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Archive for the ‘weather’ Category

Low Tide on Okanagan Lake

“Look! It’s low tide!” my husband exclaimed joyfully. Since he grew up right beside the ocean on Haida Gwaii, he has a deep love for the ocean‚ÄĒincluding the tides. (So do I, actually, even though I grew up in the Okanagan drylands!).

Anyway, we of course had to take a walk along Okanagan Lake beach in Penticton (April 15 2021) and take some snapshots of “low tide” on Okanagan Lake. It would have been perfect if there was a salty ocean breeze, and driftwood, and some seaweed and ocean creatures as well; nonetheless, it brought back wonderful oceanside memories. And at least there wasn’t any squee (sand fleas) biting our toes ūüôā

It was really amazing to think back over the past few years when we’ve had a lot of flooding on the lakeshore due to the spring freshet. This year, the powers-that-be have been letting out as much excess water as possible through the dam at the south end of the lake so that the lake level will be low enough that hopefully there won’t be so much danger of flooding when the freshet arrives.

Here are a few snapshots of “low tide” … and a few others from previous years of flooding in the same area. Quite the contrast, don’t you think? (And don’t forget … you can see the pics full size if you click on them!)

Spring or a Long April Fool’s Day?

Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day happened to land on the same date this year–and I’m thinking that momentous event totally messed up Spring! How else could it be that here in Penticton in the sunny South Okanagan, four days later, the weather forecast reads “rain showers or wet flurries.” Come on! It’s April! Easter has come and gone! This isn’t Alberta, after all ūüôā Check it out:


Well, at least the ice has melted off the oxbows … and the turtles have come out of hibernation and are hopefully trying to catch a few rays….

The urban deer are looking chipper, too — and I see they’re mighty pleased to be able to nibble at the fresh green tulips … and have even left a few buds behind to let us humans enjoy the flowers when they finally get around to blooming!

A few brave souls figure that if they get outside and pretend it’s Spring, the weatherman might take the hint and send some truly Spring-like weather along.

Oh! Check it out! Lots of flowers! It must be spring after all! Or is it?


But wait! Maybe spring is springing after all! Looks like Mother Nature isn’t going to let Mr. April Fool get away with his tricks altogether …

Yes! Spring has sprung!


The Great Gazebo Disaster

About 5 am on November 26 I woke, startled, to the sounds of a big crash. At first I thought someone was breaking in through our sliding doors–but a quick look out the window told the truth: we’d had a heavy snowfall overnight, and the weight of the very wet, coastal snow (most unusual in our area, which is known for its dry, powdery white stuff), had collapsed our gazebo which had easily survived 4 previous winters, 5 summers, big windstorms–but was finally outdone by this crazy wet snowfall. ¬†The snow was still falling fast, so I quickly dressed in my winter woolies, and zipped outside to survey the damage, and see if there was any chance of rescuing our “extra room” we use so much in the warmer months. Alas, the entire frame was bent and twisted, and the fabric roof was torn to shreds. So I got out a shovel and spent the next hour or two, in the winter dark, digging snow off the top of the gazebo, and from inside where it had tumbled through the torn roof. Eventually the snow stopped falling, which was a good thing, as I’d been playing catch-up with it all that time. I hauled a big tarp out of the shed, and with the help of some rope, managed to pull it over the remains of the gazebo. Then I hauled the gazebo contents–lawn chairs, garden tools, barbeque, my bicycle, and more–out of the demolished structure, and into the living room (where I’d laid down another tarp to protect the floor) to dry out. Next day, a friend came over and helped us dismantle the twisted remains of the gazebo, and another friend helped me haul the pieces to the truck to be taken to the recycling facility at the local dump. Finally, I took the gazebo contents back outside, piled them on the now barren slab the gazebo had rested on, and hubby helped me wrap a big white tarp over and around everything, to wait for spring–and hopefully a new gazebo! Here are some snapshots of our great gazebo disaster:

Cottonwoods Snow Storm

Here in the sunny South Okanagan, it is very rare to have snowstorms after March, though we occasionally get a few flakes fluttering down now and then until late April. ¬†But the other day, May 29 to be exact, we had a blizzard of “white stuff!” ¬†It was a beautiful sunny late spring afternoon, when suddenly the wind kicked up and, with the sun still bravely shining in a mostly clear blue sky, the flakes were whirling about in every direction! ¬†Don’t believe me? ¬†Check out this slide show and see for yourself!

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What’s that I hear you asking? ¬†Those tall trees behind the white house? ¬†Cottonwoods, I think. ¬†There are loads of them around here. ¬†Why do you want to know? ¬†Pardon? Cottonwood snow? Really? ¬†Well… I guess that could explain why it still hasn’t melted despite the warm temperatures…



Beautiful Sunny South Okanagan

May 8, 2014

No, Penticton did not fall off the edge of the earth! ¬†However, this pedestrian’s camera died, and it took her some time to replace it. ¬†Quite some time. ¬†But now she has one, and is slowly getting into the habit of snapping photos of our beautiful city and its environs. ¬†Actually, she’s had the camera for 3 months … so will be doing a bit of “catch up” posting on here.

