Category Archives: News

Summer Update 2016

What a summer it has been so far! Wet and wonderfully lush; when the clouds fill the sky and rain descends, it is easy to smile and lift our hearts in gratitude.

We felt the peak of the summer season right around the solstice, back almost a month ago. The intensity and fullness of life was felt on all sides, culminating in a joyous and deeply nourishing Fairy and Human Relations Congress. It is funny to count all the different people who have commented to me that they felt skeptical about the Congress, concerned it was just an “airy-fairy” event, only to remark that the the Congress was a life-changing experience focused on communication & relationship with nature, understanding and working with the natural intelligence in all life.

Our lives are so tied to the cycles and seasons here – just a few days ago we noticed that the song-birds have once again started to migrate back whence they came. The morning symphonies and evening revelries have quieted some, although the brightly colored western tanagers still flit among the trees, and a nest of tiny new-born fly-catchers sits perched on the bottom limb of the apricot tree. We’ve taken to whistling when we pass the tree, cautiously gathering the golden jewel-like orbs (ripe apricots!) that have fallen to the ground; at first the mother would alarm and fly about to distract us from her precious babes, however now we are just part of the peaceful scenery, and feel the grace that is trust from a wild creature.

We are working to preserve the harvest, especially gathering and drying all the different medicinal flowers, herbs and seeds for making herbal tinctures, elixirs, and teas to last us through the cold time to come. Bags and jars of calendula, chamomile, milky oat tops, borage, and yarrow abound. We are canning cherries, apricots and black currants, and enjoying our share of pies, cobblers, and jams.


I am working on the next issue of “From the Pines”, our in-house newsletter. This month I am delighted to share an interview with Danielle Creeksong, a gifted healer and conduit for Nature and Nature Intelligence; as well as I am pleased to be able to publish original poetry composed here at Skalitude, courtesy of participants of PeerQuest’s Cascadia quest, this past June. Stay tuned and connect with us! We are looking forward to profound and nurturing fall and winter retreats.

North Cascade Institute at Skalitude

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis past week the lodge and land were filled with the vibrant, vivacious energy of the North Cascade Institute graduate students, led by program director Joshua Porter.  The group made Skalitude their home-base for a week-long winter program here in the Methow Valley. The students explored the diverse arena of winter skills and knowledge – tracking, shelter building, avalanche safety, just to name a few – all the while enjoying amazing spring skiing right here in the hills flanking Skalitude’s meadow. With sunny warm days and frigid clear nights, the snow pack is still very present, offering a soft top layer for excellent day-time Nordic and alpine touring conditions. With fingers crossed, we hope to see this last as we head into March!

Thursday night we had a special visit from Methow Valley astronomer David Ward. He shared his comic wisdom with us and the NCI students – pointing out constellations, nebula, the Andromeda galaxy, and the glowing light of Jupiter as it rose in the Eastern sky. Those utilizing the spotting scope were lucky enough to view one of Jupiter’s moons.

Friday night was dinner at the snow-camp; the students built many different shelters, as well as a beautiful outdoor kitchen compete with sculptures and a center island for food prep, all out of snow. Dinner and fellowship were shared under the stars, and while we headed back to the cabin and a warm bed, everyone else snuggled into their sleeping bags for a restful night inside their hand-built abodes.


At their departure this morning, we feel we have made wonderful new friends, and are left with fond memories and the echoes of laughter in the meadow.  Thank you Joshua and all the North Cascade Institute grad students!  We look forward to seeing you again!