Its been a busy time this summer – I haven’t had time for arts and crafts- except for two qaspeqs. I want to share some pictures of my outdoor adventures in Fairbanks and the Kuskokwim Delta to make up for the times I haven’t posted. I start with a flower that is a must have berry, cloud/salmon berry. I rarely see these flowers bloom;
Low bush cranberries – I love the color;
If you have cold you just can’t get rid of – the whole plant helps get rid of coughing cold. The Cotton trees got chomped on by an engineering beaver on the Tanana River;
I found a fat Stink Weed/Worm Wood that is medicinal;
And when you are out and about – there are frightened birds that fly off when you get too close to their nests;
Trees that make you feel small and trees that can make a sauna hotter than your oven;
I just remembered that I had nature do its course in removing the hair from a spotted seal for some kind of art work in the winter;
The skin required a lot of rinsing with water. When I went out for an adventure and found a neat creek that washed the silt to the side;
I am puzzled by nature’s beauty. Nature can take its course in all directions;
Rotting from the inside and the wind cracked it to the ground. The week that I adventured was great and just before the fires broke out;
The fish have already begun their treacherous journey to spawn for new generations of fish and some were caught for winter food;
I like to make fish soup like my mom. We have something fish almost everyday. Something like this: half dried, smoked, fermented, baked, grilled, caviar, salted, pickled, and in soup!
Then the fire season arrived in the midst of fireweeds blooming;
The smoke was bad so we stayed home most evenings. So I decided to try out a different modern qaspeq;
Even in the midst of smoke, nature speaks louder;
When subsistence regulation hinder the time for harvest – those that wait will eventually catch up with the rest. Patience is hard. My mom reminded us the advice from grandfather William Lomack and it stayed with my father and then to my brother, Quyana;
Fish camp was extremely hot during the day and we were cautious not to cook out smoked salmon. July 9 was way too hot. We drove 3-4 hours down the Kuskokwin River with t-shirts and life vest the whole way. Along the way, we saw dead floating pike and salmon. On our return to Akiachak/fishcamp – we came across a salmon with bulging eyes trying to stay alive. My great-niece thought it was a frog and then realized that it was a fish. When I was her age, we had never heard or seen anything like that;
My heart was pounding at the sight of this dying salmon. On the shores of Akiachak and all over the river, we saw salmon that died from the heat wave.
Before we found out about dying salmon, we had a blast of berry picking for cloud/salmon berries on the tundra. The water and land gave us nourishment for us. Why should we ignore the climate change?
I end this portion of the blog with these two pictures. Old and new salmon berry plant and young boy reaching out to a plant;