Atmosphere

The Spirit of Okanagan Lake

Look at the cloud move south past Squally Point, keeping to the east, and Okanagan Mountain. Note the waves coming onto the Peachland Beach.

Thing is, there is no wind. It is 20 Below. The cold is stirring the lake. Look at it below, roiling and heaving as the cloud passes in the cold.

Look now at the layer of fog it leaves on the water. If you were in an open boat, you would be in the fog’s power. This is N’ha-a-itk’s lair (above, centre, and just to the right below), the spirit of the lake.

As the cloud moves south, the boundary line of the lake’s roiling response increases in energy. This is where the lake bends 90 degrees. There are always two weathers on the lake, one south and one north of this point. This time, the energy is at a high point. Look at the lake climbing into the air below. You should be able to just make it out. These images are from Antler’s Beach, an old village site and the encampment of Remittance men between 1898 and 1914. The mule deer of the Nicola crossed the mountains every year to winter here.

There, the lake achieves its cold. She is snaking into the sky.

Right from the boundary zone. (These are colour images, by the way.)

And again.

And further out. Note how the tail end of the cloud is being pulled down as it passes.

This image shows how many water spouts there were in this location.

Now you can see the scene in context. Look at the swells from this interaction hitting the beach.

As I drove south, the fog on the lake gleamed pure white in the sun, while the spout remained black. I couldn’t make an image of that, but at the south end of the lake, twenty kilometres away, I was able to stop again. The energy is weakening here in the wider valley, but I was afforded a closer view of the interface between sky and water.

This time, I wasn’t the only observer. A pair of very cold ravens watched me from a Russian olive. I snapped this pic while walking.  I owe the lake an apology.

Beautiful birds, though.

I met the spirit of the lake, riding through the sky above it, and the lake rising to meet it. It was a great honour. Whoo-ha, what a day!

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