Opinion

Steeves/Trail Mix: Ma Nature's in control, not us

Floodwaters pour through the yard of a home adjacent to a creek this spring. - judie steeves/Capital News
Floodwaters pour through the yard of a home adjacent to a creek this spring.
— image credit: judie steeves/Capital News

Flooding is a word with many meanings.

Seasonal high water levels are essential to complete the life cycles of certain critters, including mosquitoes and amphibians.

Such high water levels some years include more ground than in other years, as part of the natural hydrological cycle, sometimes reviving long-ago-laid eggs, while inundating the structures of human beings who need to live on land, but like to live beside water.

Mother Nature holds sway over forces that even man cannot control, despite all his efforts.

This year, she’s given him a lesson, but with a touch of the birch rod to it, as homes are surrounded by water and mud instead of solid ground and buildings and cars are washed into creeks and rivers, dropped into sinkholes and crashed into each other, without drivers to do the dirty work.

We would do well to remember the risks associated with parking our homes adjacent to what we perceive as the beauty of burbling creeks, placid ponds and peaceful lakes, because they won’t always been like that, particularly as the extreme weather of climate change becomes more pronounced and record-breaking weather becomes the norm.

It’s been a wet and tempestuous spring and start to summer, as what is the year’s wettest month anyway in the Okanagan, comes close to setting a new record for rainfall.

Despite the trials such high water levels cause to people, the world goes on, as evidenced by this week’s sighting of a pair of tiny fawns with large white spots who were running like the wind, stopping on a dime to turn and streak back to mom, right beside busy Westside Road.

Undeterred by the people stopping to watch the fun these awkward youngsters were having—taking hundreds of leaps to Mom’s single step—they continued on their way up a steep slope to cross yet another busy road, Bear Creek Road, immediately after a large bus had rumbled by.

Was it luck or did Mom actually hesitate a moment before making that crossing?

I have to wonder why she was shepherding her young family across such busy roads in the middle of the day when the youngsters appeared to be oblivious to all the dangers that were evident to this Mom all around them.

And, as the long weekend approaches and we all head outside to play, do remember that the water is high everywhere, and streams are flowing far faster than normal, so don’t let kids or pets anywhere near them.

A little further advice: don’t leave anything behind when you head home after playing in the bush, because everyone else is going to be keeping their eyes on those who leave their trash behind and they’ll be taking licence plate numbers, jotting down descriptions of you, along with dates and times and places. There are substantial penalties for littering.

A nod of thanks to that group of local hunters who marshaled their forces and, with the assistance of the regional district, gathered this week to clean up the messes left by the vandals among us in the Gillard Forest Service Road area.

It’s unfortunate, but I guess we’re all going to have to take matters into our own hands and be the eyes and ears of the authorities, as well as the maintenance staff. If you see anything suspicious, call the RAPP line to report it asap: Record All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-9522-7277(RAPP). Tipsters can remain anonymous.

 

 

Upcoming

As summer vacations get underway, the regional district has lots of family activities planned for the coming months, including a couple of historic hikes, beginning July 13 with Okanagan Irrigation History in Glen Canyon Regional Park from 9 a.m. to noon.

Meet at the Aberdeen Road entrance in Glenrosa.

July 27 go on an Okanagan Heritage Hike in Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Meet at the parking area and kiosk off Trepanier Road.

Incidentally, hunters, the Limited Entry Hunting lottery winners are now available online.

Have fun this Canada Day long weekend but be careful and leave natural areas natural.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

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