Butterfly Corner

Ryall, M.E. 20 June 2012. Washburn County Register, Butterfly Corner.

ImageJune 9: Amber Nagel, Muncy, PA, reports that her daughter Emilie came across a butterfly on her walk back to the family car after the Memorial Day parade. The butterfly took quite a liking to the youngster and spent about 10 minutes resting on her finger. Emilie was very excited and had a hard time leaving the butterfly behind, once she reached the car (as did he since he kept circling around her before flying off). Emilie has researched to find more information about the red-spotted purple butterfly (Limenitis a. astyanax) and hopes to see more of them over the summer, around her little butterfly-station she made. Her mother wrote that Emilie is a Girl Scout and has started a butterfly project with her young friends. Every time one of the girls discovers a butterfly, she excitedly calls and reports the findings to Emilie.

June 13: Land and Water Conservation Department, Shell Lake, made a visit to Northwood School, Minong. An agency representative met district school administrator Dr. Jean A. Serum and a volunteer parent Shelby Renoos-Ausing. It turns out that the site chosen for a butterfly habitat does receive water that seeps naturally into the ground from the sloped driveway. The land is normally dry, sandy, and a good site for a prairie type setting. There are two ways to implement the habitat. One is to plant a seed base in the fall, before the first snow. Butterfly garden perennials can be added in early summer and purchased through Land and Water Conservation Department. We learned that seed companies may be receptive to donating seed for a school conservation and environmental project. NorthStar Community Charter School has the ability to do soil testing beforehand to provide gardeners with an idea of the soil makeup. There are two AmeriCorps personnel that will assist with the new environmental education project. Visit the website to learn more about going green at Northwood School District at http://www.northwood.k12.wi.us/se3bin/clientschool.cgi?schoolname=school571

ImageJune 16: The Flea Market at the habitat took place from 8 am – 10 am. It was a cloudy day and good for photography. There were many small European skipper butterflies sleeping in the tall grasses. It was a perfect day to do photography because it was overcast. This is one reason the butterflies were not out and fluttering about. There will be no Flea Market on June 23.

June 23: Join us for the National Bee Count at 10 am. Meet at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat at 9:30 am to learn about bumblebees and other native bees. Let’s see who’s buzzing at the habitat. Reports and photographs will be submitted to The Great Sunflower Project and Pollinator Organization at http://pollinator.org/npw_events.htm#wi  Bring along a camera if you have one. Do you have a magnifier? Sometimes it is easier to spot pollen on bee legs and body with a magnifier. Bring a lawn chair. Water will be provided. Register at 715 466-5349.

ImageJuly 4: Happy Tonics is celebrating the holiday. We plan to sell framed small fine art watercolor paintings on July 4, at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat, throughout the day, providing it is not raining. Happy Tonics received a large donation of fine art in 2012. This is an opportunity for the average citizen to take home a real painting. The nonprofit is also hosting its first artist sponsored exhibit on July 4. Joe and Jacki Valdez, Hayward, WI, will be displaying and selling their wooden and colorful butterflies. Butterflies are mounted on posts or can be nailed to a tree or building. The butterfly colors are vibrant and sure to please a crowd. Be sure to stop by. The National Butterfly Count will take place: 10 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 2 pm. Sign up beforehand at 715 466-5349. Happy Tonics will supply materials for recording. Meet us at the habitat at 9:30 am for a short talk and photos on butterfly species. Bring a lawn chair. Water will be provided.

Day 11 – Let’s Vote and Speak Out about Climate Change

I am awed that we have reached so many VOTERS through Brighter Planet. As of 9:30 p.m., 193 conscientous citizens have voted for our grant proposal.    Thank you.  We are still plugging for VOTES for Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden in Shell Lake.  For those of you signing up and VOTING now please click on http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100 and give us your support.

 Happy Tonics hopes you will listen to testimony about climate change by Ross Gelbspan, author of “The Heat Is On,” on his Web site at http://www.heatisonline.org/  It is no longer about when.  It is about how we are going to adapt to Climate Change. 

Cherry tomago
native tomatoes raised in containers at Lakeland Manor

  All of us need to bring the message home that we need to protect biodiversity and plant native grasses, wildflowers and crops to withstand climate change.  I am hopeful of seeing many rain barrels in place this year in Shell Lake.  Andrew Eiche, Executive Director of HUD Housing, told me he plans to grant our request for a rain barrel for resident container gardens at Lakeland Manor, senior housing, in Shell Lake in 2010. 

 I called Jeff Parker, Director of Public Works, Shell Lake, today about donating a rain barrel for Friendship Commons where the girl scouts are going to plant a container garden with an Aldo Leopold Education and Pheasants Forever Grant.  The seniors are pleased that the younger generation will be involved in beautifying outside the center.  The educational garden will teach others about growing bee pollinator, butterfly (second more important pollinator), herb, flower and veggie gardens.

Happy Tonics is thrilled that Shell Lake is starting to get the message that we need to grow local and organic food. 

Borage a bee plant
Borage a taste of cucumber and bee plant

 We need native plants for pollinators.  It has taken Happy Tonics a few years of teaching environmental education to reach the public on a deep and profound level.  Protecting Mother Earth comes natural to Happy Tonics.  Nick Vander Puy, reporter at News from Indian Country, wrote on his Facebook blog recently something to the effect, “Our grandchildren will ask what did you do during the Great War for the Earth?”

 It is all about the baby steps and teaching others how to grow their own food in sustainable ways to adapt to Climate Change.

Be happy Voters where ever you are.

Day Three – Brighter Planet VOTES NEEDED

Day three- The status report is better today.  We still need your votes at http://brighterplanet.com/project_fund_projects/100

REGISTER AND VOTE FOR adapting to Climate Change Native Habitat and Community Garden.  We have 68 votes as I write.  I am pleased.  Only 32 more votes and we’ll be at the 100 mark.  This is a landmark because it means we’ll be in the running to apply again if we don’t reach our goal this time.

We have 12 more days to go and we are campaigning for our cause.  Anything can happen. Just look what happened today.  We received a grant for $250 from Leopold Education Project a Program of Pheasants Forever.  This will help fund a raised bed garden for Girl Scout Troop 4362, Minnesota & Wisconsin Lakes and Pines in Shell Lake.  

Expect the unexpected to happen in life.  Things could change over the next 12 days.  Happy Tonics could gain the notice of some large environmental group that can sway votes our way.  One can only hope.  Remember change has always come from the ground up.  Here’s your chance to prove it.  Thanks!

Till tomorrow insectamonarca friends,

Sending a beautiful sunset your way.

Be happy where ever you are.