Saturday, May 17, 2014

Macro Landscapes and Micro Landscapes

I went for a walk on some of the Predator Ridge - Sparkling Hill trails on a recent sunny day.

People come to the Okanagan and Shuswap from all over the world, primarily to enjoy the lakes and wine culture. There are the backcountry fans who know that the big lakes aren't everything, but still often focus on the big views.

Alongside the trail on the Commonage.

I enjoy a good lake view as much as the next person. I suppose my upbringing as a prairie farm girl and later life as a homesteader in the north country have made me pay attention to things a little more up close.

The Husband and I have been eager birdwatchers for many years (thanks especially to Grandma June who gifted us our first - and only - bird identification book:

Our copy of this exact book is less pristine … particularly after a banana
was allowed to ripen while lying on top of it. Yes, true story.

Moving to the Southern Interior has introduced us to many new species, and our combined Life List is growing. I love these showy critters, although it's difficult to get a good photo with a little point-and-shot camera:

Western Tanager
I've included the obligatory lake view photo. Yes it is a lovely lake. This pic is of the very north end of the lake (well, the actual beaches are out of view, but you can't sail much farther north than this:

Looking north-ish towards Adventure Bay subdivision of Vernon.
Sparkling Hill and the Commonage are behind me.
This is the viewpoint on Deer Trail. (see map below)

Just past this spot, as the trail began its downhill jog, I spied a flower of my childhood and was instantly entranced.

Shooting Star - Dodecatheon integrifolium
I'm always surprised to see specimens like this in places other than my native grasslands … yet I shouldn't because the are all sorts of microclimates in the mountain valleys.

Just a few steps further, and I found a stonecrop 'forest' in active growth.

Stonecrop - Sedum genus - with other lichen, mosses and fungi

Just to help put the scene into perspective, this shows the same plant group with my wedding ring set among them for scale:

 and I don't have very big fingers.

I'm willing to bet 98% of the people who walked along that trail last week never saw any of this, too preoccupied by the lake views.

Western Spring Beauty - Claytonia lanceolata
 Their loss.

Come with me and I'll show you a part of the Okanagan you might otherwise miss.

Click on the image to enlarge or click  Trail Map link to go to their website.
And no,  I've not been paid to endorse the site!

1 comment:

  1. That view of the lake and hills is beautiful. A little log cabin on that spot would suit me fine!