Opinion

Steeves/Trail Mix: Spring events will keep you busy outside

Mountains of snow and storms at higher elevations, like this shot of the Coquihalla summit last weekend, doesn
Mountains of snow and storms at higher elevations, like this shot of the Coquihalla summit last weekend, doesn't prevent us from getting outdoors down here.
— image credit: judie Steeves/Capital News

 

Mountains of snow towered high above on either side of us as we drove over the Coquihalla summit in a snowstorm last weekend—a reminder of how very different the climate can be just a few metres higher in elevation and closer to the coast.

I’ve never seen so much snow there since that highway was built, and clearly there have been a lot of avalanches from the high peaks on either side of the pass as well. You can see where they’ve snapped off century-old cedars and hemlock in their powerful slides.

Returning just two days later, the high banks of snow on either side remained, but silver threads of waterfalls gushed over the rocky cliffs high above the highway, an indication of the vast quantities of water that soon will be flowing toward the mighty Fraser River as those mountains of snow begin to melt.

Veils of hanging moss and lush green forest are in sharp contrast to the open pine forest and grassy hillsides of the Okanagan and a hint as to why our concerns about water here are dramatically different from those in the Lower Mainland.

While spring is, as usual, much further along in the coastal environment than here, it is finally arriving here in the Okanagan.

One sure sign of that is calendar-based rather than weather: the road into Knox Mountain Park has been re-opened.

Remember to stay on the trails in the park in order to protect the sensitive natural ecosystem and be aware there is no smoking in any city parks.

Along with spring there are lots of events coming up for outdoors lovers.

The Central Okanagan Naturalists’ Club invites members of the public to join them for a talk by biologist Jorma Jyrkkanen about what Darwin couldn’t possibly have known about physical and organic evolution, but which we have learned since.

He will touch on what it all means and he will provide a diversity overview, related to Kalmalka Lake and that area’s biota.

That’s at the club’s regular monthly meeting, Tues., Apr. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Evangel Church, 3261 Gordon Road.

Also on April 10, anyone interested in learning more about the history of wild turkeys in the Okanagan, and about hunting turkeys are invited to join Wild TV’s Shawn Wudrich and Cory Jmaeff at Woody’s Pub in Lake Country at 7 p.m. for Turkey Talk.

It’s a free presentation that will include two turkey hunting episodes as seen on Wild TV, and discussion of turkeys in the Okanagan: scouting, behaviour, breeding season, set-up and calling turkeys.

To reserve a seat contact: antleroutdoors.ca

There’s a day-long seminar being put on by the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club with nationally-known outdoor writer and hunting expert Othmar Vohringer, on hunting white-tailed deer.

This is a fund-raiser for the club’s project to build a new state-of-the-art archery range and the admission fee is $35.

It’s a five-hour seminar at the Merritt Civic Arena, Sat., Apr. 14 beginning at 10 a.m., and it will include a light lunch.

Vohringer will cover scouting, a variety of hunting tactics, deer communication, using scent and calls and more.

Register by calling Richard Kitsch at 378-4572.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

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