Tuesday, August 17, 2021



Yes, another smoky Okanagan summer.  Further north up the valley the fire situation is much more severe with lots of evacuations occurring and some houses destroyed.  We have smoky days then some clearing will happen for a while before the smoke returns.  The extreme heat has gone thankfully and perhaps it won’t return this summer.

With the smoke there is less walking happening.   I try to get out each evening and have resumed carrying my Canon SX 60 camera as well as my phone.  There is a lot less wildlife activity but I don’t know if it is the smoke or just the time of year.

I have been helping Aileen canning fruit and make jams and jelly.  Our new kitchen is working very well for this so our design thoughts have paid off.  So far we have canned some peaches and made peach, apricot, blueberry jams and grape jelly.  We will buy more peaches to can soon then beets to pickle and next month, pears to can.

We have been enjoying veggies and herbs from Karen’s garden that Aileen still helps maintain.  We seem to get up to Penticton at least twice a week.  As soon as the weather cools off enough I have some more fencing to do for Karen.  The peaches we planted last year at Karen’s have done well this year.

Evening sun

A little later as the sun got down into thicker smoke

The next evening the smoke wasn't as thick so the sun is brighter

Mallard hen at Vaseux Lake

Eastern Kingbird on my evening walk

Quail on my evening walk

This rabbit was about seven feet away while Louie and I were chatting at his fence

Let's have a closer look

Great Blue Heron at the Okanagan River on my evening walk

Vaseux Lake where Aileen went for a swim the other night

Our set up for straining the grape juice prior to making jam.  We hung it overnight.

Some of the peach trees we planted at Karen's last year

Sunday, August 8, 2021



Yes, we finally got a bit of rain which has cooled things down and reduced the smoke.  This will be a brief reprieve as the temperatures are forecast to return to normal and higher in the next few days. 

We have completed the yard work with all the gravel spread and the flower bed soil in place.  I had to get another 1.5 cubic yards of gravel so rather than paying for a large dump truck to deliver that little bit I constructed a plywood box for the utility trailer and hauled it myself with the car.  It was loaded with a skid steer but I unloaded all 3,190 pounds myself.  We had to wait for the neighbour’s fence to be completed before we could finish up that side.  Once the fence was finished the neighbours helped us rake back their gravel so we could overlap their fabric and ours to help keep the weeds down.

Afternoon sun during our smoky days

Smoky evening sun

Four of these planes from Alberta were flying over our house constantly one day dropping water on the Nk'Mip fire just a few miles southeast of us.  They were dipping water from Vaseux Lake about two miles north of us so they made very swift round trips and they were very successful in their fire suppression efforts.

Saw this Praying Mantis on the bottom of the gas pump when I was refueling the car a couple days ago

Loading gravel in my new pickup truck

Emptying with a shovel into the wheelbarrow then Aileen raked it level

And we're finished!

Little swimming beach at the south end of Vaseux Lake five minute drive from our house

This neat cloud was overhead the other night on our walk the development.  I did a vertical panorama with my phone to capture more of the cloud.