Sustaining the Okanagan 12: Beauty and the Bees

When the big (failed) subdivision was put in on the slope above my house, the road fill was seeded with blue bunch wheatgrass, the signature grass of this grassland. Slowly some big sage, also native, is moving in.P1180393

The green you see above, scattered amongst them is a combination of two noxious invasive weeds, rush skeleton weed and dalmation toadflax. The idea is to protect the land for this:

Well, her grannies ate the bunchgrass back in 1890. Now she just gets a few weeds here and there. We must be looking at 1000 acres per cow. If we keep going at this rate, we’re going to get this, which is a cow trail in a “pasture” much like this, across the valley from my house and down along the shore a ways:

Wouldn’t you rather have this?


These gloriosa daisies get along well with the native bunchgrass and the flax, and that mustard in back.P1180407

Why, think of it: we could save our bees and butterflies from extinction, and actually have something to be proud of, while the bees and butterflies settled in. Why, alfalfa gets along well with these girls.


So does native yarrow.


If we’re going to have tourists, why not make it worthwhile? Why not resurrect the ancient principle of yil, of weaving social activity with the landscape to encourage the greatest number of species in order to ensure they all thrive, and humans, who are the weavers of them all, among them, so they can continue their weaving? It would be worth it.


You’d come, right? Maybe for the lavender that likes this arrangement, too?


The bees of these grasslands have survived for a generation in private flower gardens on their edges, gardens which are now being torn out and replaced with gravel, in a mistaken idea that this will conserve water. Well, mayyyyybe and maybe not, but without species-specific insects the ability of the grassland to support life will be lost, and without flowers to bridge the landscape for them, there is no chance for them to grow together, and for us to grow in awareness with them. It’s so simple.


Right now, there was one inspired gesture, almost a secret.


The tour busses stop at the honey farm four kilometres to the north. That’s roughly four to six busloads of Japanese travellers a week. They prowl around the scanty gardens of the honey shop with their cameras, looking for something to photograph, and they find it, but I suspect they would come here, and pay more for the honey gathered from these flowers. Wouldn’t you?


It would be an honour to walk here with any of them. With anyone.


“Look what we’re doing,” we could say. “We’re weaving ourselves, and the future of our children, into the earth,” and then we could say …


… “isn’t it beautiful? Here, taste it.” Right now we can say, “Oh …

… that’s private property.”



Categories: Industry

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