Butterfly Corner

Butterfly Corner
by Mary Ellen Ryall

November 7, 2011Felipe Martinez Meza, Assistant at Biosphere Monarch Butterfly, Zitacuaro, Michoacan, Mexico, confirmed that monarch butterflies had arrived at their overwintering sites in Mexico. He performed field work at the sanctuary the first week of November.  His research was reported back to Learner Organization.

Monarch cluster copyright Learner Organization, Univ. of KS

Monarch cluster copyright Learner Organization, Univ. of KS

True to their encounter with nature and pre-Hispanic tradition, monarch arrival coincided with the Day of the Dead in Mexico on November 1. There were butterflies in their wintering sites in historic sites: The first colony in Ejido El Rosario had occupancy of approximately 50 trees while a second group on November 2nd was detected in 10 trees. It is too soon to say what this means as far as monarch concentrations are concerned. Are they doing better or worse this year? Has the migration numbers increased or decreased?

In December, scientists will travel to Mexico, from Learner Organization at the University of Kansas, to determine the health and vulnerability of the Mexican butterfly population and the overwintering sites. We can only hope that the butterflies were able increase in number especially since their numbers have been dwindling due to climate change, habitat loss and environmental fires, floods, oil contamination and other risks along their 2,000 mile migration.

Happy Tonics noticed record numbers of monarch butterflies in Shell Lake in 2011 at the Monarch Butterfly Habitat. The last butterflies were seen on October 12 which is very late. Many people called to let us know they too saw many monarchs this year. It could be that the abundant rains increased milkweed growth and enabled the monarchs to propagate beyond normal numbers.

My Name is Butterfly

My Name is Butterfly

Get ready for Holiday Saturday on December 3. Happy Tonics is having an open house at the Visitors Center/Store at 25 Fifth Avenue, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served.  We invite parents and grandparents to come in and view the book My Name is Butterfly. The illustrated children’s book features the artwork of Stevie Marie Aubuchon-Medoza and is written by Mary Ellen Ryall, CEO, of Happy Tonics and the Monarch Butterfly Habitat in Shell Lake. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the holidays and honor youth in their home town. Books are available on Amazon. A limited number of copies will be available on December 3 for those who wish to see the book and obtain autographed copies for their families. Amazon price $12.98. FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.00

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

Holly Day Saturday December 4, 2010 in Shell Lake, WI

Stained glass

Stained glass

Happy Tonics Visitors Center/Store is planning a splash of a day for shoppers and visitors on December 4, 2010. As our readers know the world is suffering in a global recession. Happy Tonics believes in homemade, homegrown, local arts and crafts. We are a nonprofit environmental education organization and public charity. People are generous and donate many items to help our cause including Ojibwa beaded butterfly pins and  framed art and photographs. We have two monarch butterfly habitats in Shell Lake that we implemented and maintain. 

By buying local, customers support their own community. We will offer savings to our guests so everyone can go home with something special to put under the Christmas tree.

Where’s the fun?

23 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake, WI, Sarona Jewelry and My Favorite Things – Open all day. Retail store with educational toys, jewelry, Fenton glass and clothing. Refreshments to be served.

Meet Mary Ellen

Meet Mary Ellen

25 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake, WI, Happy Tonics Visitors Center/Store – Kids Disney Movies to be shown 10 am – 2 pm

Refreshments to be served. There is indoor hall that goes between the two stores.

Happy Tonics offers new and gently used home decor, women’s clothing and books, books, books. The store sells new knitted socks, hats, shawls, sweaters both women’s and children. There are mittens, handkerchiefs, fine art, fiber art, quilted wall hangings and fabric bags from Mexico and textile vests and bags from Nepal. Check out the Ayurvedic soap from India and the dozens of butterfly gifts.

Julie Symond (My Favorite Things) and Mary Ellen (Happy Tonics Visitors Center/Store) look forward to seeing you.

Hissy the gardeners friend

Hissy the gardeners friend

Happy Tonics October 2010 News

 Ryall, M. E. (2010 October 27). Happy Tonics October News. Washburn County Register, p. 9

Marie Basty

Marie Basty

 

Mary Ellen Ryall

Mary Ellen Ryall

October 22 – Mary Ellen Ryall, a 2003 graduate of Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College, Hayward, WI, received a 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award. The award honors an alumni’s outstanding contribution to the college and community.

Marie Basty, was selected to receive the first-ever Alumni Award. Basty graduated in 1996 and was recognized for her personal and professional success. Jason T. Schlender, 2007 Native American Studies graduate, was also honored as a 2010 Outstanding Alumni Award winner.

McNulty children in Happy Tonics Visitors Center/Store

McNulty children in Happy Tonics Visitors Center/Store

 October 15 – Janine McNulty and her young family visited Happy Tonics Visitors Center/Store. The children brought native seed to help seed the Monarch Butterfly Habitat. McNulty works for the LCO Hertel tribal offices.

Janine McNulty talks with Jim VanMoorleham, a volunteer of Happy Tonics.

Janine McNulty talks with Jim VanMoorleham, a volunteer of Happy Tonics.

  She is interested in planting native wildflowers around the tribal buildings in Hertel. She is now able to collaborate with Happy Tonics and LCO in Hayward for leads in how to obtain work study students and interns to assist with this project.

Samuel Tha

Samuel Thayer reaches for salsify leaves.
Samuel Thayer reaches for salsify leaves.

 October 19 – Samuel Thayer’s Wild Edible Class, UW Barron County, Rice Lake campus, was attended by Ryall and Rochelle Becker, a Happy Tonics volunteer. Thayer is the author of The Forager’s Harvest and Nature’s Garden. For the final class, students brought in wild edibles which were cleaned, prepared and added to the community soup pot. We drank hazelnut milk, ate wild fried parsnips and tossed fiddlehead ferns, puffball mushrooms and chopped dandelion roots into the soup pot. For dessert, we had black nightshade berry – some used to think it was poisonous – topping on cheesecake. The meal was fun and delicious. Every student in the class contributed to making a success of the program. Happy Tonics plans to start one of the first Wild Edibles Club in the USA in Shell Lake, spring 2011. Many students of Thayer’s class are interested in being members of the club.

NOTE: I stand to be corrected about shipping Tall Bluestem Native Grass from Happy Tonics online store. Recently I spoke with Dave Vold, of Shell Lake City Hall. He suggested we not ship the seed because it may not be a native plant elsewhere. Tall bluegrass is a native grass more frequent in prairie states. It is used for prairie restoration, soil erosion, water conservation and as a forage plant for deer and cattle. The plant is also used by birds for nest making and seed. Happy Tonics is always willing to listen. Often opinions add to the collective knowledge base.

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