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Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

Dreaming of Coastal Walks … but Lake Ones Are Awesome Too

It seems like forever since I’ve been on a true coastal walk on a remote wild, windy, salty beach. But … if I can’t fulfill that dream, with Covid-19 still hanging on, a fun walk along Skaha Lake beach in Penticton on a breezy late winter day, with my good friend Merle, is a great alternative.

Wild grasses on sand dunes (or at least on stretches of sandy beach),

floats washed up on the beach (even if one is a marker for the swimming area and the other is a tiny fishing float for lake trout),

driftwood (well, okay, trees falled for beach campfires),

a shipwreck (or at least an old wooden boat abandoned on the sand),

and waves on the shoreline.

All these remind me of ocean beaches. Now if only there was the amazing scent of the salty ocean winds, it would be perfect!

Still, lakeshores are beautiful, too. Instead of seeing misty islands off in the distance, there is a misty view—enjoyed by geese and swans—of lovely mountains in the distance.

Branches cut down by beavers have intriguing teeth marks.

Waves may be small, but they still provide amazing reflections and patterns.

Speaking of patterns, check out these old gnarly trees, windblown and hanging onto the sand for dear life, and sheltering tiny creatures in their bark.

And last but not least, an amazing bush with brilliant scarlet flowers (even when other plant life is in the grey depths of winter sleep) … with its branches covered with soft tiny hairs reflecting the sun.

Yes, I would love a walk along a wild coastal beach, but there’s special beauty here, too, in our lovely Okanagan Valley.

Winter Beach Patterns

After a surprising early blast of winter back in October, we’ve actually had a mild winter … up until the past week or so, that is! A Polar Vortex has blanketed Canada; in fact, yesterday we actually had sub-zero temperatures (Celcius) in all our provincial and territorial capitals, something that has apparently only happened about 3 times in the past 100 years! Even our mild capital of British Columbia, Victoria, which was already enjoying spring blossoms and spring flowers, was hit by freezing temperatures and residents are trekking through snow this morning.

Here in Penticton, the negative temperatures hit on Monday, February 8, and we haven’t seen the positive numbers on the thermometer since then. This morning, Saturday, February 12, snow is gently falling, though the past days have been mostly dry, just a flake here and there teasing us with the possibility of the white stuff (I love snow; some others maybe not so much, eh?). It’s still pretty early, but as soon as the day lightens up a bit, you can bet I’ll be out doing my Penticton Pedestrian walkabout and enjoying the winter wonderland.

Meanwhile, yesterday a friend, Merle, and I (masked and properly distanced, seeing as we are still in Covid days… can you believe it is nearly a year now since we’ve been under restrictions?) went for a walk along Okanagan Lake beach (temperature -10 with wind chill -17). It was an excellent chance to dig out my thick wool-lined parka from the Northwest Territories (I lived there back in the early eighties) to keep warm and snug as we enjoyed our sunny beach-side adventure. It’s usually only cold enough to wear the coat once or twice each winter here, though in my Inuvik days, a parka was an essential for months on end. Actually, the parka I have now was gifted to me from another friend, Yasmin. The parka I had in Inuvik was stretched all out of shape in the middle of the front section during two of my pregnancies 🙂

You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting on this blog for quite some time. First, with the arrival of Covid, I had very little time in those first months to spend time taking photos and blogging, as I had to suddenly switch my busy tutoring business (well, look at that: busy business! Makes sense, right?) to online, a new adventure for me. Then, at the beginning of the summer, I bought a lovely new laptop, which has been wonderful … except that I neglected to make sure I chose one that had a slot for the memory card from my camera. So if I did take pictures, I had to email them to the laptop, then download them and edit. I found it too complicated, other than for the odd picture. And no, I do not have a smart phone. I don’t like people to be able to call me anywhere, anytime; my landline phone has a message machine, so there! My children think I’m determined to continue to live in the age of the hippies … or even the age of the dinosaurs, according to the grandkids. (I also neglected to make sure the new laptop would have a CD/DVD slot. Another pain in the neck, until another friend offered me a plug-in-able player for the laptop).

Anyway, my son Peter gave me a tablet for Christmas 2019, and I could take pictures with it–IF I took it out of its lovely leather cover, since the camera hole in the cover was in the wrong spot. That also was a pain in the neck! Also, I found typing on the tablet was a pain in the fingers with the tiny built-in keyboard. Finally, I got smart and ordered a little foldable keyboard which is what I am using now! Eureka! Such a brilliant idea! (You’re probably thinking by now, quite correctly, that I’m not the brightest star in the sky [well, I was going to say the sharpest knife in the drawer, but then I remembered I should avoid cliches… oh dear, is the “star in the sky” thing a cliche too? Yikes!] when it comes to tech stuff.) (I also use too many parentheses, but that comes from writing this in journaling-style with minimal editing. I love journaling, as my nearly 200 journals attest. But I digress…) (Digression is another bad habit I have!)

Finally, I was watching a Zoom presentation the other day, and being a bit bored, I got a bright idea, and cut a new hole in the leather case for the tablet. Voila! I can now easily take pictures with it! And blog with it, too, thanks to my cute little portable keyboard. Yay!

Anyway, the purpose of this blog post was to share with you the wonderful chilly walkabout yesterday at Okanagan Lake beach, so I better get to it, right? The waves have been piling up ice on the shore of the lake over the past few days, and creating amazing sculptures and patterns, and I just couldn’t resist taking a lot of snapshots. Luckily for you, I have now gone through them and picked out just my favourites … and here they are!

Isn’t nature’s artwork amazing? I have to admit I did get carried away and already posted some of the above snapshots on Facebook and Instagram right away, yesterday. (Did I mention that due to finally figuring out all this tech, I also joined Instagram?) If you saw the pictures on either or both of those sites, I do apologize (a bit) for posting them again. I just can’t help it, though! I am having so much fun with the tablet now 🙂

Well, the sky is lighting up now, and the snow is falling beautifully, so I shall say au revoir for now (I’m practicing my French these days … probably subconsciously dreaming of being able to travel again some day, hopefully soon). A bientot! (I shall have to figure out if I can produce a French language keyboard with this tablet and mini-keyboard…)