Happy Tonics, Inc. wishes Shell Lake a Happy Holiday in Christmas Lights

Diane Dryden, each Christmas season, takes it upon herself to help decorate the Municipal Park with Christmas Lights for Happy Tonics, Inc. The nonprofit environmental education organization has a Monarch Butterfly Habitat on city land near the lake. It is an entrance to the city, along side of Route 63., a few blocks from downtown.

ImageDiane was a herb seller this year in a Bethlehem scene.

ImageThe Christmas display of cactus waving is a tribute to the monarch butterflies that are now in Mexico. The sign is in Spanish,which reads: Feliz Navidad! The butterflies are now in Mexico.

ImageHappy Tonics officers and board members are grateful to Diane Dryden who has a way of making an event special. Thanks Diane.

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Senior Events with Happy Tonics

IV Annual Earth Day Event

Shell Lake: April 23 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Monarch Butterfly Habitat, pergola at 1 p.m.  Monarch poetry reading,  Jeff Lewis. Dakota Robinson, short talk on the butterfly plight. Dr. John Anderson and Ginger Wilcox will lead us in a Native American Ceremony to Honor Native Habitat. Photo of thunderbolt drum appropriate in 2010. It rained and we gave thanks. Northwest Wisconsin had been in a seven year drought.

Dr. John Anderson and Ginger Wilcox

Dr. John Anderson and Ginger Wilcox preparing the drum to begin the event in prayer.

 2 p.m. Reception, Community Center on the lake: Speaker: Ken Parejko author of Monarch of the Butterflies. Parejko is Professor Emeritus of Biology at University of Wisconsin, Stout.  Music: New Editions Band. Lunch will be local and mostly organic. Environmental and community displays will introduce visitors to the array of sustainable living practices.  Happy Tonics will have a vendor’s table and two raffles: An award-winning Butterfly Quilt made by the Stitch and Chat Quilters of Friendship Commons and an outstanding wood crafted handmade dollhouse by anonymous donor. Signup sheet will encourage participants to Volunteer at Happy Tonics Monarch Butterfly Habitat and Visitors Center/Store.  Admission: $1.00, donation for lunch.

hand crafted wood dollhouse

hand crafted wood dollhouse

Stitch and Chat Quilters working on handmade butterfly quilt

Stitch and Chat Quilters working on handmade butterfly quilt

 

Old tea sign

Old tea sign

Welcome to Spring Tea – Friendship Commons, Shell Lake, 118 4th Avenue, Shell Lake, May 16 at 2 p.m. The tea will be hosted by Diane Dryden. Julie Symond, My Favorite Things, 23 Fifth Avenue, is donating a darling tea pot as a door prize. Diane will surprise us with a splash of delectable treats and teas and introduce guests to tea origins and history. She is well versed in etiquette of tea. Over the years, she has delighted many people with her creative cuisine and teas. We invite seniors to dress up; wear hats and gloves if they choose. This could be a fun opportunity to put on old-fashioned attire that you have been saving for a special event. Dress code not required. Just come and enjoy a time to reminisce at the Welcome to Spring Tea. Cost: $5.00 ($4 towards expense and $1.00 for Senior Center).  Please call (715) 468-4750 to register.

Sponsored by Happy Tonics and Shell Lake Friendship Commons.

McNulty boys enjoy the store's stuffed animals

McNulty boys enjoy the store's stuffed animals

 April is National Volunteer month. Happy Tonics would like to invite seniors to sign up to volunteer a day a week or once a month at the Visitors Center/Store at 25 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake. Perhaps you are interested in assisting at the youth garden and Environmental Education Film Series this summer at Shell Lake’s Friendship Commons. We plan to expand the youth container garden this summer in Shell Lake with grants from Leopold Education under the umbrella of Pheasants Forever and Washburn County AODA Commission. Call Mary Ellen at (715) 468-2097 or email: happytonics@centurytel.net

Discover Wisconsin Films in Shell Lake

Diane Dryden, July 21, 2010 Washburn County Register

 SHELL LAKE – Due to the efforts of Michelle Voight, the Washburn County executive director of tourism, the film crew and host of “Discover Wisconsin,” Stephanie Klett, along with her film crew, Jim Dick the producer and Trevor Wright the camera man, visited and documented several areas in the county. 

Actually the information and film we’ve gotten in Washburn County will be a two-year, continuous loop of advertising,” said Klett, who is the managing director for the Discover Wisconsin Media Network and is the host of the show.

“Washburn County will not only be included in various press releases; it will have a Web presence, Discoverwisconsin.com. I also do three-minute sound bites on 40 stations, Monday through Friday, throughout the state. The half-hour program will run three times within that two-year period beginning next March.”

During Klett’s 17-year tenure with the program, she’s filmed in all 72 counties while traveling the entire state each year. “It’s no problem for me to put on from 50,000-100,000 miles on my car and our crew works 300 days a year, filming and then editing copy so it fits into our 30-minute program.”

Klett does the interviewing and research, along with Dick, when hired by various counties for “Discover Wisconsin’s” half-hour program.

Included in the program about Washburn County is Hunt Hill, the Museum of Woodcarving, the Washburn County Historical Society, The Railroad Memories Museum, Long Lake, the Birchwood Logging Museum, the Howard Morley Homestead, Gov. Tommy Thompson Fish Hatchery, Spooner Farmers Market, the veterans cemetery, the rodeo, the Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum and the Monarch Habitat in Shell Lake.

