Pollinator Talk on Bees at Saratoga Springs Community Garden

Sunday, June 2, 2019, Wesley Retirement Community.
Published at: https://butterflywomanpublishing.weebly.com/

Photo: Community Garden  Carpenter bee, common eastern bumblebee, Mary Ellen Ryall, Mason bee, Perdita bee, Squash bee, Susan Philbin, Tri- color bumblebee 

The Saratoga Springs Community Garden located on a 36-acre campus, hosted a bee themed party for gardeners. Mary Ellen Ryall, an environmental educator, spoke on the variety of bees that frequent the garden in Upstate New York. Susan Philbin, a garden organizer, and volunteer arranged the garden event.

The concern is that worldwide pollinating bees are disappearing for several reasons. As many of us know, pesticides kill pollinators. With growth and development, loss of the natural world, corporate farms, fresh water sources disappearing, woodlands being clearcut for building and construction, and overpopulation on top of everything else is having a damaging effect on pollinators. Ryall spoke about the benefit of a community that grows its local food. By using organic gardening methods and planting native flowers to attract pollinators, the Wesley Retirement Community can keep a sustainable landscape.

Ryall introduced the attendees to local bees. The tiniest bee in the world is the Perdita bee, also known as “lost one.” The Perdita is only 2-10 mm and can only fly a short distance. Usually, the Perdita makes its home in the garden soil around a plant it favors. One attendee thought the tiny bee was a sweat bee, but a sweat bee has a green head on a small body. To learn more about Perdita bees, visit Bug Guide at http://bugguide.net/node/view/52624

The bumblebee is one of the most common. Photo: Chi bees in Saratoga Springs, New York, but native bees are in decline. Two species of native bees imperiled on the Red List: Rusty patch bumble bee and the Yellow-banded bumble bee in New York. The Franklin bumble bee is already extinct. One of the prettiest bumbles is the tri-color bumble bee (Bombus ternarius). The photo shows the bumble obtaining nectar from a goldenrod plant. We should mourn when a species is lost, the way the world is going what species is next? It is imperative that we protect pollinators from all the dangers that are killing them. To learn more visit https://xerces.org/pollinator-redlist/.

Buzzing bumble bees are best at pollinating tomato, potato, and other plants in the nightshade family. The bee attaches its jaw to a flower and vibrates its wings to release pollen — source: The Washington Post, Bumblebee decline.

Did you know that flowers can sense buzzing bees? National Geographic came out with a story in 2019 by scientific researcher Lilach Hadany. A flower that hears a buzzing bee will increase its sugar from 12-17 percent to encourage the bumblebee to visit the flower. Learn more at https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/01/flowers-can-hear-bees-and-make-their-nectar-sweeter/

The solitary Mason bee lives in tree holes. A perfect bee house is a bamboo stem. Photo: Mason bee house made from bamboo stems and an old hose. Another bamboo house is near the Wesley woodlands. We want to encourage bees at a distance to come and visit our gardens.

The native squash has its very own specialized bumblebee.

Keep your family healthy, plant an organic garden, and invite pollinators to be your friend. They perform a remarkable service and all for free.


				

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

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.

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