Steeves: Fall is the time for love in the great outdoors

Blissfully unaware that he was about to bump into a raised wooden deck the magnificent buck kept raising his rack to sniff the air.

Blissfully unaware that he was about to bump into a raised wooden deck in my backyard, the magnificent buck kept raising his rack to sniff the air.

Not far in front of him was a mule deer doe, and wherever she went around the yard, he was hot on her heels.

For once, they weren’t feasting on my flowers. Apparently, they had other things in mind.

Birds may twitter about love in the spring, but for deer, the rut occurs in fall, when bucks begin to act totally out of their normally-cautious character and chase about after does, battling it out with other bucks for the right to a forest favourite.

I’m sure the doe was one of our regulars, but I’m not sure where the big buck had been lured from.

There’s a small neighbourhood buck who has lost most of one side of his antlers somehow or another, and he chased a doe around the yard last week, ripped up the grass in a scrape to mark his territory and even behaved quite aggressively toward us, lowering his head threateningly.

However, he is much smaller than this morning’s visitor and I think he was born right in the neighbourhood.

We have quite a herd of them, complete with fawns, who have now lost their spots, but are quite silly and fun to watch.

With the cold nights this week, the last of my brilliant orange maple leaves have now fallen from the branches and the beans have withered on the trellis. Sumac, both the orange and fiery red, are rapidly losing the last of their leaves, leaving a puddle of colour around the trunk.

It’s definitely fall, and last week’s drift of white is a reminder that winter isn’t far behind.

Incidentally, the Friends of Mission Creek Society invites everyone to their annual general meeting Thursday, Nov. 17, at 6:45 p.m., at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park on Springfield Road.

Guest speaker will be Ian Walker, from the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at UBC Okanagan.

Walker will talk about the Okanagan Valley’s history, from the height of the last glaciation to the present day, including physical changes in lakes, valley and its climate.

He will begin by exploring the natural origin and development of the valley’s flora and fauna, both aquatic and terrestrial, over the past 15,000 years.

He will close with a discussion of recent human impacts on the valley environment, with a focus on lake and water quality.

Ian is really knowledgeable and this will be a fascinating evening.

Also, hunters and anglers: you have until Nov. 18 to comment on the provincial hunting and fishing regulations on the new “engagement website” set up by the province for public consultation on regulations. Go to: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/ahte/.

Hikers should lace up their boots Saturday, Nov. 19 for one of the Central Okanagan Naturalists’ Club’s continuing series of free public events, this time exploring Rose Valley, Shannon Lake and Kalamoir Regional Parks in West Kelowna.

This one in the Discover Nature series will feature Emile Brokx leading a gentle hike around Goldies Pond, meeting at the parking lot on Westlake Road, adjacent to the pond, at 10 a.m.; followed by a short hike in to Rose Valley dam.

That will be followed by a picnic lunch at Shannon Lake or at a local coffee shop. In the afternoon the group will visit Kalamoir Park.

Dress suitably for the weather and bring your lunch and water, along with a toonie for insurance. No pets.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Man in custody linked to Silver Creek property search

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Minister announces funding to upgrade Kettle Valley Rail Trail

Kelowna - $500,000 will go towards project that will upgrade Kettle Valley trail

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Day 2 of RCMP search at Silver Creek residence

Police use backhoe in ongoing search effort at residential/agricultural Salmon River Road property

Kelowna resident hopes to create more with haunted house

Paul Coxe’s haunted house will be on display at 945 Grenfell Road, Friday, Oct. 27

Mixing up local talent and cocktails

The annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff takes place in Kelowna in November

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Expanding your creative process at UBCO

Kelowna - Creative Days events will be held at the university Saturday, Oct. 21, and Nov. 18

Exercising her right to fight

Thinking inside the box helped push Geneva Kostashen through cancer treatment

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

Most Read