Season and colours change Saturday

With the onset of autumn Saturday comes a change in weather and new colours in the wild as well as less daylight.

In the coming weeks

Robed in red and orange, the maples are turning colour against a background of rustling yellow aspen leaves in the the forests around the Okanagan.

Scarlet sumac leaves contrast richly with the yellow tips of rabbitbrush blooming on open hillsides amongst the silver sage.

Autumn begins officially Saturday, as the autumn equinox arrivals and heralds equal hours of daylight and dark.

Although I love fall, this does mean the start of a slide into shorter days until it comes to the winter solstice Dec. 21, and the shortest day of the year.

The long days of summer make my heart sing, so in fall, I feel I have to grab at every hour of light and try to squeeze good use out of it outdoors, knowing that the next day there will be even less daylight.

It may seem a bit silly, but I’m not nearly so enthusiastic about walking around in the dark outside as I am about daylight hikes.

Walking in the dark, it’s always possible I’ll bump into something warm and soft and fuzzy—and much larger than I am, with claws and teeth too—so I try to minimize my nighttime walks and maximize my daytime ones, although work gets in the way.

But, there are good aspects to the season change as well, with the possibility that cross country skiing will start up sooner rather than later this year.

The Kelowna Nordic Ski Club has set its AGM for Mon., Oct. 7 at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park, beginning at 7 p.m. The club is looking for someone with some accounting skills to take over from Bruce Jennejohn as treasurer, and new people are needed for other tasks on the executive as well, so consider helping out.

A slide show will follow the meeting.

Membership and volunteer forms can be completed online and there will be forms available at the AGM. The website is at:

Get in shape for ski season by enjoying the cooler fall weather and getting out on some local trails to do some hiking with friends and family.

For details of hundreds of hikes around the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys pick up a copy of Okanagan Trips and Trails, written by myself and Murphy Shewchuk. His excellent maps will ensure you don’t get lost on your way to a wide variety of great hiking trails and backroads, including good fishing spots locally.

An updated edition of the book has just been published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside and is now available wherever books are sold, including Mosaic Books in Kelowna and Quails’ Gate Estate Winery in West Kelowna.

Take along your camera because the fall colours can be pretty amazing.

Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.



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