Opinion

There's lots happening that isn't dull and gray

Winter sun on snow can be blinding, but quite beautiful. - judie Steeves/Capital News
Winter sun on snow can be blinding, but quite beautiful.
— image credit: judie Steeves/Capital News

When the days down here in the valley are dull and gray with low cloud hiding even the tops of the surrounding hills, it's time to head uphill to visit the ski areas.

There, above this valley cloud, the sun is shining in a clear blue sky and the snow is so bright you have to cover your eyes. It lifts the spirits.

It also give you a lift on these gray days to see the bright-coloured yellow goldfinches and red house finches at the feeders; the rambunctious quail pecking at the seeds that drop on the ground and the hawks patrolling overhead for an unwary mole to poke his head out of the snow.

Thanks to Harro and Elke Lange of Lake Country for the wonderful photos of the birds around your feeder, and those bright amaryllis, enjoying a window seat.

The Central Okanagan Naturalists Club is holding its annual potluck banquet Tues., Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Evangel Church, 3261 Gordon Dr. Purchase tickets at Second Tyme Around on Spall Road. The members' photo contest will be a bright feature of the evening.

Even around the cabin at the Kelowna Nordic Club, near McCulloch Lake there are feeders put out by members and the chickadees, woodpeckers, pine siskins, redpolls and jays all enjoy the different offerings.

The club will be hosting its second Loppet Feb. 24, but classic style only this year, beginning at 10 a.m. Members are encouraged to participate, and there is an option to do less than the full 30 kilometres.

If you're not entering, volunteers are also needed for food, course control, first aid and refreshment stations, as well as help with race course set-up, results recording, chill and cookie-making, campfire attendants and parking attendants.

The idea is to raise funds through this event to help sustain trails. For more information, go to the website at: www.kelownanordic.com

Telemark Nordic Club is holding its 27th Kelowna Apple Loppet Jan. 27, with courses from 1000 metres to 30 kilometres.

There's also a biathlon demonstration day Jan. 26 from noon to 3 p.m. where you can learn a little about biathlon, which is skate skiing and range target shooting, and talk to the coaches.

The Biathlon B.C. Cup is Feb. 8 to 10 at Telemark and everyone is welcome to come and watch the action.

The Kelowna Fish and Game club is holding its annual awards banquet Sat., Feb. 23, so members, youth and adults, are encouraged to take in their antlers for scoring to Rudy Litz at L&O Jewellers on Dolphin Avenue. Call ahead to arrange, at 860-8928.

It's a fund-raising steak dinner for their junior rifle and archery programs, and there will be some terrific prizes for draws, donated by such local businesses as Trout Waters Fly and Tackle, Hardcore Archery, Grouse River Outfitters and Weber and Markin Gunsmiths.

Local businesses such as this are invaluable in helping groups raise money for the good work they do in the community—not infrequently work that the province has dropped the ball on, such as restoration work in riparian areas or in watersheds, or maintenance of management unit signs.

The Kelowna club has taken on a task that was dropped from the province's plate in recent years, with all the budget cutbacks, and has erected a number of management unit signs in Region 8. It's been a frustration not having the ministry maintain those signs in recent years.

But good on the Kelowna club for picking up the slack there.

There are still some tickets available for the Peachland Sportsmen's Association fund-raising game banquet on Sat., Feb. 9, with some great prizes this year; live music for dancing and Stuntman Steve doing the MC work.

Win a diamond and sapphire ring from L&O Jewellers; a helicopter tour, golf package, fishing trip or winery evening, amongst other options. Tickets are available at Valley Glass in Westbank.

The Oceola Fish and Game Club's annual banquet is scheduled for Feb. 16, but tickets are already sold right out.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

 

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

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