A wonderland of wildflowers in Goat Rocks Wilderness. Photo by Deven Vilar

July 2020 Photo Round-Up!

The Faces of North Cascades Institute

July completed our fifth month of being dispersed from the Institute’s downvalley office and upriver Environmental Learning Center. While we’ve become pros at working together remotely, the oft-repeated opener to any virtual meeting has become “it’s so great to see your faces!” And it really is—thanks everyone for sharing your pics!

This smile is clear evidence that Molly is loving her windy excursion on Diablo Lake.

It’s thumbs up and smiley eyes at the Skagit Information Center gift shop with Alexa, Jillian, and Kari.
Calvin and rooster-in-training Reuben (formerly thought to be Ruby).
Elle gets out on the water with local high schoolers as part of Youth Leadership Adventures Day programs.
Jodi models our new Institute face mask while working from her backyard office.
Cara refuels with a well-deserved meal at Green Mountain Lookout.
Mark takes in a beautiful day on the shore of Diablo Lake.
Christian enjoys a quiet camp along the Methow River west of Mazama.
Kayla would like to give you a giant zucchini, or ten—please email Kayla@ILeaveSquashOnYourPorch.com.
Orawan enjoys a day hiking Goat Mountain Trail.
Jillian dressed as J.D. Ross for her upcoming video series about the cultural history of the upper Skagit.
Chris soaks up the calm while floating off Guemes Island.
Katie gets cozy with the Visitor Center’s bears.
It’s double the smiles from happy campers Kim and Luna.
Hiking a portion of Pacific Crest Trail in Goat Rocks Wilderness, Deven pauses for a pic with Mount Adams.
This photo is perfectly captioned by Mom Julie: “Summer is here! Fisher is eating whole melons in response.”


Youth Leadership Adventures Day Programs

Staff throughout the Institute have proven to be an agile bunch by re-creating our many programs, despite the challenges of pandemic days. The Youth Leadership Adventures crew is no exception, conceiving of safe and fun ways for students to gain skills and explore perspectives on local environmental issues. Check out our Flickr collection for more pics of this awesome program.

Session 1 students and staff out for a paddle at Bay View State Park. Photo by Elle Gasperini
Getting to know each other by playing the game “Where the Great Wind Blows”. Photo by Elle Gasperini
Session 2 participants take to the water in Bellingham Bay from Fairhaven. Photo by Elle Gasperini
Students enjoying the sun and a discussion about the power of names at Marine Park. Photo by Elle Gasperini


Flora and Fauna

Watchful eyes and quick triggers captured another batch of fascinating plant and animal pics this month. Our encounters with North Cascadian forest spirits are a favorite subject—if not THE favorite subject—for Institute photographers. It’s no wonder because, as we learn in our first video installment of Phenology with Zoe, we only have some 1,630 plant species to admire!

This blaze of color is a Western Tanager. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
Brilliantly bright and edible sedum. Photo by Katie Manz
Alexa recounts her bear sighting: “This furry friend ran alongside my car on the dam road and then jumped in this tree!”
Prince’s Plume spotted near the Learning Center. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
Assorted fungi along Diablo Lake Trail. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Deven made friends with local marmots Tormund (pictured) and Winston (busy elsewhere) in Goat Rocks Wilderness.
Cascade Azalea at Cutthroat Pass. Photo by Katie Manz
Jodi’s slug sighting prompted a marvelously disturbing exploration into gastropod mating behaviors.
Bunchberry along East Bank Trail at Ross Lake. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Our Learning Center’s resident raven Elvis takes in the rays. Photo by Zoe Wadkins
Several of our Bellingham-based staff have enjoyed discovering Green Mountain Farm at 584 W Smith Road and the delicious u-pick blueberries grown by Tibs. Born in Uganda, this is Tibs’ 2nd summer on the farm, and he couldn’t be happier with his berries and the robust community support! Photo by Christian Martin


Summertime Adventures

July was a beautiful month for all the ways Institute staff likes to get outside on trails and on water, in climbing gear and in tents. If you had trouble getting prompt responses to your emails, these amazing shots will explain the delay! Keep up with Institute adventures and what’s happening in the North Cascades at Instagram.com/ncascades.

Falls Creek Falls just outside Winthrop. Photo by Kim Nelson
A gorgeous day for Molly’s first time hiking the Diablo Lake Trail.
Skagit River at Newhalem. Photo by Alexa Brandt.
Jodi spends the day island hopping by kayak with a friend.
Calvin takes in the views from Eldorado Peak in the North Cascades
Heading down Highway 9 to the South Fork of the Nooksack River, Christian couldn’t be happier with summer life!
Cutthroat Meadow blanketed in wildflowers. Photo by Katie Manz
Pyramid Peak overlooks the seasonal spill at Diablo Lake Dam. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Wind sweeps the water’s surface at Diablo Lake. Photo by Mark Browning
Kayla’s view of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan from Skyline Divide.
A gorgeous day’s end in Goat Rocks Wilderness. Photo by Deven Vilar

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 photos@ncascades.org and your pics just might appear in our next round up!


  1. Julie O'Donald

    These photos brought a smile to the day, they’re beautiful! Is there an NCI calendar in the future?

    Thank you!

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