This is the perfect time to really check out the oxbows. The sun is shining, the air is fresh and warm, and there are beautiful spring blossoms from fruit trees that have taken root in wild ground, and fresh green grasses that provide a soft springy underfoot. But at the same time, the trees are only in bud which means there are no leaves to block your view. You can easily spot and follow the trails that animals use to get through the brush to drink water at the oxbows, so you can get right down to the edge of the ponds. And from that perfect vantage point you can spot ducks and turtles and other wildlife close up. You can also get a really good view of the plant life and silt that have slowly but surely been filling in the oxbows, and you will gain a greater understanding of why community members like The Friends of the Oxbows are working hard to stop this process and rejuvenate and restore these important wetlands.
Here is a slideshow of some snapshots taken this morning (April 5) that will give you a taste of what you can see–but getting out there is so much more inspiring. To visit these particular sections of the oxbows, drive to the foot of Warren Avenue, and park beside the oxbow there, right next to the highway. Then walk along the lane that runs parallel to the highway. Just one reminder: it is wood tick season already, so wear long pants, tucked into your socks, and/or do a thorough check for ticks when you get home!
You can also do an “oxbow” search in this blog for many pictures of the oxbows taken at various times of the year, and especially check out the post called “Penticton Oxbows Tour” for a detailed photographic and written tour of the Penticton oxbows between Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake–the remains of the once-meandering river that connected these two lakes.