Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20th, 2011

We surprise a sweet herd of grazing deer!

It is Monday, and we have an early afternoon appointment in Oliver.  We set off to travel the Richter Pass Highway.  It is not a road for dallying, but I have the camera 'at the ready' and manage to snap a few pictures of the Lower Similkameen Valley before we start to ascend the Richter Pass, over the mountains into the
Okanagan Valley.....Charles notes the lack of run-off in the Similkameen River, and shakes his head at the thought of the results of a sudden hot spell which would bring the mountain streams in a race to fill the river bed.

Before we make the turn to Osoyoos we pass Mount Chapaka, straddling the border between British Columbia  and Washington, and remember visiting Charles' sister and her husband where they were camped on the far side of the mountain, fishing at a lovely little remote lake.

We speed along through the Richter Ranch 

and I catch a picture of the old, winding take-it-easy road that we used in our early days in the Similkameen, and upon which my prairie bred father clung to his seat when he accompanied Charles to a meeting at the other end of the old mountain 'trail'.

we pass Spotted Lake, which is looking quite colourful, and and beautiful with it's white ringed circles of different hues

Over the top, and into the Okanagan Valley, and Osoyoos in the distance, which is 
where we turn north to Oliver

Business finished, Charles very sweetly abandons the fast highway and we turn to go up into the hills, 
through the Willowbrook community and every onwards to come out at Twin Lakes and there, just around the corner, is the construction line-up!!!  But what a lovely drive we have had
on this quiet country road.

There are lots of small holdings along with larger ranches and rocky outcroppings

Eventually we come to the perimeters of the White Lake Radio Astrophysical Observatory

whereupon a sudden snow squall sweeps down upon us and our first pictures of the
Observatory are shrouded in mist and snow

the storm carries on its way. the sky clears and we are able to see the large dishes which scan the heavens for signs and portents.

We note that besides being the home of this famous observatory the land also shares accomodation with
the Sage Thrusher, and we keep our eyes peeled, but see none

We continue along the road to Twin Lakes

and as we turn a corner we come upon the most delightful scene -
a dozen white tail deer, grazing the tender new green grass, 
quite oblivious to us, except for one curious doe who raised her head
in friendly fashion.

I am so excited about seeing these lovely creatures and we linger, watching them feed.

Eventually we think about the timing of the construction line-up and continue on our way past the golf course, where once we enjoyed eternal frustration.

Into the breech once more, waiting for the long line of cars to move past the mammoth machinery, through the dust and the rocks on the road.  I spy a hawk, hovering overhead, and try to get a decent picture,
but alas, to no avail.

At home our visiting son, David, captures a picture of a sharp shinned hawk who has come to terrorize the
little birds and stayed to pose.

as well as two blackbirds, sitting side by each on a distant branch.

All in all, a really perfect day, - most satisfactory for my soul.  The kind you say 'thanks' for......


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Thank you for sharing your lovely day -- beautiful views and such enjoyable reminiscences. I got a kick out of the story of your prairie-bred father on those mountains. I bet they scared him! (We've met a few people on our travels who refuse to travel in the West because they are afraid of our mountains. And that's with today's roads!)

Barb said...

The Similkameen is greening, Hildred! Is your clematis up yet? I remember it from last year when my own puny one here in Denver barely flowered. I also remember that Spotted Lake - so unusual. Lovely drive with you and Charles pointing out the sights.

Lady Fi said...

What stunning countryside and mountains... looks like paradise in your photos!

Reader Wil said...

That was a great tour! Thank you! You live in such beautiful surroundings that any visitor will enjoy a hike in it. Your wildlife is so much more exciting than ours, with geese, ducks, swans and coots!!
Have a great Easter weekend.

Riet said...

What a beautiful country you live in. Thak you for sharing all your photo's with us. Happy Easter

Willo said...

Riding along with you and Charles was good for my soul as well. Your pictures are an Easter gift.

Andrea said...

Hello Hildred and Charles, thanks for visiting my site. Your post here seemed to be a very long but wonderful drive. The mountains are spectacular even without the much needed trees. I specially love that awesome designs in the Spot Lake. Thanks for guiding us through.