Every Sunday I will be posting photos collected from various NCI graduate students and staff. Please enjoy this glimpse into our everyday lives here in the North Cascades.
Photos by Kay Gallagher
The appearance of the sun at the North Cascades Institute Environmental Learning Center, has been a rare treat this spring. Last weekend, we had a few beautiful days of sunshine and everyone went out to soak up that vitamin D! Our on-campus graduate students kicked off their Easter with a gorgeous paddle around Diablo Lake.
A rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus). Photos by Kay Gallagher
This little one and some friends have been hanging around the lilac bush in front of graduate housing in Diablo, anxiously waiting for it to bloom. Fun fact: a group of hummingbirds can be called a shimmer, a charm, a bouquet or a hover!
Beaver signs near Cascade River. Photos by Calvin Laatsch
Conference and Retreats Coordinator, Calvin Laatsch, saw some pretty distinct beaver markings on this tree along the Cascade River in Marblemount. Beavers, (Castor canadensis) cut down trees, shrubs and other available vegetation for food and building material. Beavers are considered ecosystem engineers – their dams slow the flow of water in a stream, creating wetlands which many native North American fauna species rely on. Dams also slow the movement of nutrient-rich sediment in a stream, causing it to build up in a pond. These sediments not only provide food for creatures who live at the bottom of the pond but also enriches the soil once the water drains away!
This week, Seattle City Light opened a flood gate on Diablo dam to let out excess water from the spring melt. Students walked onto the dam to learn the history of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project and see the water cycle in action. Photo by Angela Burlile
A highlight for many students in the Wolverine trail group was our Sit Spot activity. Done each day, students are asked to find a peaceful place somewhere along the trail and to sit silently, making observations about the natural world around them. Photo by Angela Burlile
It was a gorgeous, sunny day on Friday and Lincoln Elementary School took full advantage of the clear skies and sweeping views of Pyramid and Colonial Peak for this group photo. Photo by Angela Burlile
Mt. Vernon’s Lincoln Elementary School arrived on Wednesday to participate in our Mountain School Program. Students explore how all parts of the ecosystem are interconnected through lessons and activities on the trails surrounding our Environmental Learning Center.