Friday, August 28, 2009

Okanagan Beauties

Lloyd and I spent a beautiful half day exploring around the off-roads in the Osoyoos/Oliver area. It really pays to get off the main road and see what treasures of nature you can find.

Like these apples. I love seeing fruit on the trees - don't know why, but it pleases me in a very basic earthy way.

And these apricots...I had noticed the trees with the long slender leaves but couldn't identify them until we got up close and could see the apricots (or nectarines, I'm not sure which) peeking through the leaves.

More apples I think, or maybe peaches??? I'm not a very good naturalist but I know what I like!

A close-up of the above picture. I guess they're apples after all.

It was amazing to me to see how heavy they were on the trees - great large clusters of the fruit just waiting to be picked.

I really loved how the grapes looked hanging on their vines...

...especially this bunch which contains the whole spectrum from green to red to mauve and the lovely blue/purple color of ripening grapes.

In the midst of the orchards we found this quaint little church. The sign on the front of it said "The Little Brown Church". It was beautifully kept with well tended gardens surrounded on all sides by fruit orchards.

We went down a non-road, a trail really (thank goodness for a 4-wheel drive truck) which led to this lovely lake. And this fellow who's been following me around this week was there so I took his picture too. Hi Lloyd!

And then I gave him the camera and he took my picture as well.

Across the main road from, and surrounded by orchards, we found a desert reserve. This valley is Canada's only desert - an extension of the Sonora Desert which extends from Mexico, through Arizona, California and up into the Okanagan in BC. There was lots of prickly pear cactus growing there, although smaller than the variety we have in Arizona. We did a very interesting self-guided tour there.

It's interesting to see the desert give way to the orchards, with the lakes, vineyards and mountains in the background.

We would have liked to have had more time to explore this fascinating part of Canada, and now with a daughter and her family living there we'll have more reason to come here to visit and explore. It's no wonder Mary and Greg love it so much.