It’s still January but about two weeks ago, the weather turned. The temperature crept up, the bit of snow we had started to melt, and the ducks started squawking and flapping. Every day now it’s a little warmer and a little sunnier.
This morning I was out walking and took this photo of Skaha Lake. I’m lucky enough to live across from it and have been watching its moody winter changes this year.
It’s still got some ice over the shallows near the shore, but I don’t think that will last long.
As the Okanagan descends gently into winter, here are a few more views.
On a recent sunny day, M. and I went up to Chute Lake. It almost felt like spring except for that sharp autumn-air quality.
While hiking along a back trail, M. and I found this sign.
If you’re metrically challenged, 4.5 metres is 14.76 feet.
Here’s another view. I had to strain my neck to get this tree in the frame.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “We are all poets when we are in the pine woods.” There are lots of pine forests in this area.
A couple of days ago, M. and I went to the small mountain town of Rossland, BC. It has produced four Olympian skiers including Nancy Green; two NHL hockey players and a prime minister, John Turner. Pretty good for a town of 4000.
Yesterday, M and I went for a hike in Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. It had rained earlier in the day, but when we got started at about one pm, it was bright and sunny with that sharp clarity of fall light.
We hadn’t hiked here before and found ourselves in the midst of a spectacularly yellow aspen forest.
This forest is recovering from a large, ravaging fire that occurred in 2003. It’s amazing to see some surviving giants, seriously scorched at their bases, but still growing.
We climbed through the forest and up to a lookout over Lake Okanagan.
We finished out the day with a drive along an old railway track. This afforded us some impressive views; we were stopping every 10 metres!
The old railway tracks have been removed and the remaining trail is used for hiking, biking, or creeping along in a truck, as we did.
M and I have experienced some additional life stuff lately and so a day like yesterday was truly fabulous!
Apparently, spring has been early, and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it, even when the temperature went up to 30C for a couple of days. It’s more seasonal now, but those warm days ensured that blooms are everywhere, that the hills are verdant, and that lushness prevails. The wine is growing! 🙂
A trip to Vancouver Island wouldn’t be complete without a couple of shots of its iconic coastline. These enormous logs (above) washed up during the terrific surfs that can occur during winter storms. The logs themselves probably escaped from logging pens or “booms.”
The weather was a comfortable 10C with rain showers and a few sunny periods. The rain was a strong reminder of the fact that Vancouver Island is home to ancient “old growth” rain forest. First Nations peoples and many others have worked hard to save these forests from logging companies. Typically, the forests grow right up to the edge of the ocean.
This stump has likely been there for a long time; people have carved their names and initials into its deteriorating surface. I can’t help but wonder if this stump is what was left after the tree was cut down for lumber.
The tree itself must have been very old and very magnificient before it died and its remains were washed into the sea. I couldn’t count the rings because of the surf and also because of how worn it is, but I could see many of them, perhaps a hundred. It’s still magnificient, still standing up to the elements that will eventually take it completely.
M and I went to Vancouver Island for my sister’s internment this week. While there, we said good-bye to my sister while visiting the places she loved on the island where she lived for most of her life.
M and I have been doing lots of walking around our new home in British Columbia’s truly spectacular Okanagan Valley. Lots of wine is produced here and the landscape reflects that. There are moderate, wet winters with very hot summers, great for grapes and all the other types of fruit that are grown here. There’s so much more, however. Here’s a sample:
We are continually oohing, ahhing and wowing as we explore this amazing place.