The Elegant Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak, often the first butterfly to appear

March 14, is National Learn About Butterflies Day. Have you seen a butterfly yet? A perfect reason to go for a walk, to look for butterflies. On sunny March days it is possible to see Mourning Cloaks even in northern North America and southern Canada.
The Mourning Cloak is often the first to appear and lives in most of North America. This large ( 3-4 inch wingspan)) elegant velvety butterfly is a real treasure. They often overwinter hidden in bark or woodpiles. Tree sap is their food source, and willows, elms, birch and aspens are hosts for their caterpillars. Mourning Cloaks often live longer than other butterflies with a life span of 10 to 11 months, and even after sleeping all winter they are beautiful. Let me know if you spot one.

Reading and watching list:

Butterfly: A Life | National Geographic – Bing video

How to Attract Butterflies (joyfulbutterfly.com) 

National Learn About Butterflies Day – Things Everyone Should Know (nationaldaystoday.com)

10 Fascinating Facts About Butterflies (thoughtco.com)  

10 Tips for Attracting Butterflies to Your Backyard (thoughtco.com)

The Hill We Climb

Amanda Gorman

We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be—a country that is bruised, but whole, benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain, if we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.” Amanda Gorman

And more:

Madam Vice President Harris

We, the successors of a country and a time,

Where a skinny black girl,

Descended from slaves and raised by a single mother,

Can dream of becoming president

                                                                                        Amanda Gorman

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover. … The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light. If only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

January Hope

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
― Abraham Lincoln

“Our democracy isn’t about any individual, even a president—it’s about you”  Barack Obama

Special days in January: It is a historic month for the United States, giving us all hope! Let’s start by telling the truth, being kind, and working for justice.

January 5, Senate elections in Georgia

January 6, Congress meets to certify votes for the new U. S. president

January 7, 1789, The first U.S. election for president was held

January 8, Clean off your desk day!

January 14, Bald Eagle Day

Bald Eagle
Symbol of the United States

January 15, Martin Luther King’s Birthday

January 18, MLK Holiday

January 20, Inauguration Day, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are sworn in as president and vice president of the United States.

From the Actions for Happiness group ideas for January 2021:

How can we be happier in 2021? Things have been really tough over the last year and we’re still in difficult and uncertain times. This January, we’re encouraging everyone to focus on small daily actions to create more happiness for ourselves and others. We can’t change the situation, but we can choose to show kindness and respond positively whenever possible.

 

Look For The Good!

Thank you, and be Safe!

Thank you for those who work for healthy communities.

2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and more challenges lie ahead as we confront more sickness and deaths from Covid-19.  As a community  we need to work everyday to take care of those around us. We are all in this together, and as individuals, families and communities it is necessary and important to follow the rules so everyone is safe. Our freedoms are not being infringed upon as we work together as a community for one big effort. Cooperation make us one. I am surprised on my walks to see groups or children wearing masks as they run around and play outdoor games together. Do they want to wear masks as they play outside? I am sure they are thankful to have each other, and be outside with their friends.

thank you
Live each day with gratitude and look for the good.

I wake up each day with gratitude for a new day, my family, friends, the sunshine, and the beauty of the Earth. I am thankful for the healthcare workers, mail carriers, and people who work with positive energy for peace and justice.  Look for the good, it is there! I know I am lucky, and I hope you are lucky too!

I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness–It’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” Brene Brown

Yes, we are tired of stay safe rules , but I thought this was a very comprehensive list, and I hope you might get some new ideas. I copied it from an article in Ecowatch.com  Please be safe and look for the good.

  1. Always mask up when indoors and around people who don’t live in your household.
  2. Always mask up when outdoors and unable to maintain physical distancing.
  3. Use either disposable masks or a multi-layer tightly woven cotton mask. Single-layer kerchiefs are insufficient.
  4. When you mask up, make sure it fits your face and covers both nose and mouth. Wash or sanitize your hands after touching or removing the mask.
  5. Remember that masks are not a substitute for physical distancing.
  6. Maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others outside of your household.
  7. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  8. Avoid motions that transfer organisms from your hands to your face. Your mouth, nose and eyes have mucous membranes that are potentially receptive to these organisms.
  9. Clean frequently touched surfaces. Wipe-ups are wasteful, use bleach, water with rags instead.
  10. Do as much as possible outside and keep interactions with others short.
  11. Fortify ventilation systems for more frequent air exchanges. Air should be coming from the outside!
  12. Curtail in-person holiday celebrations with those not in your household

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

International Day of Peace

Peace
Peace

The 2020 Peace Day Theme: Shaping Peace Together Celebrate the International Day of Peace by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred. 