The habitat was created four years ago because one woman had a vision and she worked tirelessly and jumped through lots of hoops to make her dream a reality. That woman is, of course, Mary Ellen Ryall. As was mentioned during the filming, everything that is in the habitat, which was created out of a former railroad side yard, including the native plants, the pergola, the split-rail fence enclosing the entire the site area and the benches and the trees, came through grants and donations.

“Happy Tonics is a paid member of Washburn County Tourism and we are included in the TV segment because the program includes filming of natural resources and this is something special that Washburn County and the Monarch Butterfly Habitat have to offer,” said Ryall.

 “In an age of climate change, native habitat is the only way to go, and the restored remnant tall grass prairie is an open classroom to teach others about the benefits of native habitat and its plants and pollinators such as the monarch butterfly and native bees.”

 The habitat is proof that if you are determined to see something accomplished, it will be and you might even become an international organization and end up on television someday.

Monitoring species at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat September 2010

 I am pleased to say that the metal and cement sculpture art is in the habitat now. Michell Carlisle, mother to intern Tabitha Brown, graciously donated a cement sculpture of Psyche with wire butterfly wings in glass and wood beads. This is the first art that visitors will see when they enter the habitat. The art looks contemporary and could be interpreted as modern or folk art. Psyche has been around from the time of classical Rome and is the only surviving full-length novel by Lucius Apuleius from that time period. The book Metamorphoses translates to butterfly metamorphoses. . Corrie Wolf’s father, Raymond “Duke” Wolf, donated a professional sign for the habitat. It says Happy Tonics Butterfly Garden. Tabitha not only arranged for the art she helped create both donations. She was a great help to us through the early parts of summer and all through the winter of 2010.

Tabitha Brown

Tabitha Brown

 Tabitha was our ambassador at the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College and made sure that the 2009-2010 Environmental Film Fest was a success. I don’t know what I would have done without her. This year was extremely hard on me with my husband’s illness.  Through memorial donations from Pauline and Dennis McFadden, Ballston Spa, NY;  Ann Stambeck, Bobby and Bootsie Bailey and Diane Dryden of Shell Lake, WI, and Erica Hohos, Worcester, MA,  I was able to purchase a metal tulip by the artist William F. Colburn, Jr. of Fairhope, Alabama. This is a memorial to my husband, Willard H. DeJong. Will originally was from Holland and moved to the United States at age seven. The tulip is the famed flower of the Netherlands. The art is in the Memory Tree Grove on the far northern side of the habitat.

Our summer intern Brennan Harrington helped with building a wood frame for the sign. The wood used was cut and stripped from his own land in Stonebrook. He cemented the sculptures in the ground for permanence.  Brennan was also a great help at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in the summer of 2010. He took total charge of removing spotted knapweed, an invasive species, watering plants and making sure the path was maintained. It is a big job to maintain a ½ acre habitat and I appreciate everything he did for us.   

It was amazing to see the goldenrod. There were long lasting golden blooms at the habitat from September to end of October. I witnessed an abundance of small native bees including bumble bees on the plants when the heat of the sun starts to wane. They were seen in groups enjoying the last of the nectaring goldenrod. We have two species of goldenrod at the habitat one is stiff and the other is showy. Showy goldenrod has a cylindrical cluster of flowers.  Stiff goldenrod has a flattened inflorescence and broad thick basal leaves. I feel the stiff goldenrod is so pretty it should be called showy instead of stiff.

Bees appear to be like family in that they share and don’t compete for a food source. Bees just enjoy themselves. There is plenty for all. I saw up to twenty bees on just a few plants.

 An ethnobotany teacher, Leslie Ramsyck, told me that goldenrod does not cause allergies, although many people argue this fact. Don Engebretson and Don Williamson in Perennials for Michigan and Wisconsin state that goldenrod blooms at the same time when ragweed is out. Both species belong to the Ambrosia family. The difference between the two plants is that goldenrod does not cause allergies (183). There is actually a difference between ragweed also. The native ragweed does not cause llergies. It is the exotic ragweed that is the problem according to Ramsyck.

Goldenrods are resistant to pests. Some wasps prefer to make the stem a home. Eggs of the wasp are inserted into the stem which creates a stem gall.  The larva lives within and burst out at some point as wasps.   

Shell Lake – Christmas Lights in the Park

Butterflies in the park

Butterflies in the park

Hello holiday visitors!

 Happy Tonics is participating in the Christmas Lights in the Park for this first time this year. The Lions Club and leader Arlise Santiago came up with the idea three years ago. At that time the City of Shell Lake gave permission to use the campground. There are paved roads within the campground. People can drive through the park and enjoy the festive lights and Christmas music. Churches, school, art center, bank, businesses and nonprofits are all there with lighted displays to welcome visitors and residents alike. We are the only city in Washburn County, Wisconsin, that has a unique display of lights like this.   

 This year Happy Tonics was lucky enough to buy lighted butterflies and dragonflies on sale. Board member Diane Dryden is responsible for painting the cheerful sign and putting the display up.  Sally Peterson, Mayor of Shell Lake, said she loved the display and several people told me they really liked what we did. I always have to give credit where it is due and of course the applause goes to Diane Dryden.

Hope you enjoy our show.

Sign in the park
Sign in the park

Shell Lake, Washburn County, Wisconsin

Let us dazzle you

Let us dazzle you

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