Tune into Blog/Radio Talkupy for a talk on butterflies with Mary Ellen Ryall

Monarch butterflies are being hit on all sides these days. Loss of habitat, climate change andnatural disasters are taking their toll on these and other beautiful pollinators. Thankfully, there are people watching out for them. Talkupy with Annie Lindstrom welcomes Mary Ellen Ryall, retiring Executive Director of Happy Tonics Inc., to the show on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Mary Ellen is passionate about helping people learn how to create pollinator corridors in their own backyards. She will discuss the work she did at Happy Tonics’ teaching garden in Shell Lake, WI and her books on Monarchs. She also will talk about the wild butterflyand solitary bee nesting habitat she is creating in Fitchburg, MA. For more information, visit Mary Ellen’s Facebook page. For an expanded slide show go to Talkupy.netImage 

Celebrate Home Magazine

This is a prelude of things to come re:  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/513977/follow?__r=291900 View a FREE digital version of Celebrate HOME Magazine at this link.

Gladys Roldan-de-Moras copyright Cindy Dyer

Gladys Roldan-de-Moras copyright Cindy Dyer

Celebrate HOME Magazine is edited by Barbara Kelly, Editor-In-Chief,  Design and photography is by Cindy Dyer, Graphic Designer. Recently,  I had the pleasure of writing a small article on what home means to me, which was recently published in the winter 2013 issue. Enjoy the articles and photography featuring The Artist Gladys Roldan-de-Mores,.articles and photographs on home interior decorating, cooking, gardens, recipes,pets, collecting and more.

I have been asked to write a gardening article on a native Wild Butterfly Habitat in the next issue for spring. I am implementing the new habitat on familyImage land in Fitchburg, MA.

Keep checking back for more to come.  .

Researching insects

Carrion beetleJuly 14, 2013.

Steve Lindell wrote to let me know he suspected that the first insect was not a carrion bug. He is right.

I looked at Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England to identify. Turns out the bug, on Shasta daisy,  is a large milkweed bug. The camouflage has striking colors of red and black, indicating that it might be a predator and for other insects and birds to stay away. 


If you know the names Latin and common, please respond. Citizen scientists need assistance from professional entomologists, biologists and other citizen scientists. I will be happy to share credit with those who help me identify species.

Making progress. Moths  identified by Tonya Treichel Albers. We became friend on Facebook. Tonya located the moth at http://BugGuide.Net

Photo on right has been identified by Tonya Treichel Albers. She suggested moth as Friendly Probole Moth – Probole amicaria

I am thrilled to have her assistance in identifying the two mystery moth species. Thank you Tonya.

help identify please

help identify please

Xanthotype urticaria (Geometridae) is last moth photo identified by Tonya Treichel Albers. the common name for this moth is false crocus geometer.

Thank you,

Mary Ellen Ryall


My Books: My Name is Butterfly, The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book available at Amazon

Give a hand and help children read books in Fiji

Dear friends,

Even a dollar can go a long way when combined with another dollar that someone else contributed to help ship books to impoverished Viwa Islands, Fiji. Michele Darmanin has taken the cause up in 2012 and has already had one successful shipment to school children om Viwa Island, Fiji.

It turns out that other impovershed schools on Fiji islands want books for non existing school libraries also. Michele has received books from around the world. This is one piece of the puzzle. The other part is the books need to be shipped and it costs thousands of dollars to do so. Michele estimated shipping at $2,000. The ship leaves in March and she needs to raise necessary funds to ship then.

Can you please give her a hand. Michele is not asking for the moon only a small donation that would brighten the lives of children who will never otherwise see the world as a place of beauty and joy. If they don’t read books that educate, how will they be productive citizens in the future?

We can do our part. I shipped two different books over the past year. I made a small financial donation of $5.00. I know it is nothing, but if you all contribute $5 or more, then it will grow and take wing, just like the butterfly.

Let’s make Michelle smile today. She is under a lot of pressure to get thousands of books shipped on pallets. Let’s give her a hand at

Click on this link:
gogetfunding.com/project/please-help-us- ship-books-to-15-…
Please support this genuine cause and share with your friends.
For more information, please contact Shelly at:
Mobile: 0405 326 080 (anytime)
www.facebook.com/DonateABookToTheSchoolC hildrenOfFiji?ref=hl
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items are from between 29 Jan 2013 & 03 Feb 2013.

