Weekly Photo Roundup: December 8 2017

Every weekend I will post photos collected from various NCI graduate students and staff. Please enjoy this glimpse into our everyday lives here in the North Cascades.

To start things off, here’s some life advice from the mushroom above:

Be down-to-earth
Know when to show up
Sprout new ideas
Keep a low profile
Stay well-rounded
Understand your connection to others

It felt relevant to me this week, as we transition into winter and see our three-week break in the near future. Graduate students and staff are the only people moving about the North Cascades Institute Environmental Learning Center right now, so things have been quiet. A lot of us are turning inward, as well as venturing outward. We are putting in the time for community-building work to cultivate deeper connections to the Earth, and each other. To me, and I am sure many others, winter signifies a time of reflection, although beauty still exists in the frosty corners of daily life.

To quote John Burroughs:

He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.

Amos Almy, intrigued by a mossy rock off the Diobsud Creek Trail; photo by Montana Napier

Frosty kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi); Photo by Zoe Wadkins

Hoar frost; Photo by Charlee Corra

Some fun frosty doodles by Charlee and Liz Grewal; Photo by Charlee Corra

Snow line; Photo by Zoe Wadkins

Spawning salmon, feasting bald eagles, wild river; Photo by Montana Napier
Frosted fern; Photo by Elizabeth Grewal

Diablo Dam; Photo by Elizabeth Grewal

Darcy Page with Grandmother Cedar at Rockport State Park; Photo by Amy Sanchez

This week the 17th Graduate Cohort briefly visited the high waters of the Skagit River for their “All Cohort” community day.

They also viewed each other’s Natural History project posters hot off the press. To help fellow classmates, each graduate student left positive and constructive feedback on the posters.

Cohort 17 even displayed various “species accounts” from the Place-based Learning course, and acted out each plant, mammal, and bird studied while in the field. It was a fun way to share what we’ve learned together.

Graduate student field journals; Photo by Charlee Corra

Graduate students also engaged in a “Cohort Check-in” to see how we’re doing as a cohort. It was also a space to provide feedback on how we can better align ourselves with our official Community Agreement document, which we drafted during our first few months together. These group check-ins serve as a space for discussion and group reflection.

A post shared by Marissa Bluestein (@bluemrb) on

And lastly, the frost signifies that winter is creeping into Skagit Valley. In the video above, graduate student Zoe Wadkins demonstrates how to chop some wood, another activity that’s becoming a necessity in the up river community.

How are you enjoying these short, chilly days?

Click here to see previous Photo Roundups!

(Top Photo) by Montana Napier

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