Posted by: cindydyer | May 27, 2011

Butterfly Corner

by Mary Ellen Ryall

Photographs © Cindy Dyer, www.cindydyer.wordpress.com

May 23—Happy Tonics participated in the “My Secret Garden” event, hosted by the Cable and Hayward Area Arts Council at the Comfort Suites in Hayward. The nonprofit’s theme was butterfly gardens. One of the highlights was showing Dakota Robinson’s story board that illustrates the migration route of the monarch butterfly from Mexico to Canada. The youngster started a petition to stop roadside spraying of herbicides and insecticides during migration season. Roads and rivers are the main travel route of monarch butterflies. Herbicides kill milkweed, the host plant and insecticides kill larva and adult butterflies. Many guests attending the garden gala, were familiar with the plight of the monarch butterfly and signed the petition. Others also knew about Shell Lake’s Monarch Butterfly Habitat and plan to visit this summer.

May 26Mary Ellen Ryall and Dylan Hasbrouck attended a Destination Marketing Organization meeting, at Wild Rivers Outfitters, in Grantsburg. Dylan will be working with Happy Tonics this summer to help maintain the habitat. He is under Fresh Start’s umbrella which is building a house in Shell Lake. Dylan will also be in training to learn Internet marketing skills at the nonprofit’s Visitors Center/Store at 25 Fifth Avenue, Shell Lake, Wisconsin.

In the morning, I stopped at the habitat and did a walk-through to see what was starting to grow. Milkweed is emerging and averages 2” to 6” tall. One colony of plants already has a monarch egg on each leaf. This is promising considering how cold and wet the spring has been so far. Remember, monarchs do not fly when it is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Monarchs return to Shell Lake about lilac blooming time ,which is about now. Native June grass is already up. Prairie smoke flower is budding. Oyster plant is at the edible stage. Native shrubs and trees are flourishing and many are in flower including Juneberry, wild black cherry and chokecherry. Earlier this spring Experience Works member Mike Kremer applied a good dose of compost and mulch to the trees and shrubs.

Remember to call in your first monarch butterfly sighting in Shell Lake. You will win a butterfly gift if you report the first sighting. Be sure to note day, time, your location, weather, and temperature as best as you can. Call (715) 468-2097 and leave a message if there is no answer. Someone will get back to you.

Please “Like” Happy Tonics on Facebook. Join the conversations and tracks events and happenings. Visit us on the Internet and find out about summer events at www.happytonics.org and visit the blog at www.happytonics.wordpress.com.

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