Thursday, 30 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond

Sunny and windy Knox hike today which started innocently never know what a hike will bring. 

If it wasn't for all the people standing around staring, you might be convinced that this woman had just fallen out of a tree and impaled herself. The smile gives it away. She is the "walking wounded" for ambulance attendees in training.

The "walking wounded"  woman, WWW, was being hoisted up into the tree where she was going to be attended to  by the trainees.

Here they are, a fresh crop of ambulance attendants.

The three things to be happy about today:
1. Exciting times on the trail 
2. We have a good ambulance system in BC
3. I've never fallen out of a tree and impaled myself. I have, however, jumped off of a rather large shed with and umbrella, a la cartoon style, and promptly bit through my tongue. Ouchh! I was very young.

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
Arrrghhh, nausea and a headache from the distorting eye drops from my eye exam today, making the WRT hike rather slow; but happiness/gratefulness # 1 today, is that my eyes are in very good shape indeed - all the better to enjoy this fabulous sight.

It occurs to me that the leaves of the arrow-leaf balsam root are configured to bring rain water towards its roots. Clever strategy in a semi arid location. Happiness #2 is the theory of evolutionary adaptation, which makes our understanding of the world so much easier than before.

 A wild strawberry plant along the trail. These never produce berries as it is always too dry up here.  Happiness #3 is that I can go to the store and buy berries if I feel like it. 

Okamino and Beyond

For Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

It is heART Fit Tuesday and the intention was to start from the point of happiness. Well, that easy to do today because it is a summer day, reaching temperatures of 26 C, good enough to eat outdoors on our deck (gratefulness #1).  

Steve and Shelley looking over a few attempts at starting from what makes you happy. The blue painting is mine, and looked to me like neutrinos going off in all directions. The response was "What are neutrinos?" 

Evoked steam engines from my husband and daughter.

The following three pictures are of Renata's painting in succession as she builds layers on layers.  She later informs me that it was further transformed at home.


 There's a crowd at the top of Knox yesterday as I try to befriend Belladonna who belongs to Jason. I jokingly said that you wouldn't want to give the dog Belladonna, and well, apparently this dog had been treated by a vet with the same. 

According to a trusted website:

"Though widely regarded as unsafe, belladonna is used as a sedative, to stop bronchial spasms in asthma and whooping cough, and as a cold and hay fever remedy. It is also used for Parkinson's diseasecolic, motion sickness, and as a painkiller."

And here I thought it was poisonous!

And this is the second thing I'm happy for today, the ease with which I can find out stuff through the Internet.

And the third thing I'm grateful for is this blog, which allows me to approach total strangers and get a little slice of their life and make a connection. 

Monday, 27 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
Sunday, April 27, 2015
You have to take my word for it, as there is no pictorial evidence for the 27 km or so bike ride we did today. Such a treat to meet friends at Urban Fare and have lunch.

Author Shaun Actor has these tips for happiness which were share on the CBC website:

  1. Gratitude Exercises. Write down three things you're grateful for that occurred over the last 24 hours. They don't have to be profound. It could be a really good cup of coffee or the warmth of a sunny day. 
  2. The Doubler. Take one positive experience from the past 24 hours and spend two minutes writing down every detail about that experience. As you remember it, your brain labels it as meaningful and deepens the imprint.
  3. The Fun Fifteen. Do 15 minutes of a fun cardio activity, like gardening or walking the dog, every day. The effects of daily cardio can be as effective as taking an antidepressant.
  4. Meditation. Every day take two minutes to stop whatever you're doing and concentrate on breathing. Even a short mindful break can result in a calmer, happier you.
  5. Conscious act of kindness. At the start of every day, send a short email or text praising someone you know. Our brains become addicted to feeling good by making others feel good.
  6. Deepen Social Connections. Spend time with family and friends. Our social connections are one of the best predictors for success and health, and even life expectancy.
I obviously subscribe heavily to tip #3, but think I might start tip #1 tomorrow.

Monday, April 28, 2015

WRT hike and my radio conks out on me, but happiness thing #1 I'm grateful for today is that because of it, I got to hear these deer walking beside me.

Happiness thing #2 today is that I have a beautifully reliable car. Unhappily, this is an eyesore on my WRT hike. Wish I could drag it out myself.

Happiness thing #3 today is that lilacs bloom in April here in the Okanagan, and not late May or June in all the other places I've lived in Canada.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
At the base of my WRT hike is a park and such happy news, today, volunteers were getting ready to start another Community Garden! Congratulations to all those involved, including the City of Kelowna for permission, the soil, and the cement platforms for the shed and "porta-potty"!
We did an extended WRT hike today, snaking around by the water reservoir above Wilden. Accompanying us is an old friend visiting from Calgary who hikes every day. He did well on our hills. Way to go Paul.

Great weather for hiking today, on the cool side.
Met up with Karen and her 4 month old pup named Shanti. Karen looks after the Wilden facebook page: "Wilden - Nature Inspired Living" She says she doesn't often meet folk where we were.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
Blue skies dominate, though we're told it might rain this afternoon. We need the rain as there has already been a forest fire south near Osoyoos. It's shaping up to be a year like 2003 when we had the Okanagan Mountain Park fire.
Thought I might be alone, but there are people on the Knox trails at 7:30 this morning. I'm heartened by this interest in exercising outdoors. 
Blue flowers against the backdrop of sage coloured foliage - bingo, so beautiful.

