Sunday, November 22, 2020

Oliver in November

A few customers asked us if we were going away after the farmers market was finished.  By that they were meaning somewhere warm, lol!  Well, no, we don't, we have two old dogs that can't easily be left, and a few other animal commitments as well.  And then this year there is the added Covid pandemic, so who really wants to by flying anywhere right now.  Not us, that's for sure.  
What we do have is a vacation spot in the South Okanagan, so that's our little escape.
We went there on November 6th, which just happens to be someone's 39th birthday, hahaha!

That person planned her own birthday meal and made this the morning we left.  A simple but tasty dish made with a lot of eggs and some sausages and home grown tomatoes.  The artist wishes she had put a bit more effort and used some kale or something to make a stem and leaves for that tomato flower.

Home grown pickled beets, figs, fermented veggie mix, chow chow relish and one of our russet apples rounded out the plate.

Home grown baked Comice pears with homemade green tomato mincemeat for dessert! One of us likes coconut milk with theirs. 

The weather was mostly sunny when we were there, but not warm, and an icy wind at times.  Just above freezing during the day and just below at night.
Dog walks and bike rides filled our days.

Walking south through a somewhat shaded area.  Jake has trouble with the low sun shining in his eyes, so we did the shady side as we headed toward the sun.

So pretty with the sun shining on the yellow leaves

The Okanagan River looking south.

And then looking north.  There were spawning salmon heading upstream.

Pretty leaves in the park on our bike ride in the afternoon.

And a really spectacular mountain ash.

A sculpture in a little park along the road.  In the area next to where there used to be a nice campsite along the river under the trees.  Now it's a hotel.  They asked for input for this little park.  I said to please leave all the large shade trees.  Oliver gets very hot in the summer, and shade is welcome.  They cut down all the trees.  I just shake my head, idiots.

The next day we headed north up along the river.  I forgot all about Jake and the sun in his eyes, oops.

The beavers have been very active.

Jake needed a little help.  Then Larry caught his foot on something and almost fell while lifting Jake.  Both old guys survived!

More beaver architecture.

I took a picture four years ago of Jake on this rock.  It was better than this one, lol. He's heading towards 16 1/2 now, and doing decently, all things considered.

Luna will be 13 at the beginning of  December.  Hard to believe.

Sasquatch on a log.

On our bike ride in the afternoon we met a horse!

Larry checked the sex, and the mare checked the saddle bags for treats.

The next morning we headed home, but snow was in the forecast and we had a few stops to make first.
After stopping in Summerland for a visit and to pick up walnuts, we came home a different way than usual.  A bit of snow and a few slippery moments, so kind of stressful, but we were careful, and Larry heeded  my 'can you just slow down a bit' as we were on the downhill side.  A relief to get near Hope and a snow free hwy.

Who knows when we will get back there.  Often we try to go in January, but we will have to wait and see.  Right now we are being told not to travel out of our region.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve

A few days ago we had to go to the Chilliwack area to pick up something, so as I often do in a situation like that,  I try to combine it with something else.  So time to visit a new place and give the dogs a walk in a new spot.  

I had seen this Heron Reserve mentioned once or twice on a blog I follow, and was interested in going there myself.  The map below is not exactly to scale, but gives you a good idea.  Dogs are only allowed on one trail within the reserve and that is the green one up through the middle.  We didn't see any herons while we were there, but I imagine in nesting season it would be quite busy. 

We parked on the purple dyke area just above the P (you are here) spot on the map.  Then we walked to the left along the dyke.  It was a very gray day, which didn't make for great pictures, but there were lots of people out.

When the purple dyke connected with the black trail along the river, we turned left and then completed the loop by walking up the green trail back to the car.  3.75 km.  Not bad for a 16+ year old dog.  Jake enjoyed meeting a few dogs, and then told a young, large Great Pyrenees pup to get lost when he tried to put his feet on Jake's back.  Luna is dog reactive so I just take her off to the side and reward her for looking at the dog but not reacting.

This slough was full of Canada geese and ducks, with more flocks circling and calling overhead.

Some nests in the trees in one area.

Sooo many waterfowl

Off the dyke now and into the river trail.  Horses use these trails too, so slippery spots like the wood on the bridge had great footing.

On that bridge looking out down the creek to the Vedder River.

