May 2020 Photo Round Up!

While questions swirl around the phases of re-opening, fingers are crossed for summer adventures and the return of Fall programming. Navigating so many unknowns is a stressor we’ll be happy to put behind us—but fresh air, sunshine, and birdsong are welcome therapy. Come along on this month’s installment of photos by Institute staff, showing how we get by with a little (or a lot) of quality time outside.

Out and About

Sticking to their safe groups, plucky Institute staff prove they’re up for  adventures on land and on water, in boots and in good company.

Emily, Jessica, and Alexa picking up litter along Highway 20 while it was closed to traffic.
Returning from her visit to lend a hand at the Environmental Learning Center, Jodi stops for a waterfall break.
Alexa has a close encounter on North Cascades Highway. Photo by Emilee Carpenter
Katie’s dreamlike capture of the gorgeous views to be found in the Methow Valley area.

Calvin and company get out on the water for a birthday paddle.
Mountain School staff summiting Mount Saint Helens.

April Showers Bring May … Mushrooms?

Fall isn’t the only season for fungi. Spring’s rainy mornings and sunny afternoons create the ideal conditions for mushrooms and their loyal seekers.

Turkey Tail. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Coral fungi. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Kim spots her first morel mushroom!
Morel mushrooms. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Oyster mushrooms. Photo by Kim Nelson.
Who can identify these mysterious forms? Woodland Pinedrops? Comment below! Photo by Alexa Brandt


A quick check-in on what’s happening in our backyards shows that while May reaps the rewards of April’s work, we also have a few cases of the lazies.

Seedlings in Julie’s greenhouse are ready to take their turn in the garden.
A tiny farmer surveys the pasture at Julie’s house.
Lewis takes a lazy view of gardening.
Craftswoman and green thumb Deven built and planted garden beds while on furlough.
Toulouse keeps an eye on progress as Deven works in the garden.
Calvin’s new addition to the flock, a rooster named George, already rules the roost.
The rest of Calvin’s flock is looking fine in feathered fashion.

Meanwhile Upriver

While the Environmental Learning Center patiently waits to re-open its doors, deer happily graze undisturbed along campus walkways and Elvis hops about looking for someone to shadow. Inside you might smell fresh paint, evidence that a host of back-burner projects are seeing their day thanks to our flexible and creative crew!

A quiet stroll through campus. Photo by Katie Manz
Who knew we even had a “campus closed” sign? Photo by Jodi Broughton
Locals keep the landscape trimmed. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Elvis gives the camera his best angle. Photo by Katie Manz
Empty seats await the much hoped for return of Mountain School in fall. Photo by Katie Manz
A deep calm abides over the reflection of Thunder Arm on Diablo Lake. Photo by Christian Martin
How ’bout those ears? Photo by Jodi Broughton
Diablo Dam and Pyramid Peak at sunset during the highway and park closures. Photo by Christian Martin

More Beautiful Blooms

We continue to delight in wildflowers this month as a wave of new blooms take their turn. Check out for naturalist notes on these and other flora.

Spring Beauty. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Arrowleaf Balsamroot. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Red Columbine. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Large Leaved Lupine. Photo by Alexa Brandt
Common Red Paintbrush. Photo by Molly Harrigan
Wild violets. Photo by Elle Gasperini

Bear Sighting and Safety

And finally a great video from Christian Martin of a black bear enjoying the lush grass on the shoulder of North Cascades Highway. Several bear were seen along the highway during its extended closure, a time that gave wildlife a break from the pressures of human visitors. If you travel over the recently re-opened highway, please go slow and watch out for animals as they adjust to the return of travelers.

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. Steve

    What great photos! Thanks so much very sharing these with us!

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