Speaking about pollinators

February 12,  2013 – I had the great pleasure of giving a talk to Fitchburg Rotary Club at the Fay Club, Main Street. It was a wonderfully attended lunch meeting, with a chef prepared meal of broiled Brussels sprouts, thin spaghetti with veggie sauce. There was also a beautiful salad, a meat selection and roasted potatoes with skins.

The talk was about pollinators. The audience had lots of questions; I was delighted to answer them and was encouraged to learn that individuals want to be part of the solution. Postcards and business cards were distributed. I even met an elder retired teacher who taught lower grades years ago. She is ordering the books on Amazon and told me how much she enjoyed the talk. Books: My Name is Butterfly at http://www.amazon.com/Name-Butterfly-Mary-Ellen-Ryall/dp/0981694993/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360979644&sr=1-2&keywords=My+Name+is+Butterfly 

My Name is Butterfly

My Name is Butterfly








and The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book at http://www.amazon.com/Monarch-Butterfly-Coloring-Book-2013/dp/1481952056/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360979744&sr=1-3&keywords=The+Monarch+Butterfly+Coloring+Book

Cover design by Cindy Dyer

Cover design by Cindy Dyer


I am terribly happy that I relocated to Fitchburg, in the fall of 2012. I see so much good work going forward from groups such as Fitchburg Rotary Club. With “Can Do” people like this, Fitchburg in its re-urbanization, can grow in its efforts towards a  Higher Purpose.

This is also known as the “Butterfly Effect.” Do good work; it’s like a pebble in a stream, it just resonates out.

Learning through classes and a great teacher

I am taking a book marketing course from Rivka Kawano, New Media Design Studios. I got completely lost today trying to figure out how to make my Facebook page for Butterfly Woman Publishing easier to follow. 

Rivka came in and was able to make the changes. This will enable Blog visitors to follow and like my Facebook page at facebook.com/ButterflyWomanPublishing Hope this helps. 

Doing something for someone else besides ourselves

Recently I had the opportunity to respond to a request from St. Bernards Church in Fitchburg, MA. Haitian Outreach Update requested that I send a few coloring books to impoverished children on Haili.

Cover design by Cindy Dyer

Cover design by Cindy Dyer

I learned that there are no monarch butterflies on the Island. I thought the children would get a lot of pleasure from the coloring books. The organizers said they had donation of crayons.

Can you image being so impoverished that a child doesn’t even have a coloring book? Imagine a child’s joy when the pages are opened in the book and a big beautiful butterfly is ready to be born and colored.

Great Joy can be waves of positive energy make the World a better place, when we do something for some one else or another species be it plant, insect or animal.

Writing and Community Events

This weekend I was busy writing an article for a new magazine. I don’t want to talk about it at present, at least until the quarterly magazine is published.

That was fun.

My Name is Butterfly

My Name is Butterfly

I will be selling one of my books, My Name is Butterfly, Farmers Market at Fitchburg Art Museum.

February 7, 4 pm – 7 pm

The Monarch Butterfly Coloring Book is on order. The winter event is an interesting time for food shoppers and crafters alike. There is always something new and exciting happening at the museum. Nick Capasso, Director, will be greeting visitors. Capasso recently came on board and wants to get to know the community. 

I feel pretty confident that Vee Lashua, organic farmer, will be selling award winning chili. I tried it last month and I am coming back for more.  It is absolutely delicious. Wish I had more details. I heard there might be music, but don’t hold me to it.

If you are in the area, stop on by. FREE admission to Fitchburg Art Museum on First Thursday. What a wonderful opportunity to  come out and enjoy art, culture and to support our local farmers. Kindred spirits meet each; old friends enjoy meeting new people.

Local farmers support local food security. 


by Susan Engebrecht

Roadways and water lead to a tract of land where plants,
people, birds, and butterflies gather.
Sounds of traffic and beach laughter drift through
this windowless sanctuary.
Under the roof of a blue or rainy sky
joy, color, life, and remembrances are shared.
Herbs, flowers, and tree weave tapestries
that flutter in this wall-less place.
The pock-marked floor is patterned
with human and wildlife footfalls.
The four direction rocks act as anchors while
benches of stone and wood offer rest.
Land blessed by human tradition and nature
offers sanctuary to all that enter.

