Sunday, September 10, 2006
  Vampire in a forest fire
I have just spent another lazy day doing not much of anything, although there have definately been key moments in the last couple of days.

We went to the "members only" beach in the village, which is the beach that all the locals go to avoid the tourists, again, and I went swimming in Okanagan Lake, which was nice, but I'm definately self conscious about my alabaster white skin around here. No tan, is unheard of-- I'm pretty much a standing dead person from the water, like a dead light-house girl guiding boats away from shore.

It was a really hot day too, the temperature was somewhere in the thirties. When I actually went swimming[1] I saw a little head poke out of the water, and discovered another snake. It was a little prairie garter snake, with beige scales flecked with black, trying to navigate easier across the bay.

Then today, snake number four was a common garter snake that my brother found on the side of the road and put in his beer holder on the dirt bike to bring home and show me. Another little runty snake, but it was still cool to see. I held it for a while, and it was pretty calm. They're much different garter snakes than home though, because they have bright orange spots that almost look fluorescent.

Today we also went up the mountain in the Scottsdale, which is this huge fire-engine red propane Chevy that my brother has (that has a small leak) to Clear Meadow Lake, which is a nice friendly name for a freshwater resevoir that has massive deforestation sites around it dating from 1987 that have only recently been replanted. It was pretty cool.

I guess the lake dries up in the fall, and the island in the middle is accessible via mudflats in a quad. Apparently it's the only place you can ever find mud around here sometimes. Anyways, the ride up was pretty rough, and the truck is very old, but it was a lot of fun. Babies have this thing about rumbling trucks too evidently, because she slept all the way up, and all the way down.

On the way down, we saw a huge toad cross the road, and a questionable horned beast (it was nighttime), as well as a Lynx. Today is also the first day of hunting season in the province, so we saw a lot of hunters as well.

The forest fires have been the hot topic around town lately, and the smoke has been really thick for the last week, but it actually cleared up a lot last night, because there was some rain. There's something like three thousand hectares on fire by Oseyoos I guess, which is now over the Washington border. People aren't worried yet, but you can tell that a lot of people have forest fires as one of their biggest phobias, which is weird to me, because it's not a mentality I ever grew up with. Yeah, they were bad, but not like "I'm shaking in my birkenstocks" bad. But, it's totally different out here. It just gets incredibly dry, so when they start, they start easily and burn fast. [2]

Anyways...I'm going to start mucking around with my brother's camera more tomorrow, so maybe I'll actually be able to throw some stuff onto flickr after...well, eons of not having the means necessary.

[1] By swimming, really I mean wading. The bay that we were in didn't get deeper than four feet in any spots. They had a huge crane parked in the middle of the bay to pound the posts for a dock they're putting in, and I could walk all the way around it in waist-deep water. You have to go really far out to be deep enough to really swim.

[2] Hello Captain Obvious. Where have you been? On vacation, yes.
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