Saturday, September 18, 2021

MOTORHOME TRIP COMING UP

 Aileen came home yesterday ending her house/cat sitting at Karen's so things are back to normal here.  I have been having fun putting out geocaches for others to find.  I take my full array of cameras along in the car and sometimes I find things to use them on.  I had another eight caches become active two days ago and I have another string of eight ready to upload when I get around to it.  I also went out Thursday and placed ten up a new road.  That will be a work in progress as there are lots more I intend to put in that area, I just have to find enough suitable containers.  All but the last two photos were taken on Thursday either on the way to or during my placing caches.

We hope to get away in the motorhome for a few days this week.  Not far, just something a bit different.


Here we have an Early Blue violet who seems to think it must be the start of Spring!


Poplar leaves from a distance with my super zoom camera

Heading up to my selected area




While up in the hills placing caches, I heard several flocks of Sandhill Cranes fly over.  I'm using a full frame digital camera with my 100-400 zoom lens and then heavily cropped.  The birds are so high up that often you can't see them unless the lighting is perfect.

For some reason, they will be blissfully flying along in formation then all of a sudden will start milling about.  It's almost like they suddenly forgot which direction they were going or something.  Perhaps they are changing altitude trying for a better wind current or something.  I have seen this many times.

When getting the coordinates for the geocache on the GPS, you have to let it sit for a few minutes each time and you should take at least three readings so I have time to wander about.  This little chipmunk was curious as to what I was doing in his area.


Later in the day at another location, I heard these two Sandhill Cranes right above me.  They seemed to have gotten separated from a flock and they were just circling and calling for a long time.  They seemed to be in a real panic.

Not far from home that morning, I swung off the highway just beyond Okanagan Falls and took this shot across the bottom of Skaha Lake to the town.

A few days ago I woke early and decided to go south of Oliver and take a photo over the vineyards as the sun first touched them.  When I got to my chosen spot this sunrise greeted me.  As it turned out these were the only shots I got as the clouds just got thicker and the sun didn't appear.



Monday, September 13, 2021

FALL IS COMING

 

Aileen has been housesitting for our friend Karen.  She started last Tuesday and finishes this Friday.  The old cat Sidney is diabetic and requires insulin shots twice a day.  Aileen has been gardening and renewing acquaintances along her walking route.

I elected to stay at our house and have been doing lots of geocaching stuff.  I have placed twenty six around here so far that are active online and I have another eight ready to upload.  A few days ago I did a marathon day trip over to Greenwood where I finished the run that Aileen and I had been over twice so far.  It was nearly two hours driving each way then I cached for nine hours getting 74 caches.  I had another six that I couldn’t find that took a lot of time looking before giving up.

Locally, I have been scouring the thrift stores looking for suitable containers to use for geocaches and then preparing them.  If they are bright or colourful I spray them with camo paint to make them less obvious to the general public.  Ideally they are only found by geocachers actively searching, not stumbled on accidently.  While I was out placing a new run of caches the other day, I hiked up to a cache that someone else had placed.  It was a gorgeous morning and I enjoyed rambling around the hills before getting to work setting out mine. 

Setting out a cache is quite a slow process.  First you need to find the perfect location.  Then you have to make it so others can find it which entails getting GPS coordinates as accurate as possible.  You need to take multiple GPS readings letting the GPS settle down between them which can take ten to fifteen minutes in total.  Then you must decide whether to leave a hint or not.  You have to go online and fill out a form detailing your cache information which then is edited and hopefully approved by a volunteer at Geocaching.com headquarters.  Sometimes they require more information or tell you why that location is not acceptable.  All local laws must be adhered to, of course.

We are hoping to take the motorhome out for a few days next week and go somewhere a little different for a change.  We’ve stayed in a fairly small area ever since Covid grounded us.  We’ve had a bit of rain here at the house but a little north of us Penticton has had quite a bit of rain.  Hopefully, we’ve seen the last of the smoke and it is cooling down nicely for sleeping.  We’re hoping for some decent weather for travelling.


I spotted this old bruiser as I was driving to where I putting caches out


Yearling cub

This big momma and two yearling cubs I saw while on my big caching day


Milkweed

Historic Phoenix, BC graveyard.  A local group has taken over maintaining this old mining area cemetery.

The view from the geocache I hiked up to

Fall is coming

Further along from where I found the cache, if you look closely you may be able to see my car in the upper right.

Poplar leaves

Red leaves on some brush

These asters are just starting to bloom now.  So nice to have the colour when most other flowers have died off.

Looking down over Tucelnuit Lake and the western part of Oliver, BC.

A bit of colour on my walk the other evening

Almost dark photo of Sumac with the iPhone

The motorhome actually fits on our lot.  We have been busy cleaning inside and out.  It was amazing how much ash worked its way inside.  The low quality windows just don't cut it.


Friday, September 3, 2021

SEPTEMBER ALREADY

 

Well, it has been a long while since I last posted here.  We have been keeping busy with canning.  We have now done apricot jam, blueberry jelly, grape jelly, pickled beets, peach jam and canned peaches.  We’ll do more peaches and some pears in a while.

Geocaching has been a large part of the past couple weeks as well.  Aileen and I did a long day trip over to the Greenwood area and cached up in the hills.  We only saw two vehicles the whole time up there.  Lots of squirrels and chipmunks and a couple bears but not much else for wildlife.  The road ended a couple hundred metres from the US border.  We picked up about 56 caches that day.  I also drove up to White Lake west of Salmon Arm one day and did a maintenance run on the fifteen caches I have placed up there.

Closer to home I have done a bit of geocaching but mostly I have been putting caches out for others to find.  I have twenty six placed and published and people are finding them.  I have plans to put out quite a few more in the nearby area so they won’t be too far away for maintaining.  While setting out caches, I several times heard Sandhill cranes high overhead on their journey south.  A strange thing with them, they will be flying in a perfect formation when all of a sudden they will start spiraling around and back and forth.  I wonder if they ran into different wind currents and they are trying to find a more favourable one to continue south.

Our friends from Penticton, Bev, Karen and Pat are going to Cluxewe Resort near Port McNeill on northern Vancouver Island next week and Aileen is going to be housesitting looking after Sidney the cat.  He is diabetic and needs insulin shots twice a day.

A couple weeks ago our daughter Bev was home for a short visit so we drove up and visited with her and Kevin while they were laying paving stones on a jobsite.  We had a nice outdoor visit and helped pack blocks as well.  We did a bit of geocaching on the way home.

We’re enjoying the cooler air and when it isn’t smoky have the windows open for some fresh air.  It is much nicer for sleeping.  We’ve been to Karen’s a few times gardening and fencing.  The fencing had to wait for this cooler weather.  We’re still waiting for our kitchen table and chairs to arrive.  I ordered them June 2.



Lots of trees in this area and the bears kept hiding behind them



A geocaching supper in the hills

Sunset from Deer Park

A pair of spit bugs exchanging spit on my windshield.  I'm shooting from the steering wheel with my macro lens on my large camera.

Milkweed pod has burst open

White Lake just north of us

Paintbrush up in the hills where we were caching

Ready to can peaches

The geese heading north over us to go to Vasseux Lake for the night


Sunset here a few nights ago


The view from one of my caches looking down to where we live.  Taken with my phone.

To take this photo I had to poke my lens through one of the openings in the fence.  It turned out to be a shocking experience as I hadn't noticed the electric fence hiding in the grass at my feet.  That is one experience I don't wish to try again!  Just beyond the lake is McIntyre Bluff on the right.  We live just beyond that.  Taken with my 5D full frame DSLR with a polarizer filter.

Getting a view over the fence