Republished with copyright permission from Happy Tonics, Inc.

The Sanctuary by Audrey Scharmen

Lobilia cardinalis

Lobelia cardinalis copyright Cindy Dyer

Potomac Review, Fall/Winter 2001-02.

Audrey Scharmen and Mary Ellen Ryall are butterfly and cardinal flower friends.

In the aftermath of lighting, thunder and a heavy downpour with the horizon streaking rose and mauve, tall silhouettes of trees encircle a dooryard garden where the cardinal flower stands amid a bed of her offspring. She is regal and rainsweet, unbowed by the storm, each scarlet spike of florets beaded with diamond droplets aglitter in the fading light.

Lobelia cardinals, older than time, symbol of hope and continuity in an era when both are precarious, has chosen this garden of an herbalist and healer as a sanctuary. Here are boneset, lion’s foot and agrimony. Argiope spins silver among catsclaw and zebra grasses where winged Luna and Promethea linger to meditate and metamorphose. Here is a strident chorus of tree frogs and birdsong, the fecund scent of a generous season, and the subtle fragrance of white sage burned in an ancient ritual of welcome.

The gardener, who presides with the blessings of the natural world, describes an entourage of daddy longlegs spiders that came to spread a net about the cardinal’s buds when predators threatened. The spiders quietly retreated when the first flowers opened and the plant remains flawless. She tells of hummingbirds who came to pollinate-among the few winged creatures able to penetrate the deep nectar of the florets-and of a fat bumblebee who sleeps nightly amid the blossoms.

     And she tells of the cardinal’s coming. To this thickly wooded acreage that she has long tended in the watershed of a great estuary, where precious fossils of an inland sea abound, and where relics of Piscataway Indians who once hunted here lie all about, have come uncommon botanicals, seeking refuge from the constant threat of progress. But her garden lacked a cardinal flower, an elusive plant she coveted.

     It is a stunning survivor of the warm period that preceded the glacial epoch-its flowers so intense a hue the leaves often are stained with it. It is said that no color due to sustained sunlight could have originated in our temperate zone. Thus its birth has been traced to the Age of Flowers, to a sudden violent explosion that changed the face of Earth. The cardinal indeed may have been present at the creation.

The gardener’s efforts to transplant such a flower had been futile and she had gone in search of it in a woodland beside the bed of a brook in a nearby glen protected by dense undergrowth and tall trees. Stalks of summer things spoke of a secret garden, and she thought it an ideal place for the cardinal, a wetland plant with an aura of the rain forest, which craves a secluded habitat where it may keep its feet wet and its head crowned with sunlight. Hidden beneath a residue of autumn past were infant seedlings resembling those of the cardinal-flat green rosettes of leaves with baby fuzz still intact. But she was uncertain so she would return later when jewelweed and goldenrod bloom, in the time of the cardinal.

Fate intervened. A few weeks later four young people died instantly in a head-on collision beside the road that borders the woodland, steps away from a trail that leads down to a haven of seedlings. An entire community mourned and the crash site became a shrine. Candlelight vigils were held there and paper roses bloomed beside a white cross with photos of four smiling faces forever sixteen. The gardener considered the glen a temporary haven for the transitory souls of the children and so she did not return.

Autumn faded; winter turned quickly cruel and the wilted roses shed red on newfallen snow. Spring came early with clouds of dogwood to grace the shrine. Chaste stars of Bethlehem shone on the hillside and burgeoning foliage hid the path beyond from the eyes of passerby. Summer followed long and sweltering. No rain fell and the wetlands withered.

With late summer came rain, the heat subsided, Virginia creeper and sumac bled scarlet beside the road and white blossoms of autumn clematis covered the carnage of drought. A semblance of peace came to the shrine and the gardener returned to the glen. But the cardinal hadn’t come. Black eyed Susans bloomed in its place.

In early September it appeared in her garden-rising from tall stalks of feverfew and ferns beside the porch, undetected until a bright beacon of buds reviewed the presence. A rare albino deer had come, as well, to linger briefly at the woods edge, pale and ghostly in the blue twilight. Hummingbirds returned-none had been seen all that summer.

There is no explanation. Perhaps a single seed, dormant for centuries nurtured by one of many springs known to lie deep beneath the unique woodland, suddenly had awakened. It was the cardinal’s time.