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Classes & Educational Opportunities

Vacations are meant to entertain for sure, BUT there's nothing quite like that feeling of knowing you've gained a deeper understanding and proficiency at something you are really passionate about. North Cascades Institute offers a variety of seasonal classes including everything from mushroom identification, watercolor painting and photography. Both Voortex Productions and Andy Porter Photography also offer photography classes for beginners through advanced learners, with each putting their own unique spin on the craft.

Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest
The Horan Natural Area
First Friday at the Museum
Coyote’s Corner Free Art Class
Bird of the Week: Red Winged Blackbird
According to the Seattle Audubon Society, Red-winged Blackbirds are widespread and abundant breeders throughout Washington's lowlands. In winter they are often less widespread, but can be abundant along the Columbia River. Many birds in Washington are migratory, and others move to lowlands forming large winter flocks.Red-winged Blackbirds display marked sexual dimorphism. Males in breeding plumage are very familiar birds to many people. They are solid black, with red wing patches. Each patch has a light yellow stripe below, and can be displayed in varying amounts. Female Red winged Blackbirds are… Read More >>>>
North Cascades Photography: Skagit Valley Sunrise
Photographing sunrise requires a bit of luck. You have to decide where to be for the sunrise, and so you go, in the dark, hoping for nice light...Once you're there and the sunrise starts, its usually too late to change locations. Today was one of those exceptions!There are many wonderful vantage points along the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway from which to photograph the Skagit Valley. One of my favorites is Sauk Mountain. The Skagit River loops in broad curves to the west... But this is only a hike for the summer months, access… Read More >>>>
North Cascades Photography: Johnson/Debay Swan Reserve
Skagit Valley is the winter home for Trumpeter and Tundra Swans.  The Johnson'/Debay Swan Reserve, located along Francis Road in Clearlake, is a wonderful place to visit them.The Johnson/DeBay Swan Reserve (JDSR), near Mt. Vernon, Washington, is America’s only swan reserve. Owned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the Reserve was dedicated in 2001 for the public to view wintering Trumpeter and Tundra Swans.There is a parking area and a bench. In the summer it’s quite green!The winter months are not as colorful, but the migrating waterfowl bring the place alive!It’s a… Read More >>>>
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