In a busy time, what is better than a few days with friends?
After leaving the lush rain forests of the lower mainland, the drive up the Hope Princton Hwy. now has evidence of extensive spruce bud worm and pine beetle damage. The trees needles turn a brown red, then the tree becomes a skeleton with the last change being the falling away of bark. Younger and healthier trees are not usually attacked, but the older stands are decimated The Forestry service is working on methods to thwart these little bugs that do so much damage to the forest industry. Controlled burns are replaced with new seedlings. The only guaranteed solution is to have long periods of severe cold weather to kill the grubs. Climate warming is enabling the bugs to move further north.
Soon, the forests give away to rolling hills, grasslands. Where there is irrigation, the orchards and vineyards of the Okanagan produce bountiful harvests. We were invited to an orchard to pick fruit. Vegetable stands overflow with the freshest of tasty fruit and vegetables. The squash are amazing - in every size and shape. One orchard even sported a squash tree! The gardens grow luscious tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants. There is always a moment to admire a weed in all its vigour, or a rose in all its beauty. We walked along the Okanagan River. Heading back home, the Hope Princeton Hwy. has deep bends and steep grades. Trucks can lose their brakes and run out of control. Every so often, you will see a 'runaway lane'. And, what greets us as we near home? Rain - of course!