremer applied a good dose of compost and mulch to the trees and shrubs. 

Remember to call in your first monarch butterfly sighting in Shell Lake. You will win a butterfly gift if you report the first sighting. Be sure to note day, time, your location, weather, and temperature as best as you can. Dial 715 468-2097 and leave a message if no answer. Someone will get back to you.

 Please Like Happy Tonics on Facebook. Join the conversations and track events and happenings. Visit us on the Internet and find out about summer events at www.happytonics.org and visit the Blog at www.happytonics.wordpress.com

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