As the snow line creeps lower on the hills surrounding the Okanagan Valley, those who like to ski, snowshoe, snowmobile or even take snow pictures are celebrating, while those who don’t, are out enjoying the final fall days.
It’s a bit early this year, which makes some happy but I’m still enjoying the rustle of all those bright fallen leaves as I scuff through them on my hikes. I’m somewhat dreading the slippery winter pathways and the unrelenting cloud cover that seems to be a feature of our winters here now.
I’m positive as a kid that we didn’t have nearly as much gray here in winter…I remember clear, cold sunny days of beautiful blue skies and crunchy white snow underfoot.
However, I do love a change in seasons, so I’ll keep in mind that I can light a fire and snuggle up with a good book when the weather gets too hostile to be out in it.
Higher elevation ski hills are either open already or nearly ready to open, but it’ll take a bit longer for those at lower elevations to accumulate enough snow.
In the meantime, the Friends of Mission Creek Society is bringing in a guest speaker for its 16th agm Nov. 21. It’s at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park beginning at 6:45 p.m.
At 7:30 p.m., Lael Parrott of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UBCO will talk about collaboration to support marine mammal conservation in the Saint Lawrence River Estuary.
In 2011 the Saint Lawrence Estuary Working Group on Maritime Transport and Marine Mammal Protection was created, with representatives from academic, government and induatry organizations to find solutions to reduce the impact of shipping on mammals such as the variety of whales who come to forage there in summer.
Parrott will talk about the collaborative policy-making process and some of the tools and approaches used to achieve successes there; tools that could be applied elsewhere.
Current president Peter Dill promises the following agm will be short, but include nomination of a slate of directors and a report from the treasurer.
A week later, there’s another important meeting, this time to talk about wetlands in the Okanagan Valley, with biologist, birder and author Dick Cannings speaking about the importance of such habitat here.
It’s the first phase of the Okanagan Wetlands Strategy, a cooperative project of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, B.C. Wildlife Federation and the Central Okanagan Regional District, gathering information about the valley’s wetlands.
The workshop will begin at 1:30 and go to 4 p.m., and will be followed by an open house from 4 to 6 p.m., with interactive mapping tools available for those interested in identifying wetland areas of concern.
If you’re interested in the workshop, you’re asked to respond to: email@example.com
People are also invited to participate in the survey on wetlands at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/okanagan_wetlands_strategy_phase1
For a more-active afternoon, consider signing up for the winter fishing derby being put on by Rodney’s Reel Outdoors, the Sport Fishing Guide, with partners Trout Waters Fly and Tackle and the Okanagan Fisheries Foundation.
It’s a catch and release trout derby with $3,500 in three prizes for the longest trout, as well as five random $100 prizes to be given away during the day.
It’s Sun., Dec. 8, dawn to 3:30 p.m.
For details, go to: kelownafishingderby.com
Judie Steeves writes about outdoors issues for the Capital News.