Waiting for the Fire in Lake Country

So, here’s the deer, porcupine, snake and coyote trail going up the hill. The bear likes to stay down in the gully to the left. That’s a siya? bush, fruitful with berries in the summer, and munched on by passing deer, who leave a deposit of nutritional pellets in exchange. It’s quite a price to pay, for the siya?, but it seems to work out.

The pellets are spilling down hill from the shadow to the right of the siya? bush.

Here’s a human. trail, a recreational trail to aid hikers to climb to Kopje, a basalt outcropping above Okanagan Lake north of Kelowna. You can see a fine crop of fire pines ready to go up like gasoline here, and heavy erosion, where water has followed bicycle and motorcycle tracks down the hill and over deepened them.

Still, the effect is to create a pond system, which, though pretty nasty for a human foot trail, are going to cause some nice slumping on the slope to the left, and should bring up some good deer browse, and in time, no doubt, a nice deposit beside a willow, which might just grow into something lovely.

Into a bird nest in a siya? maybe.

Before, that is, the fire takes it all away, which it will: not “if” but “when”, and not that long into the future at that. At the bottom of the fire slope is a massive residential development called “The Lakes.”


The path I took up the hill and the path the fire will take back down. Nice.

It’s a long way from a lake…

…but no matter. It will burn, too, when these fire pines explode some coming summer, partly because this poorly-conceived trail, its lack of maintenance and its inappropriate use are creating the kind of drought that fire loves, by draining all the snow away as quick as you can say 2-stroke engine.

This apocalyptic landscape is called “nature” and the exploration of it is called “recreation.” If so, it is a delight in apprehending the coming end times. Any culture that could do such a thing has no claim to this place but will be claimed by it soon enough. But, hey, that’s OK. It will be blamed on climate change.

Here’s a nice close-up view of the fire before it heats up. It’ll go up like a bomb, but it has nothing to do with climate change.


10 replies »

    • It was like walking through the fire, I tell you. Thanks for walking along. I’ll be following up in a few days. There’s another angle to this story, which I want to bring forward.


    • It is more than sad. It’s foolish and greedy, isn’t it. However, at the bottom of this story is this one truth: this is a fire landscape. Fire should not be a surprise, especially since it is more powerful than we are.


      Liked by 1 person

      • “….especially since it is more powerful than we are.”

        hits, but what could it be done? is there anything to do? why don’t we make a safe earth/nature for every creature… climate change is a problem for all of us… we do we understand this…


      • I agree, Nia. I think the reason is that we have perfected ways of saying two things at the same time, and can switch easily between one and the other and isolate the good people. Most people are the good people.


        Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s interesting to hear how other places deal with fire or fire potential.
    I’m in Illinois, where I volunteer on the burning crews.
    Here (right now), we burn our landscape to rid us of non-native species that aren’t capable of surviving a fire and to help fire dependant species flourish.
    I’ve always wondered what California would look like if they embraced the fire and let it clean the landscape…
    I’m sure I’ll never find out.


    • I think there’d be fewer houses in your clean California. I’m also sure we’d never find out. I’m going to follow up on this story in a few days.



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