Photo by Kim Nelson

June 2020 Photo Round-up!

This month’s call for photos was met with an enthusiastic response from Institute staff, sharing ample evidence that this group knows how to work hard and play hard. Let’s settle in for a stroll through what we’ve been up to in June!

In Confluence Garden

Tucked into the nook where Diobsud Creek and the Skagit River meet stands the Blue House, home to Institute staff and the ever-evolving Confluence Garden. These fertile grounds support our Foodshed Initiative and serve as an outdoor classroom where learning about sustainable agriculture and land stewardship is a daily practice. This is especially true in June when a long list of organic edibles is thriving under the care of Bernt, Lindsay, Taylor, Bre, and Alexa.

Photo by Bernt Goodson
Photo by Bernt Goodson
Photo by Bernt Goodson
Photo by Bernt Goodson
Photo by Alexa Brandt


Open for Business!

With many of our summer programs suspended we have been working hard to keep doors open wherever we can. Creative and safe solutions for connecting with our community has been a top priority, and opening our gift shop at the Skagit Information Center has been a real achievement during these uncertain times. We’re proud of our amazing staff going the extra mile to make this happen and for working behind plexiglass and face masks to greet visitors with smiling eyes. Please say hello when passing through Newhalem, and browse our recently refreshed online shop at

Photo by Jodi Broughton
Photo by Pat Renau
Photo by Jodi Broughton
Photo by Jodi Broughton
Photo by Pat Renau


Family Getaways at Home

“Phase 2” days have proven we are a crafty and creative bunch as we continue to find healthy ways for our community to enjoy transformative experiences in nature. Among the Institute’s modified offerings like Youth Leadership Day Programs for high schoolers, Mountain School at Home lessons, and the Virtual Skagit Tours interpretive video series, our talented staff has also been busy designing Family Getaways at Home packages to help families connect and learn while exploring local green spaces. Here are Mari and Alexa preparing the prototypes—responsibly and enthusiastically!

Photo by Alexa Brandt
Photo by Mari Schramm


Close Encounters

Mollusks, reptiles, and bears, oh my! Many of us have had amazing and diverse encounters with nature this month. With the power to inspire an array of emotions—from surprise, awe, and befuddlement, to adoration and fear—these brushes with the wild world help us to feel deeply. What do they make you feel?

Deer Fawn. Photo by Erin Henry
Banana Slug. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Sooty Grouse. Photo by Kim Nelson
Garter Snake. Photo by Kim Nelson
Robin chicks. Photo by Katie Manz
Leather Star. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Moon Snail. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Brown bear. Photo by Chris Nelson


Another wave of floral gems is celebrating the onset of summer in the North Cascades and beyond. From common and modest, to elusive and exotic, who can pass by a wildflower without feeling that certain spark of Happy? Follow us at for naturalist notes on these and other flora.

Spotted Saxifrage. Photo by Katie Manz
Lupine. Photo by Katie Manz
Lyall’s Star Tulip. Photo by Kim Nelson
Foxglove. Photo by Katie Manz
Mountain Lady’s Slipper. Photo by Kim Nelson
Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho; Photo by Christian Martin
Photo by Erin Henry


Adventures Near and Far

No photo round-up would be complete without pictures of the gorgeous views and pink-cheeked selfies we snap while seeking adventure and solace in the great outdoors. Institute staff has ranged far afield this month and brought back an array of photos that inspire the thought “where to next?”

Photo by Katie Manz
Photo by Rachael Grasso
Photo by Elle Gasperini
Photo by Jodi Broughton
Photo by Kim Nelson
Photo by Elle Gasperini
Photo by Jason Ruvelson
Photo by Mark Browning
Hot Springs in the River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho; Photo by Christian Martin
Photo by Deven Vilar
Sunset in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho; Photo by Christian Martin
Photo by Kari Paustian

Thanks for coming along on this photo round-up! As always, we invite you to share your own adventures with us—please reach out to us at and your pics just might appear in our next round up!


  1. Carol A Boss

    Thank you for offering this virtual photo tour! The photos made me feel as if I had been on a road trip. The lupines were particularly beautiful and the one of the Sawtooths in ID brought back fond memories of time spent hiking and exploring around Redfish Lake when my family lived in Boise many years ago.

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