Loads of wild clematis climbing up the trees and over shrubbery.

Salmon fisherman on the river

It doesn't even look like Jake is looking at him here, but he was quite interested in what that dark blob was out there in the water.  His eyesight is not great, so I'm not sure what he could actually see.

This nest seemed bigger and I was thinking eagle nest.  And that was an eagle at the top of the tree to the left of the nest.

A viewing tower.  Larry chose not to go up.  I said I was going to try run up.  48 steps later, I don't think I was running much.

Luna heading to the steps to try come up.

The view from the top was pretty good.

And over to the last bridge to the parking.  The interpretive center is closed because of Covid.  Too bad, it looked interesting.  I had walked over to have a look.

Hopefully next year we can go back during nesting season and the building will be open.  I'd like to take our bikes one day too and ride the dyke and river trail.



Tuesday, October 27, 2020

I'm a Blogging Failure

Soooo....I was actually going to do another post, but then saw that I had started one three months ago, so I'll try to finish it it off....

July 16/20
Well so much for me trying to keep up blogging this year.  I guess I got off to a slightly decent start, and then fell off the cliff, never to be seen again.  Almost, until now, and now I've dragged myself up and will attempt a post.  A post I was actually going to do a week ago, oh well.

So with the Covid Crisis we've not done the usual amount of Oliver trips.  It would have been safe for us to do so, but we were told to stay close to home, and we did.   Larry did make a one night trip in late April or early May, to check up on things, and then we all went in June.  By all I mean the two of us and the two dogs.  And then we went again at the beginning of July.  The photos are from the last trip.  They are all taken with the phone, and I don't have an expensive phone, so quality is not the best on some.

Usually we stop at least once during the 4 hour trip, for our own comfort and that of the dogs.  This trip we stopped at 'Rhododendron Flats', which is in Manning Park.  There are wild rhododendrons growing there, and if you pick the right time of the year, you can see them in bloom.  Not really spectacular, but interesting, and there is a nice trail around.  The rhodos were mostly done when we stopped, but we did find a few blooms.

Such healthy looking foliage

Mossy rainforest

These are Saskatoon berries, picked in the Oliver area.  I picked more in August.  And now they are languishing in the freezer, waiting to be made into jam at some point.

Along the hike and bike path next to the Okanagan River we see a lot of milkweed.  The plants provide food for the larvae of the Monarch Butterfly.  The are interesting plants, and not something we see at home

We have a few plants in the little garden at the house at Oliver, but it's hard to keep it nice because it gets so hot there and we aren't there often enough to keep it watered.  The blue is Sea Holly I believe, and the plant below is a little succulent type that I took up there and does well.

 Saskatoons picked and on the dehydrator tray to be shaken around to get all the little bits of debris to drop through the holes.  It works really well for blueberries too!

Nice and cleaned up now!

We had a visitor! We see signs that there have been deer in the yard over the winter, but this is the first time we had seen one in the summer.  Jumping out of the neighbours backyard here.

And later peering over our back gate from the laneway.  

The view from the backyard has improved.  The new neighbours let all the hedging cedars die off and then installed this lattice addition to the concrete and block wall that surrounds their sunken backyard.  I'm not sure about that fence.....I showed the picture to David and he mentioned a Lacrosse Box, lol!

One morning when we got there I set off on my bike about 7am and went along the river to where these golden currants were growing.  I picked quite a bit, but I didn't get much juice from them, so ended up adding other bits of wild fruits to it and came up with a small batch of jam I called Wild Medley.  

The baby's breath has gone wild there, is considered invasive, but looks like fluffy clumps when it is in bloom.

I think on this trip I picked those Saskatoons shown above, notice my handy saddle bags.  They were actually a pain the butt because my heels hit the front edge of them with every pedal, most annoying! I fiddled around with them a few times and eventually  managed to move the bags back enough to miss my heels.

I had kept my eye on this massive thistle, the photo does not do it justice.

The stems and leaves so silvery, I had seen nothing like it before

When I got around to googling it, I was shocked that it was a Scotch Thistle.  Well who hasn't heard of that, but obviously I had never seen one before. Another invasive plant.

And so there you go, I sort of finished this post.  I had actually come to write another one, but didn't want to waste the first few paragraphs and all the pictures I had loaded for this unfinished one.