By Richard Cannings
The Okanagan draws hundreds of thousands of holiday makers every year to take pleasure in its seashores and wine, yet progressively more individuals are studying its common attractiveness. With wasteland sands and deep lakes, towering rock cliffs and wealthy benchlands, chilly mountain forests and sizzling grasslands, the Okanagan has an ecological range unmatched in Canada.
Roadside Nature excursions throughout the Okanagan opens with an creation to the region’s biodiversity, weather, geology, and human heritage, environment the degree for the direction descriptions that stick to. Richard Cannings then takes us on twenty-one excursions throughout the valley, from the arid benchlands of Osoyoos to the snowy forests east of Vernon. The routes range from major highways to quiet roads, and alongside each we’re brought to the animals, crops, and bedrock that create this nationwide treasure. each one path additionally has a focal subject, starting from owls to salmon and rattlesnakes to rock rabbits.
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Extra resources for Roadside Nature Tours through the Okanagan. A Guide to British Columbia's Wine Country
Agriculture dominated the local economy; forestry activities in the early 1900s were concentrated on providing timber for local development, including the construction of flumes and apple boxes. A few vineyards were planted as early as the 1920s, and Calona Wines began production in the late 1930s. The wine industry blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s but generally produced inexpensive and decidedly inferior wines. In 1984 Canada and the United States signed a free trade agreement that allowed duty-free importation of American grapes for processing in the few large Okanagan wineries.
Spring and summer are delayed by altitude, so flowers that bloom in May in the valley bottom (for instance, bitterroot) can be found blooming in July on top of Mount Kobau. The curious mix of sagebrush and subalpine fir at the peak results in an equally interesting combination of animals—lowland birds such as Brewer’s sparrows sing alongside high-mountain specialists such as hermit thrushes. The short walk to the old forestry lookout from the parking area gives you spectacular views of both the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys.
The rings are thought to be formed through crystallization processes driven by the alternate flooding and drying of the lake. You’ll also find a small pull-off with an information kiosk halfway along the lake. Local Native peoples—who call the lake Kliluk— consider it sacred; the Okanagan Nation owns the lake, and access is not permitted. Just past Spotted Lake, you pass a few sloughs that were once rich marshes full of waterfowl and other animals in summer, but they are now mostly dry, because their spring meltwater sources go to domestic and agricultural uses.