Week 6

The days are going by way to fast! I feel like summer just started and yet we’re already 6 weeks done with the REU. Having too much fun I suppose. It’s been hard to balance a social life with internship work but I have been managing pretty well. The weather is beautiful, and so I have been trying to get out as much as possible considering we only get 10 weeks of summer in Montana, don’t think I’ve even sat on my couch in a week. There are so many people in town on vacation that the night life has been a blast, tons of live music. Saturday night, I saw the best classic rock cover band ever in Bigfork. This weekend Is the blues festival in Hot springs, which I look forward to. Flowering resources have been changing rapidly, right now we are looking at snowberry and spotted knapweed. The results are not what I expected and kind of throws off my hypothesis but that ok, its good information.

Turtle lake by my house
My dog made friends at Flathead Lake

Week 4

Very busy week, little late to write about it, but it was a good week. Had a blast of a weekend camping, hiking and listening to live music. Our hikes included Holland Lake and falls, and then Morrell Falls, all in the Swan Valley. The live music included many local folk, bluegrass and Americana bands, and weather was just right for camping. Then immediately after the weekend I had family come and stay for the week which made it difficult to get anything productive done. The following weekend, my dad, his girlfriend and I went up to glacier, it was their first time and they were amazement the whole time with the beauty of the scenery and wildlife. Couple of good field day, couple of poor weather days this week. For the most part though, temperature is getting hotter, and flowers are loosing and their bloom while others are just getting theirs. Everything is going so fast and changing so rapidly. I learned that this research would be a lot easier and less time consuming if there were more able bodies to help, but for now we are going two at a time into the field because that is the bare minimum needed for this study. Capturing bees is probably the most fun thing, and our record so far is one that was 27 mm, most likely a Bombus Apositus.

St. Mary’s lake
Morrell Falls
Young grizzly on Going-To-The-Sun-Road.

Week 3

Weather was poor Monday, but it gave me some time to look into research methods and devise one that would work well with my questions and our study area. Luckily Tuesday was nice and so we could get out into Kickinghorse and finally start working on my research methods. Most of the day was still designated to figuring out which method would work best but I think we finally got it hammered out. Established four focal survey plots and did focal surveys for each. Did not get a whole lot of activity though, hoping for more next week. Wednesday was another lab day/ catch up, had to revise my methods section of my paper. Thursday was gloomy and rainy so again couldn’t get out into the field. With all the lack of excitement this week I’m glad I’m going to Seeley Lake, MT tomorrow for a music festival, and to do a bunch of kayaking and hiking hopefully (weather permitting).

One of the sample sites we’ll be monitoring for bumble bees. (Lupinus sericeus)
An osprey munchin on a delicious bass.

Week 1

Glacier was a great success! Orientation and meeting new acquaintances could not have gone better. While I must admit attending classroom seminars in such a pristine wilderness was a little difficult stay seated, I can confess I did learn a lot of great information about what SLAWR represents, goal setting, and grizzly bears. Although the park is only right down the road from me, I had never spent so much quality time there with such great company, the early morning fishing trips were the highlight of my week, especially the one to Rocky Point, which was probably the most beautiful fishing hole I have ever been to. I was presently surprised by the friendliness and great character of the Minnesota teams, and look forward to seeing them again soon.Friday marked SLAW’s first official day in the field. The sites we went to were so picturesque it didn’t feel like we were working. Throughout the day we completed focal surveys, bee captures, plant phenology monitoring, and a rapid site assessments. I’m looking forward to start working on my own research questions next week

Unknown Bombus species

One eyed sphinx moth Smerinthus cerisyi