 Coming down the backside of Knox towards Paul's Tomb, the lake is a glass.
Wendy and Daniella wanted to make sure people knew that Dane had gone beyond being generous to lend them his poles for the hike up. I'm impressed with their energy and salute them. Great role models for the kids.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
Thursday, April 23, 2015
It's a chilly 2C this morning, but good for hiking up the Deer Knob behind the house. Getting close to the ground for this shot of Arrow-leaf Balsam Root leaves. They look like Swiss chard and wonder that nothing eats them.

You can make out downtown from the top of this little knoll.

I don't call it Deer Knob for nothing. She, I assumed, stayed within 15 feet of me for minutes while I took photos. I wondered then if she didn't have a young fawn nearby. 

Okamino and Beyond
Tuesday, April 21st, 2015
At the top of Knox and I've been too distracted by the company to take photos except this. It is incredibly warm, like summer in most places in Canada, in fact, warmer than Newfoundland was ever. My pale Vancouverite niece is here to do a reading from her book and she is reveling in the blue skies and sunshine. 

On a flat topped rock, the left-behinds are assembled as offering.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 
Earth Day
It always startles, the succession of plants that pop out of the ground, one after the other to make more fulsome the appearance of the forest floor. This is fern-leaved desert parsley and may still be eaten by folk who know you can.

At the top of the WRT hike, a gathering of rocks to shore up definition of private property.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond

My nephew is doing this thing where you write down things you are grateful for and then places them in a jar that you decorate yourself. He's hooked on doing it. If I had me a jar like that, my bike ride today would make it.  
At the EECO Centre a nutritionist, a videographer from Shaw and two participants in a program to get people active and eat properly. (Kind of sounds like the start of a joke). This will be shown on the Shaw Community Channel...whatever that is.

Huge Cottonwood trees fell or were taken down this spring along the Greenway.  Looks like the eye of on an open mouthed Sperm Whale.

This looks so genteel and hypnotic. You may not hear it, but the rider warns me that he may break my camera, not because he's upset, but because of his looks. He looked fine to me.

Mission Creek as it almost enters the lake. All the rage is gone out of it now.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
Along Brandt's Creek linear park that we sometime start our bike ride on, there is a community garden. Community gardens are so popular here that there is a waiting list for the plots. Such good stuff grows there and I'm sometimes very tempted to just stop and munch awhile. Neighbours Gerry and Kelly have a plot together and today, they were digging out parsnips that have overwintered. 

The Greenway is green once again.

Ah, here is the spandex I was talking about last week at Giobeans! Great sightseeing for old ladies.

Okamino and Beyond
First photos with my new cell phone showing a bumper crops for cherries this year.

This is the grandmother of white rocks and her accolades from the WRT hike.

Mission Creek from our bike ride.

Okamino and Beyond
Friday, April 17th. It's a rare weekday when my constant companion Don, to use a phrase that fellow hiker J.P.Squires uses with his partner Carmen, is able to  come and play in the woods with me.
The ArrowLeaf Balsam Roots are at their most delicious and the hills are yellow with them on the WRT hike.

This is half way up the White Rock Tree hike where for years I brought white rocks to rest after the original tree had been mowed down by the development which sits at the top of the hike. There is still evidence of our task, but most have migrated back down to my garden. (picture to be posted later)

What a sight through the trees to the valley down below.

I know some people lament young people. I think it's something that happens to a sector of the population who resent getting old. This generation complains that all young people do is play with their electronic devices.  Well, I can tell you that it is unlikely that old people have made this charming little tepee which popped up a day ago. You just want to go in and curl up.

Rob takes good care of his dog Charlie by taking him up the hill three to four times a week. I think both benefit.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

 Okamino and Beyond
Headed out for a bike ride on the usual route, to the Mission Greenway and got distracted by all this colour in someone's garden on Springfield Road. 

Hard to know how to dress, the temperature starting a 1C this morning and by noon, the reading on the shed's thermometer is at 19C.

This is a first on the blog, a video taken with my iphone. It reminded me of what I'd heard many years ago that the three sounds that are universally pleasant to mankind are the sound of leaves rustling, birds chirping and water sounds. 

I'm sure someone could bastardize all of these to make them stressful, but doesn't sound great to hear waves curling up on the shore?

Hope this doesn't irritate more than it pleases. This is the Mission Creek from the bridge at the EECO Centre. It is not a big file so probably won't go full screen very well. Time for that new improved, high mega pixel camera I've been promising myself.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
A fairy tale hike on the WRT with the sun cutting through the trees. I kept expecting a talking fox to come out from behind a tree and offer me a story. It got to a balmy +18 C from the low of -4C this morning. Phenomenal!

Marmots have invaded the constructed rocky wall along this road. They were peeping away at something or other, maybe because there are hawks circling overhead. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Okamino and Beyond
At heArt Fit this morning, Clover is demonstrating the use of charcoal in creating and we were encouraged to give it a go ourselves.  

Mary works for the Rotary Centre for the Arts and comes in every week to take "candid" shots of us applying paint and generally getting messy. You can see her posts on Facebook and look for the Rotary Centre for the Arts and the thread.

Ed had fun dragging paint across his canvass making for an interesting composition.

Mary gave it a go too.

It has been threatening to rain for a couple of days, but mainly that's all we get. Somehow, it dissipates into the hills, leaving the valley dry. Stunning view from the top of Knox!