Friday, March 28, 2014

A Different Pathway Home

I rose early this morning with thoughts of baking uppermost in my mind.  The recipes were laid out on the kitchen table, and some of the ingredients.- I was making 'squares' (or do you call them 'slices' ) for a funeral reception tomorrow.  Because I have passed the time when I can scurry around with the younger ladies, setting tables, making sandwiches, feeding multitudes and cleaning up after I now concentrate on leisurely baking goodies, and usually promise two.  So this morning I made a nice lemon concoction and a pan of rich chocolate brownies.

But what  has really been on my mind the last few days is a wonderful trip we ( son Sid, and I) made through the hills and lakes above Okanagan Falls as we wended our way homeward after seeing the bone man who did such a marvelous job in mending my broken wrist.

There is the quick way to get home from Penticton, along the highways, but there are also a few ways that are even more of an adventure, where small lakes appear beside roads winding through the hills before they connect up with the highway, and we chose one of these lovely drives on Tuesday.

As we turned off the highway we looked back upon the meadows and mountains of the Okanagan Valley.

and soon came to Green Lake, still rimmed with the beautiful dried grasses of autumn and swimming with Mallards who came closer to shore as we stopped to admire the clear green spring waters.

Some of the hills have been turned into vast vineyards and there are vestiges of old homesteads, 
built by early settlers.

We came eventually to Mahoney lake, located on the Mahoney Ecological Reserve and protected by a post and rail fence from damage by motor vehicles.

Mahoney is an extreme Saline Lake, well known around the world in ecological circles.    It is 18 m deep and occupies a kettle basin of glacial origin - a 'meromictic lake' in which much of the water remains unmixed with the main water mass and which fails to have the typical spring and fall overturns. A layer of purple sulphur bacteria extends completely across the lake at about 7 metres in depth and it is said to be the finest example of a purple sulphate bacterial plate known to occur in the world.  There is a small opening in the surrounding fence to allow 'foot' visitors to read this information on an information plaque

Continuing on we reached the Willowbrook Road, a more inhabited agricultural area where the roads join, but further on is the White Lake Ecological Reserve where we stopped to take a picture of the Lake. 

 As we rolled down the windows of the SUV we were delighted to hear the first Meadowlark song of the season, - not just one meadowlark, but a conversation!!!!  Marvelous!  It is a family tradition that he/she who hears the first meadowlark of the spring is mightily blessed!!!!  As we intrude on the meadows with our homes and tightly planted orchards the meadowlark is not as plentiful or generous with its beautiful melody so this really warmed our hearts!!!

Off in the distance lies the White Lake Observatory about which I have posted in the dim past,
 and likely will again, sometime.

We pass by typical rock formations and follow the winding road that borders Twin Lakes and the golf course of many memories.....

I miss the wonderful leisurely drives Charles and I used to take, along with the camera, but I appreciate the generosity of time. the conversations and the empathy our sons show in traveling with me 
through the byways and back country roads.  Good fellows all....!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Keremeos Columns

ABC Wednesday
March 26th, 2014

The letter is K for Keremeos Columns

Picture by Sid Finch

The Keremeos Columns are tall columns of basalt resulting from Volcanic activity 
some thirty million years ago,  located in the Similkameen hills and
overlooking the town of Keremeos.

They are thirty meters high and form a l00 meter-wide cliff with more or less regular fractures of basalt which followed further cooling of the already crystallized liquid lava, 
just like mud cracks after a puddle has dried.

These  volcanic monuments of slowly cooled lava with the characteristic vertically hexagonal columnar jointing of basalt  loom out of the surrounding forest.

This is the same geological phenomenon that has formed the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland
and the Devil's Tower in Wyoming.

It is possible to drive to within fairly close proximity to the Columns, 
but permission must be obtained from the owner of the gate that accesses the road.

If you choose to walk it is a three to four hour hike through forest and meadows,
uphill all the way!!!

The spectacular view of the valley below, and the grandeur of the columns themselves
makes it all worth while.

For more interpretations of the letter K klick here to visit
ABC Wednesday, with thanks to Roger and Denise
and all their visiting helpers.