Monday, February 20, 2012

A morning of intermittent sunshine, blue sky and pussy willows.....

As we have lunch the sun skims over the top of  K mountain and the witches ball 
glows blue and silver

Yesterday was a grey day, but nonetheless we had such a lovely, satisfying afternoon.

Went for a drive, - out of the house, at last!

Took the camera and found colour in the early spring sap
rising in the willows.

in the bare-boned whiteness of an old barkless stump, home to some of the 
wild creatures that live in Ginty's Pond
and vicinity

the willows and the birch trees anticipate spring, and send sustenance up into their branches

while the ducks at the Pond sail into the stillness of the shoreline

the dried grasses will be glowing today in the sunlight, but
yesterday they were beautiful subtle shades of cream and sand
and naples yellow.

the grass on a newly burned slope  is thick and rich until it reaches
the fading remnants of the fire retardant that extinquished the blaze before it consumed
the whole mountain side.

Charles takes a beautiful wintry picture of Keremeos Creek, and is that a 
flotilla of ducks just at the bend, in the distance?

The Similkameen Valley is also known as Eagles' Valley, not only by the First Nations people
but also by those of us who have lived here long enough to appreciate
that this is a habitant of these beautiful birds.

I have written here before, I believe, of how I saw three great eagles circling
the funeral cortage of one of the elder natives (who was our neighbour) as it wound up the valley,
 in the early years 
when we first came here to farm with other Veterans of WW 2

We stopped to take a picture of the story of Eagle Valley that is located in a little turn out
on Highway 3, that runs through the Lower Similkameen Indian Reserve

and an enlargement of the two members of the Band who are pictured here.

We also photographed some of the older houses in Cawston and in the Lower Similkameen,
and we reminisced about one, in particular, which is now in a sad state of disrepair and 
has been empty for decades, but once housed people that we knew, and who were friends.

We passed by ranches where a sweet new crop of calves are awakening to the
wonders of life in this valley and the hills where the ranchers have
pastured them for a hundred and fifty years and more

Finally we passed by a sign which expresses the feelings of those who live in this valley
about a proposed National Park, which is highly favoured by environmentalists in
California and people in Timbuctoo and Europe and other far-flung spots, but threatens the peace
and livelihood of those who farm, and live here.

The very few who are in favour of this National Park put their signs high  on 
telephone poles to keep them comparatively safe from the locals......


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What an absolutely lovely drive Hildred! And you had me at the mention of pussy willows! (I just had to stop reading there for a minute and remember early spring in Oregon.) I do miss "home" in the Spring! No winter here, but consequently no spring!

Hildred and Charles said...

Sallie: There are pluses and minuses in all situations I guess. It's the little stretches between winter and spring that get to me, - February is such a fickle and faint-hearted BLAH month.

Barb said...

So glad that you got out for a drive, Hildred. The trees and shrubs are already putting on their color for spring! I see that your water is open and flowing. Soon you'll be gardening again.

Wanda..... said...

Your pre-spring scenes are lovely, Hildred. I saw in your previous post the mention of Robins; Bluebirds have just returned here, checking out the nesting boxes!

EG Wow said...

Even grey days can be beautiful.

I'm so glad Canada created as many national parks as they did when they did. It's a lot harder to do nowadays. Just saying.

Morning's Minion said...

I'm trying to decide from your photos if the landscape is similar to that of Wyoming where we spent 12 recent years. You seem to have more in the way of trees, but also expanses which look like sagebrush.
At any rate, your photo tour was refreshing. We are so near to spring here in Kentucky--and yet, February has been a dreary month of grey weather. It makes us really look for small splashes of color for photos.

Hildred and Charles said...

Mornings Minion : When we came to the Similkameen in 1951 we were among the first on a veterans' land project, but before we could plant orchards we had to clear the bench land of sage brush. The lower valley bottom is all Indian Reserve land, and our neighbours on the bench had a Reserve given to them by Queen Victoria, - at the time we moved here it their land still had prairie bunch grass on it. The Similkameen is the northern part of southern deserts and is classified as a semi-desert, - luckily there are vast amounts of water underground so irrigation has made it into viable orchard and vineyard land.

I do like your blog name, - Mornings Minion, - I think of Hopkins each time I see it. When I was weaving I called my studio 'Windhover'.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Lovely tour. Thanks for taking us along.

Penny said...

What a lovely drive and such beautiful photos. So much history and such a shame that some of the of houses are decaying, so nice to have a photographic record of them. Parks? A vexing subject but if people are living and farming there I dont think they should be turned into parks, and who is to manage them? If it is anything like here in Australia, lots of parks, not enough money to look after them.

Fonnell/Grammie/mom said...

lovely photos! yes the willows are so pretty right now. I like something about every season don't you? We are doing just fine down here in the states. I should write you a long note but need your e-mail...we lost all our e-mail addresses when our phone company went out of business. I hear snow
is possible in the low lands on the week-end....hum