The snapshots below were taken the day the new camera was bought, and really capture the fact that we do live in the “beautiful sunny south Okanagan” — even in the winter of 2013-2014 when so much of North America was caught up in blizzards and tornadoes and other wild weather, this corner of Canada had a wonderfully pleasant winter season overall. ¬†Yes, we had a bit of snow, but never more than a few inches. ¬†Yes, we had some sub-zero temperatures — possibly as low as -10C or even -15C on rare occasions. ¬†And in spite of the¬†reputation for gray, gloomy skies in winter due to evaporation off the lakes surrounding Penticton, we had some amazingly sunny winter skies as well. ¬†Why, then, would anyone want to “fly south for winter”?




July 9 2012

While the Penticton area is generally sunny and hot in summer, we do get occasional rain – usually in the form of amazing downpours following awesome displays of thunder and lightning.¬† We were treated¬†to a wonderful display of nature’s glory last evening, topped off with beautiful skyscapes¬†following the thunderstorm.¬† Then off to sleep in the peace following the storm – only to be¬†awoken several times during the night with¬†several encore¬†performances by Mother Nature.

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Summer’s Finally Here!

7 July 2012

Summer has finally arrived in the sunny South Okanagan.  The thermometer is pushing well past 30 C every day, and the Penticton Saturday Downtown Market has become so popular that it now fills four full blocks!  Check it out!

Junuary 30 Downtown Market in Penticton

June 30, 2012

— or as some remarked rather cynically, “Junuary¬†30th!”¬† What a day!¬† One minute pouring rain, the next sun doing its best to pour through, rain battling back, sun peering out again.¬† It seemed early in the day that it might be a “lost cause” market-wise, as the only folks on the street at Penticton’s¬†downtown market were the vendors.¬† But the amazing thing was that every time¬†the rain let up for a moment, and the sun’s rays broke through, suddenly the street was flooded with customers, feet¬†sloshing through the puddles even as they turned their faces happily upward toward the warmth of the sun.¬† Then the rain would pour again, and they’d disappear¬†– I assume it was a great day for the coffee shops along the street!

It was my first day at the market as a vendor.¬† Fortunately for me, I was placed under an overhang — for shade!¬† Well, it turned out I didn’t need much shading, but I was certainly grateful for the protection from the downpours.

Anyway, here are some snapshots of Penticton Downtown Market on the July Canada Day long weekend in Penticton in the sunny South Okanagan.¬† Well, the mostly sunny South Okanagan, that is…

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Oh, yes, the next day, Canada Day, started out the same.¬† It was definitely an on-again, off-again morning, weather-wise.¬† But the sun redeemed itself in the afternoon, and except for occasional splatters, the big birthday party in the park was a success I’m told.¬† Happy 145th Canada!

After the Storm

June 23, 2012

Late yesterday afternoon I wrote on my facebook status: “I love the smell of summer rain before it actually arrives.”

And then, a few hours later … it arrived!

This morning, the world is quiet, as these pictures illustrate.  But last night, oh my!

The smell of summer rain turned into the wildest, more wonderful summer storm imaginable.¬† Non-stop sheets of lightning, enormous thunder rumbles (my mom used to say they were moving the furniture in heaven – goodness! they must have been moving – and dropping – grand pianos this time), downpours with raindrops bouncing a foot or two off the ground, rain blowing sideways into the windows, and the trees, oh my, the trees! in such an amazing dance, bowing deep, twirling in great circles, leaping skywards!¬† And it went on and on and on – not just one of those sudden-storms-and-then-its-gone, but all of nature joined together in a great celebration that no one wanted to end.¬† To top it off, there was a steady stream of sirens and flashing lights zooming by on the highway bypass, and some pretty wild and crazy young folks whooping it up in the neighborhood, hooting and hollering and laughing.¬† What an introduction to the first weekend of SUMMER!¬† …

Now a few hours have passed, the sky is gray, the world is damp, only a tiny breeze is left to remind us of last night’s amazing moments (along with a scattering of leaves and twigs all over the ground, and a fairy ring on the grass to let us know the wee folk were out enjoying it too).

And now, I’m off.¬† The Downtown Saturday Farmers and Artisans Markets, the annual Elvis Festival, and the annual antique car Beach Cruise beckon.¬† Ah, summer in Penticton!

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Winter arrives in Penticton

November 17, 2011

The beautiful autumn days couldn’t last forever … Old Man Winter finally wrapped his cloak of white over Penticton!