Posted by: cindydyer | July 22, 2009

Butterfly Corner 22 July 2009

Monarch Butterfly Numbers are Low
According to Karen Oberhauser, at Monarch Watch’s Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, University of Minnesota, early indications seem to suggest we may be experiencing a year of very low populations and reproduction of the monarch butterfly in the Midwest. This information verifies what Happy Tonics has researched so far. Last week field work was held in Shell Lake and Minong. We did not see any monarch caterpillars on common milkweed. This is why we contacted Karen Oberhauser. As of July 15, members also reported low numbers in Southern Maryland, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Florida, Virginia and Ohio. On July 18 we visited the school forest where we sighted a tiny monarch caterpillar that had just emerged from an egg.

Please Don’t Pick the Flowers
Concerned citizens have reported that a few people are picking flowers in the Monarch Butterfly Habitat. Some native plants have taken two years to bloom. The staff has spent countless hours in planting and seeding the habitat. We will place “Don’t pick the flowers” on a sandwich board and place it in area one and in area two, next to the ATV trail, where our sign postings are listed. If you see someone picking flowers, please explain that the flowers are for the pollinators. Thank you.

First International Sale for Happy Tonics
We were pleased that Kim Hong Morin Roberts of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, came to the store. She bought Joel Folstad’s folk art made from reused barn wood. Kim said, “I love the store.” She visited with staff and enjoyed seeing the unique homemade, grown and gathered products and produce that are featured in Happy Tonics gift store.

The Nonprofit Participates in Providing Local Foods
The store staff is actively engaged at the farmers market on Friday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sheila Manor, member, has been supplying us with fresh garlic and other produce on a limited basis. When available, during the week we sell fresh produce at the European Day Market at 23 Fifth Avenue and at the farmers market on Friday.

Yes, We Can!
Congratulations to India Casey. Happy Tonics team encouraged India to apply for her driver’s permit. India passed the test. To celebrate the occasion, staff made a homemade chicken soup luncheon which was hosted at Lakeland Manor on July 17. Now India can mentor others and let them know—yes, you can! We are so proud of you, India.

New Employees and Transfers
Cyle Jewell is our website support personnel for the summer. Cyle recently transferred from the Fresh Start program into the Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (CEP) youth employment program. Our administrative assistant Candys Rocarek who completed her WITC internship is now working for the summer as a CEP, Inc. employee. We are grateful that there are agencies out there that can help Happy Tonics by placing qualified youth in the workplace.

Technical Skills are an Asset
This past week we had everything go wrong with the computers. My personal digital assistant was unable to send emails. One of the main computers had no internet access. Situations like this teach us where the talent is. Both in-house techies worked together to successfully resolve the computer problems. Cyle Jewell and Brandon Bell are proving their weight in gold.

Native Grass Identification Class
A representative from Land and Water Conservation Department helped Happy Tonics staff to identify native grasses at the habitat. Working with camera, notepads and plant markers, we documented several native and domestic grasses. We are building a digital and text library for future environmental education programs. One step forward and one back. The photography somehow did not get uploaded to the computer.  Instead it was deleted from the camera. Happy Tonics school is still in session.

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