The Headwaters of Okanagan Lake

While following coyote tracks through an abandoned orchard in Okanagan Landing, I found the unknown (and unexpected) headwaters of Okanagan Lake. You can just make this water source out in the middle ground of the photograph below:

Fenceline Guarding the Sacred Waters

Note the creek flowing through the middle of this horse pasture. It tumbles here down through another old orchard, gone over to wild roses and hawthorns, through beds of rushes, down into the wetlands, and from there into the lake.

Following the stream uphill, delighting in the ever-changing artwork of the fenceline, I soon found the stream’s source:

The Sacred Spring

Doubling as a horse trough and bathtub. Horses are sacred to Neptune, God of the Sea. Perhaps he comes here at night to splish and splash.

Here’s a closer view:

Cool Clean Water, Pouring Directly Out of the Ground

The deal, is, of course, that running water doesn’t freeze well. Through the winter cold, a running line of water will stay clear and a horse can drink to its heart’s content whenever it wishes. Wait! Cold? Did someone say cold? 

Here’s a closeup view:

Technology at its Finest

Estimating a flow rate of 2.5 litres per minute, I reckon that in a year 1,314,000 litres of water are released from the ground and made available to Okanagan Lake, creating habitat for ducks and fish, tourists on Personal Watercraft, and, eventually, children fishing under the bridge in Riverside, Washington. Either that, or the water comes out of the City of Vernon Public Water System, and is just, kinda like, lost, eh.

Sometimes one finds the most unexpected things when one goes for a walk.

Categories: Agriculture, Water

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