I was able to hear a talk by Tim Ryan a CSKT member and owner of EthnoTech, dedicating to teaching and preserving his tribes ancestral way of life. He discussed tribal seasonal rounds and traditional tools as indigenous knowledge. I was fascinated to feel and tug on rope he made from the dogbane plant. It is exciting he can relate the cultural importance to one of the strongest fibers that is very useful. He spoke at a Wetlands to Watershed conference Janene was a part of, I’m glad I made time to make it on Monday because I learned great knowledge.

I hope to come across Tim agin in the future..he has tons to teach!




This was on Sunday sitting along the Flathead Lake. When we first got there there was no sign of a fire and one hour later the signs were larger than what is seen in this picture. It really amazed me how smokey and dark the sky got so fast. James one of the guys working with the BIA fire program this summer here at SKC told me that this fire has been contained which is great.




I really enjoyed the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana. It was filled with wonderful rich history. It was great to see significant pictures regarding some of the current place names on the reservation, old pictures of families etc. I walked over to the patio of the restaurant next door and this is the view. I love this picture I was able to catch with the bird flying.



On our way to Yellowstone we made a stop to Lewis & Clark Caverns and took a tour down into the caves. It was a perfect stop and it was an enjoyable time checking out the caves. It was my second opportunity seeing caverns so I am really grateful we went. This week I am spending my time in the computer lab inputting data and writing my paper. Hope you are all enjoying your summer!



A sight I will always keep in my short term memory. It was such a miraculous place to be for me and all my senses were being influenced. The thermal heat was being blown at high speeds with the misty smell of warm sulfuric mineral water. For a few minutes the beautiful colors would be blocked by the steam and when the wind calmed this is what my eyes would see. I am grateful for this first trip to Yellowstone, it was a very nice introduction to the area.


This amazing mimic was the highlight on my field day out at one of the Hell Roaring sites. I had never seen such a fuzzy mimic that looked so bumblebee like. The first give aways are the big fly eyes, bees are more elongated and on the side of their face. Also bees have longer antenna than flies, this flies antenna are little stubs. The wings are so impressive, they look so much like bee wings…so this little creature is a FLY not a bee…natural mimicry at its finest!



Dennis made me laugh hard as I turned around and got this view of him. Its a lichen mustache..I believe it is Bryoria fremontii which is common at the sites, it is also culturally significant. Native people of the Rookies used this lichen as a winter food staple and as an emergency food. Cooked with wild onions, roots and bulbs and dried into cakes then boiled with berries roots or meat. It is also an important winter food staple for Native wildlife. The fungus is some kind of Ascomycota and I think it is a jelly fungus, sometimes called deadmans fingers. It was nice lichen and fungus kinda day.


Reina de Abejas

This is a reina de abejas ( a queen bee) she was on a rock at the North Crow site. She was beautiful large and fluffy like a queen should be, I’ve noticed when the queens are out of their nests they move slower and relax more whereas a worker or drone do not settle on objects other than flowers. She is some species of Bombus. I’m really loving spending time with bees on the daily. The shirt I’m sporting was given to me at the Arlee Powwow by the Spectrum folks at University of Montana. A few of us spent the day volunteering at the Stream table and hanging out with the kids.




I need to catch up so I apologize for bombarding you all..all at once. I have been spending tons of my time out in the field at the four sites. The white bunched flower is Spiraea betulifolia that is very common at the sites and the bees love it. The little pink flower in the middle is Chimaphila umbellata commonly known as pipsissewa. Both of these plants are culturally significant and the bees love them! I need to find out the information regarding the white bunched flower. Native people use the pipsissewa leaves raw or boiled with the roots as a tonic of vitamin C. Tea is used as a remedy for fluid retention, kidney and bladder problems and fever and coughs.

Native plants, their beneficial uses and their users are awesome 🙂



A beautiful fully bloomed beargrass flower at a field site. The clear Flathead Lake water, went for a swim it was icy cold but it was such a peaceful swim. I kayaked for my first time with my housemate Thea, Alfred was kind enough to bring and let us play with his kayak! I loved spending time on the lake and want to do it again, it gets deep a few feet in.

A beautiful place on Earth :)

Going to Glacier Park was such an exceptional experience for me. It was so nice visiting a place I had seen on Pintrest so many times and could only imagine how it was. Being there in person was so wonderful and a reminded of how great life is. Every direction the eye can see is just breathe taking…one of the greatest scenery I have had the good fortune to experience 🙂 I hope to go back again during my time in Montana. Glad I got a nice picture in front of the sign too!


Research breaktime

A photo of one of my great dorm mates Thea and I taking a short break to fit in a good laugh while out at the same site the bumblebee nest experience was…I’m really glad I was able to snap quick enough to catch her kissy face…we’ve been working hard and enjoy ourselves just as much 🙂

It has been a great first two weeks of the internship sharing a living space with Ana & Thea, thanks for being nice ladies to be around!


Native Bumbles

I found an underground bumblebee nest while out checking out one of the USGS huckleberry productivity site at the Jetty site. It seemed to have been disturbed by wildlife tracks that exposed the hole which is probably why we were able to witness this because it is tough to find the underground nests. I was very happy we could witness this just by chance and did not excavate to try and find them, the queen was flying around and went in and out a few times. Running into these amazing creatures hard work inspired me to continue to put together a proposal to spend time learning about flowering plants and pollinators this summer.


1st week @ SKC

Week one here at SKC has been wonderful. An evening visit to Kerr dam, Séliš, Ksanka and QÍispé Dam (tribal name) was great for taking pictures and was a nice workout walking up and down the 300 something stairs to the lookout point. The glacial melted water is such a beautiful aqua color. On Friday the boat ride to Bull Island on Flathead Lake was such an experience and tranquil,Corky a local Native elder and gifted artist reminded us of the artists we all are by walking us through a creative activity.

Moving onto week 2 with positivity, happiness and good feelings 🙂