Join me to spread PEACE together. Take 3 breaths everyday to inhale peace to yourself, and exhale peace to all. Together we can Love the world to Peace

Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream, a song by Simon and Garfunkel

Last night I had the strangest dream I’ve ever known before… I
dreamed that all the world agreed to put an end to war… I dreamed
I saw a mighty room… the room was filled with men… and the papers
they were signing said they’d never fight again. And when the papers
were all signed, and a million copies made, they all shook hands and
bowed their heads and greatful prayers were prayed… and the people
in the streets below were dancing round and round… while swords and
guns and uniforms lay scattered on the ground… Last night I had the
strangest dream I’ve ever known before… I dreamed that all the world
agreed to put an end to war…

Take 3 breaths everyday to inhale peace to yourself, and exhale peace to all. Together we can Love the world to Peace

Take 3 breaths for peace

Altruistic August!

spread a ripple
smile!

Kindness and smiling create a ripple, spread them now!

Smile: A Poem by Spike Milligan
Smiling is infectious,
you catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin. When he smiled I realized I’d passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth.
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected. Let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!

Become mindful how your actions affect others? Smile, turn down the music, sweep instead of leaf blow, turn off your car instead of idle, pick up litter,  control your dog, follow the driving rules, and wearing an a mask is an act of kindness. Thirty-one actions below for acts of kindness:

During August the idea is to do one or more acts of kindness daily. Let’s spread a wave of kindness all around the world. 

 

July Kindness

Acts of kindness are very powerful!” Sonja Lyubomirsky

kindness
Kindness creates a ripple, spread it now.

Science is finding that being kind pays off. New studies show kindness makes people healthier and happier. Kindness can stop some illnesses, and could create more antiviral genes. What could be better during a pandemic?  So smile, donate your time and  money, help others, and wear a mask.

Here are some science based ways kindness is good for your health.

The Action For Happiness calendar is below. Make July better than the past 4 months, and stay healthy.

 

A Magical Time on Lake Superior

swallow tail butterfly
Swallowtail butterfly

June can be the best time of the year for pollinators. In northern Wisconsin and Minnesota it is an awesome time for seeing bees, and butterflies! Within two minutes I observed monarchs, swallowtails, sulphurs, northern crescents, painted ladies, dragon flies, and many skippers and bees on a small patch of hawkweed and daisies.

Hawkweed
Orange Hawkweed

Everyone comments about the beautiful lupine near Lake Superior, and it is beautiful to human eyes. If you look closely, very few butterflies and bees crave lupine like they crave Canadian anemone, blooming chives, wild geraniums, blooming trees, forget-me-nots or daisies. The blooming plant that has surprised me the most this year is the orange hawkweed. It is not a native plant, but the butterflies love it.

Female American Redstart

It’s not the best time of the year to see birds, but if you can recognize their songs they bring constant musical joy. The song sparrow, chestnut sided warbler, and a pair of red starts joyfully sing all day.

Lupine on Lake Superior

As long as the sun shines the birds, bees and butterflies seem oblivious to the battle taking place on the big lake. The cold lake ties to dominate the warm tropical winds from the south, and the temperature can fluctuate from 60 degrees to 80 degrees every few minutes. It’s fascinating and refreshing!
The days are long in these northern climes with the sun setting past 9pm and twilight lasting beyond 10pm. No matter where you live get outside and enjoy the marvelous butterflies of summer, in a few weeks they will be gone!

Good News from 2019

And from Future Crunch 99 good news stories:

https://futurecrun.ch/99-good-news-2019

Good news gives me hope and I hope these stories give you hope for 2020!

The two stories from 2019 that give me most hope are the leadership of Greta Thunberg, climate activist, and Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand.