Rainy Day Tales

It was a humid, rain-soaked summer morning. My dog Tia and I went for a walk on a dirt road near our home in the village of Minong, Wisconsin. No one used the road, and we had the woodlands and prairie all to ourselves, just the way we liked it. Problems disappeared when we were out in nature. The sun glistened, and occasionally small agate stones smiled back from the steamy earth. I stooped to pick one up and pocketed the tiny red gem.

Tia decided to go adventuring. Looking into a prairie, I saw my dog’s white-tipped tail waving in tall native grasses kissed by dewdrops.  She looked up as if checking on me. After seeing me, Tia went back to frolicking. After awhile, she returned to my side. We heard the sweet song of chick-a-dees in Jack pine trees. The birds were enjoying tree nuts and insects. We heard their Thanksgiving song. I knew that milkweed grew in a nearby field, and we went over to investigate and to see if any life was astir after the rain.

23rain - Copy  Bending down, I look on the underside of the milkweed leaves and saw a monarch caterpillar sleeping under the protection of the soft green roof. Rainbow-colored water drops dripped from its back, and still, the caterpillar slumbered. Did it dream that soon this part of its life would end? Soon the caterpillar would change into a pupa, and then a beautiful monarch butterfly. Did the butterfly come to tell us that we too would be transformed and emerge into a new form?

Sadly, Tia passed away in the fall, and my life changed dramatically and forever. I became an executive director of a nonprofit public charity, Happy Tonics, that implemented sanctuary for the monarch butterfly. My name was given to me by Dr. John “Little Bird” Anderson. In Ojibwe, I am called Memengwaaikwe, which means Butterfly Woman. Looking back on this rain-drenched morning, I know my life was transformed forever, just as the tiny messenger foretold.

NOTE: Notice of John “Little Bird” Anderson’s obituary is at http://www.pineviewfuneralservice.com/home/obituary/3808530

Photos: Tia and Dr. John “Little Bird” Anderson

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dr. John (Little Bird) Anderson

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Another day in DC

Greetings Insectamonarca friends,

I am attending the North America Pollinator Protection Campaign in Washington, DC. Yesterday I worked on task force S.H.A.R.E., which means share areas reserved for the environment. The focus is on European honey bee and native bees. I wanted to expand the pollinators to include butterflies. Pollinators are many including beetles, ants, birds, moths, butterflies, moths and more.

The farmers and ranches at conference are from large agricultural acreage and the representation is slanted towards the large instead of including small agricultural states that have small farms of perhaps several acreas such as in MA, VT and other states.

Happy Tonics, Inc. and Central Massachusetts Arts and Agricultural Coalition are here to make sure that nonprofits that have smaller pollinator habitats and farmers that are smaller are represented.

I expect I will be giving input to S.H.A.R.E as we work towards digital APP and signage for habitats.

Today I am leaving conference early so that I can go to Smithsonian National Natural History Museum. I want to photograph butterfly exhibit and see Flight of the Butterflies.

Be happy insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

monarchanna

monarchanna

 

 

 

 

 

Good News to all our Happy Tonics fans

Today, 24 September 2013, I was reinstated as Executive Director of Happy Tonics, Inc. a nonprofit 501(c)(3) environmental education organization and public charity. We are growing in MA and I needed to receive grant monies I apply for under our own umbrella. I received two grants thus far and first one I had to put under another nonprofit’s umbrella.

Sandy Stein

Sandy Stein copyright Happy Tonics

The nonprofit is handling many programs already in WI, including managing a Monarch Butterfly Habitat and collaborating with City of Shell Lake on widening Route 63, which leads into Shell Lake, going past the Habitat. Sandy Stein, secretary, will attend a meeting in Shell Lake to address widening of road right-of-ways that will affect the Habitat.

She will send a report after the meeting to keep me up-to-date. I have already been engaged with Shell Lake in requesting that the disturbed road right-of-ways need to be planted with native seed. If any of the hard-scape and landscaping is moved, than it is up to the City of Shell Lake and WI DOT to remove/replace what ever is infringed upon.

Be happy Insectamonarca friends where ever you are.

NATIONAL BEE COUNT THIS WEEKEND

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.

ImageLearn 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.

Mary Ellen Ryall
http://www.butterflywomanpublishing.com

Photo copyright Cindy Dyer

It is an Honor to Serve Our Neighbors and World

WELCOME TO ROTARY!   –  Dennis led the Pledge, Bill led us in song and Dr. Joe did our invocation.   Francis Mercandante, Alice Addante, Judy Reymonds and Mary Ellen’s sister Ronnie joined us today.  WEEKLY RAFFLE:  Mary Whitney was our winner today.   CALENDAR DRAWING(S) Linda Largey sold by Sharon, and Ellie Doucette sold by Dr. Joe.   Visiting Rotarian; Dr. Gilley.

INSTALLATION

AG Jim Fusco did our Installation of our two newest members;  Mary Ellen Ryall and Fred Cochrane.   A Warm Rotary Welcome into the Rotary Club of Fitchburg

Discover the World of Monarch Butterflies

Mary Ellen's monarch copyright Cindy Dyer

Mary Ellen’s monarch copyright Cindy Dyer

Mary Ellen Ryall, naturalist and environmental educator, has written two children’s books on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. An article, Bringing Butterflies Home, was published in the spring issue of Celebrate HOME Magazine.Come learn about the habitat, life cycle of the monarch and more at this Open the Public Free Event..

Ryall’s books and magazine will be available for sale. Some host plants for other butterfly species and milkweed seed for the monarch will also be offered.

SPRING FAIR

Sunflower art wall Fitchburg

Sunflower art wall Fitchburg

SPRING FAIR

       HOSTED BY ASHBY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

               PLACE: SQUANNACOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL       

     66 Brookline Street Route 13 Townsend, MA 01469

             We are located behind the Townsend MA Police Station           

Date: Saturday April 27th   10am – 4pm

We have 80 crafters and vendors with prices starting at one table as low as $3 and up: Free paraffin hand waxing for mom and free face painting for all the kids. Our bouncy house is only .50 cents a ride, snow cones 50 cents and balloons $1.00, lunch…  hotdogs, pizza, sandwiches and more reasonably priced items.  Crafters are coming in from the Cape, western MA, from Athol and Becket, several NH towns, RI and … many local crafters and all the party plans, also Lindt candy, a real baker with wonderful goodies, honey, maple syrup, jams and jellies, a genuine silversmith, raffle table, door prize and so much more.  Bring your family and friends.  Come spend some time with us.  Shop, Eat and have a fun day.  See you on the 27th.

Terry's earrings I bought

Terry Impostato designed earrings

Look for Central Massachusetts Agriculture and Art Coalition (CEMAC).

Book cover copyright Lindy Casey, Salt of the Earth Press

Book cover copyright Lindy Casey.

Sheila Lumi will bring her local honey;

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

Vee Lashua, Brookside Family Farm, will offer local produce;

Charlie's gorgeous carrots

Charlie’s gorgeous carrots

Dianne Critron will be there with Soapy Green natural products. Mary Ellen Ryall will offer two children’s teaching books on the monarch butterfly.516mbWcinRL._SS500_ Lots more partners from CEMAC will be there also.

Blog/Radio program with citizen scientist and pollinator activist

Here’s the link to Blog/Radio program on pollinators and more yesterday with

Annie Lindstrom and Mary Ellen Ryall on Talkupy at http://tobtr.com/s/4437119

Photo of wild bergamot, western sunflower and beloved bumblebee copyright Cindy Dyer.

Image

It was a joy to speak with Annie about pollinators and more to an audience that is tuned into ways to help community, creatures, and natural world. .

Need help identifying two moth species

I looked all over the Internet and at Moth organizations in USA . I want to identify the following moths. At least I think they are moths.  They are unique. If you know species, please let me know. I will give you credit for identifying. The Field Guide I am writing will have butterflies and moths in the the book.

UPDATE: The two moths have been identified. Please visit www.butterfly-woman-publishing.com for the follow-up story of mystery moths and bog.

The photos were taken in northwest Wisconsin, south of the village of Minong, on a remote country road. I went out one day, with Anna Merritt Martineau, to do a butterfly shoot one day. I always see other species and try to record them also.

Mystery moth

Mystery moth

Tonya Treichel Albers identified first moth above as Friendly Probole Moth – Probole amicaria

Mystery moth copyright Mary Ellen Ryall

Second moth: Xanthotype urticaria (Geometridae) identified by Tonya Treichel Albers.

Fitchburg MA Events and Blizzard

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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.

My Name is Butterfly attends Farmers Market

My Name is Butterfly attends Farmers Market

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.

Terry's earrings I bought

Terry’s earrings I bought

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

Sheila Lumi and Christine Brown

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.”

Read the full article at http://www.creators.com/health/rallie-mcallister-your-health/a-spoonful-of-honey-is-good-medicine.html

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.

Organic beef stew

Organic beef stew

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 Red House Farm

Charlie Red House Farm

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.

Charlie's gorgeous carrots

Charlie’s gorgeous carrots

Diane Burnette

Diane Burnette

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

http://www.examiner.com/article/research-identifies-health-benefits-from-participation-drumming-circles

Blizzard in Fitchburg

Blizzard in Fitchburg

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.

Digging out

Digging out

Be happy Butterfly Woman friends.

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