Miga, feeling like the prettiest flower of all, poses among Arrowleaf balsamroot. Photo by Bec Detrich

Spring 2022 Photo Round-Up!

Where did the time go?? Spring flew by, but not so fast that Institute staffers couldn’t document the very best of how we work, learn, and play together. Thanks for taking some time to appreciate our happy moments!

Curiosities and Creatures

Ask this crew for their favorite photos and you can be sure your inbox will be brimming with surprises. Here is our curio cabinet stacked full of the most fascinating discoveries we collected in nature this spring.

Before returning it to a watery nook, Kim gives us an up-close look at a live barnacle.
The mixed reactions of Hannah, Kari, and Sydney sampling Big Leaf Maple blossoms at the Blue House.
Christian discovered a mossy nest with four tiny Pacific Slope Flycatcher eggs, tucked away in a ladder hanging at his Bellingham home.
Institute board treasurer, George Sanders, captured this family photo of Canada geese and goslings on Diablo Lake during the weekend of our Spring Board Retreat.
Culinary adventures at the Blue House include Hannah’s preparation of pickled magnolia blossoms.
Neal found a HUGE Morel mushroom. Is that for real?? Photo by Hannah Black
Darcie saw ancient petroglyphs at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area near Las Vegas, Nevada.
Hannah paused for a closer look at Scarlet elf cup fungi while trail running along Boulder River.
Spring Snake Count participant, Debbie Smith, shared this photo of Evan making friends with a Methow Valley resident.
The Mountain School team wrapped up their season with an Andy Goldsworthy-inspired reflection. Photos by Alexa Brandt
While kayaking in Takatz Bay on her trip to Alaska, Jodi spotted these brown bears in the wild, munching on grass.
A Banana slug, just doing the important work of seed distribution at Fort Ebey. Photo by Stephanie Friesen
Morel mushrooms popping up among tiny flowers. Photo by Kim Nelson

Spring Wildflowers

And the flowers! Of course, a spring-themed photo gallery is going to be packed with the explosion of color this season ignites.

Spring gold. Photo by Bec Detrich
Wild iris. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Few-flowered shooting stars at Washington Park in Anacortes. Photo by Kim Nelson
Lyall’s Mariposa Lily. Photo by Kim Nelson
Bunch berry, aka Canada dwarf-dogwood. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Pearhip rose on Whidbey Island. Photo by Stephanie Friesen
Big leaf lupine. Photo by Mark Browning
Cherry blossoms. Photo by George Sanders
Calypso orchid, also known as fairy slipper or Venus’s slipper. Photo by Bec Detrich
An especially abundant clutch of Calypso orchids. Photo by Hannah Black
Miga, feeling like the prettiest flower of all, poses among Arrowleaf balsamroot. Photo by Bec Detrich

Strength in Numbers

Everyone say cheeese! This season provided plenty of opportunities for group photos as we worked together to connect people, nature and community.

Hannah, Cam, Matt, Alexa, Sydney, Sarah, Eric, MK and Kari celebrate the achievement of serving 1,300 students in Mountain School this spring!
Evan and former Institute program instructor, Mari Schramm, provided Big Canoe training for Learning Center staff. (Alternative caption: Rock on, Matt!)
Lexi is super serious about Big Canoe training. Photo by Sydney Kahl
Such a great shot of MK, Aislinn, and Kate during Big Canoe training!
Ready for action, the 2022 Youth Leadership Team includes Sarah, Neal, Emily, Sydney, Elle, Mia and Talia.
The Development team hosted Spring Meet & Greets to connect our community of supporters with Executive Director Bec and members of the Leadership team.
Institute board members and staff gathered in person (and on screen) at the Learning Center for a spring retreat.
Our super star Conference & Retreat team, Alexis and Aislinn. Photo by Jodi Broughton
Jodi, Bec, and Kim visited Diablo Lake Overlook together after the Spring board retreat.
Learning Center staff set out in the Big Canoe for a Skagit tour hosted by Kari. “We made it all the way to Ross dam!”
Aislinn and Michael slow down for some strumming in the sun. Photo by Kim Nelson
Sarah, Sydney, and Olivia during an early Spring “teaching and learning” session guided by Julie. Photo by MK Kirkpatrick-Waite
Kate, Sarah, and Sydney foraging along the Cascade River. Photo by Alexis Hager
Our “upriver” community gets cozy around a fire at the Blue House. Photo by Hannah Black


We waste no time taking advantage of the opportunities each new season brings—on land and on water, in boots and in good company.

MK and friends, canoeing on Lake Chelan.
Neal and MK ventured out with Juniper for cross country skiing on Sauk Mountain Road.
As one who regularly visits our Institute-operated gift shops to keep the tech running smoothly, Mark was curious to peek into Golden West Visitor Center on his trip to Stehekin.
Darcie climbing at Red Rock Canyon in southern Nevada.
While exploring an old growth forest, Cam and Hannah pause to ponder what must have been one epic CRRRACK!!
Kari and friends celebrated her birthday at high elevation, ski-touring Ruby Mountain. Photo by Hannah Black
Mountain School crew celebrated the end of season by canoe camping on Diablo Lake.
After days of rain, Jodi and her friend got a bluebird day to kayak just north of Juneau, Alaska.
Jodi kayaking in chilly waters at the foot of Reid Glacier.
Jason captured a more urban shot with Pat in St. Louis where they attended the Public Lands Alliance Conference.

Big Views

With the re-opening of State Route 20 in mid-May, our collection of landscape photos proves staff were eager to take the year’s first trips to the North Cascades’ east side by way of the scenic highway.

A big sky over a “Deep Water”—MK and Juniper at Lake Chelan.
Kim took a trip to Riser Lake near Winthrop.
Mark takes in the long view from the head of Lake Chelan.
Wenatchee River flanked by spring greens. Photo by Mark Browning
Bec and Miga finally got their trip over the pass to experience North Cascadian splendor like this.
Further afield, Jodi visited Sawyer Glacier in Tracie Arm fjord, Alaska—”an amazing sight!”
Jodi captured a rainbow as clouds lift over the still waters at Williams Cove, Alaska.
Hannah provides this update on the condition of the Skagit River shore at the Blue House: “The eddy is reforming in time for summer swimming. We’re all curious how many years it will take to reform a sandy beach [since last November’s flooding].”
A clear morning sky over Pyramid Peak on the weekend of our Spring Board Retreat. Photo by George Sanders
Iona’s photo taken near campus seems to capture that magic feeling we’ve all appreciated at one time on the trail.
And finally, the sun sets on this classic Learning Center view of Diablo Lake. Photo by Iona Werda

Thanks for coming along on another seasonal photo round-up! If you missed the last one, check out our Winter 2021/2022 photos. And as always, you’re invited to share your own adventures with us. Email us at photos@ncascades.org and your pics just might appear in our next round up!


  1. Saul Weisberg

    Fabulous images from a great crew! Thanks for sharing your photos and passion for the North Cascades.

    1. stephanie_friesen

      Thanks so much, Saul! We hope you’ll send us some images to show us what you’ve been up to as well!

  2. christian

    I love seeing what the Institute community is doing up in the mountains, down on the Salish Sea, from the eastside to the westside and points in-between. We know how to work hard AND play hard too!

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