Big Yellow Bear in the Sagebrush

Up the hill we go.

Butterflies in the mock orange. How nice!

CRASH! CRACK! BANG! A scurry of activity. One second later:

Then everyone is calm again. Now it’s time to hunker down and wait for Harold to go.

Lots of waiting.

Lots and lots of waiting. Sigh.

But the time to move on eventually comes. Yeah, OK, motorcycle on the road to the golf course up above. People, use a muffler, hey, if you don’t mind.

Harold moves on, too. Well, sorta. His spirit is still there.

What a beautiful morning.

Every day is a great day to meet a grassland bear. This is my fifth. Two were in the dark. I don’t do that anymore!

Such a handsome one, especially!

Thank you, Bear.

Butterflies and Meadowlarks on a Cold Spring Day

Windy day up on the hill. No bees, but many flowers making themselves all pretty for them.P2300996

That’s a beautiful flower. When you’re from this place, it’s the only one for you, the one that pulls at your heart.


She is arrow-leafed balsam root, which is a series of wrong names for a wild sunflower native to these hills. Yeah, no bees, but look who is braving the cold:


A butterfly growing up! Now, here’s the thing: these leaves taste like menthol. Reallllly strong menthol when they get this big. I guess menthol helps with the cold. Speaking of braving the cold of an extra-early spring:


Listen to him:

Yellow’s the season. This Western Meadowlark is a cheeky guy. Here he was three days ago, thirty metres above the neighbour’s house up the hill.




Cool Camouflage

The trick is to put two fake eyes and fake feelers on the top of your wings, while hiding out down below as if you were upside down. Just the fake eyes or the fake feelers would fool no one. It’s got to be the combination.P1760711


Western Blue Butterfly

And how do you like those snowdrifts of cat tail fluff, eh! A fine touch.

When a Noxious Weed is Our Hope for Salvation

Welcome to the Scotch Thistle. She’s a beautiful thing, don’t you think?thistle1The British Columbia Ministry of the Environment has listed it as one of our most noxious (i.e. disgusting) weeds. Aw. Look at her.


You might as well say that beauty is a noxious weed. So here’s the thing. She’s called a noxious weed because she has the potential to render wild land unsuitable for grazing cattle. Cattle, you see, were the industry around these parts some 155 years ago, and we’re just not going to let that go. Not even for this…


Gosh, but you’d think the cattle were tired of it all, wouldn’t you? I mean, grazing the gardens of the Syilx people down to dust to provide an economic stream for the new government. That’s a kind of mining, I think. It’s gone on so long that almost all the grasslands in the Okanagan are weeds and the butterflies, that live here and nowhere else (don’t look for them in a forest, that’s just not going to happen) have only one home left.


Butterfly in the making, at home in a noxious weed. You know what? I think that given the circumstances and all, this weed is not noxious. She’s beautiful.


It’s time that we rebuilt the land again. It’s the ethical thing to do.


Green Bees in the Rabbit Brush

Walking along above Kalamalka Lake today, I found the first rabbitbrush of the season in full bloom.

yellowOh, and aren’t the bees happy!



Covered in pollen, just like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, except this is A Rabbit Brush Dream! Time to fill up those pollen sacs!

edge2And spread those wings.

yellowbeeAnd perch at the very top of the sun…

perchedIt also works if you’re not a bee, or me.

butterAnd, of course, the Apostemon Goddess comes…



Apostemon… Titania… how could Shakespeare have got that so wrong?






Solar Power and Social Power

Solar power looks like this …twoonyellow Hydroelectric power looks like this …

P1140185Magpie Hill, Bella Vista Road, Vernon

Got that? Life looks like this …

lovelyflyHarvesting a Solar Conversion Machine

Death looks like this …

p1140316Cigarette Wrapper Warning Label, Orchard Hill Road, Vernon

“Risk of Blindness”

Here is a social world that includes the living creatures of the planet as part of the human family …

P1130450Grasshopper, Seen by Artfully Moving the Human Point of View

The stone, lying on the surface of an old moraine, is an important well of solar energy during the cool grassland nights.

Here is a social world consumed with inter human issues …

P1140184Magpie Hill

Anything that ventures on the road gets squished. Note that there isn’t even a space for a human to walk. This road is only for cars.

Both types of human social organization, energy use and power distribution are human. This is human:

P1130619Wild Currants, Bella Vista

This is human:

P1130479Arrow-leafed Balsam Root Seedhead

This is human:


Mule Deer Doe, The Rise, Vernon

This is human:


Mark, You Dropped Something! Magpie Hill

Lack of respect for the earth is lack of respect for oneself. Treating the earth as a dead place creates the earth as a dead place.


Water in Prison, Bella Vista Road

Art and Beauty are not innocent.

All landscapes are ethical spaces.

P1140188Abandoned Orchards, Bella Vista

This is an ethical conversation.

Blessed be.

For the first time ever, Okanagan Okanogan will be taking a break. I’m off to the Palouse, Father Pandosy’s first mission on Ahtanum Creek, Dry Falls and the Sinlahekin — all in Eastern Washington. I hope to bring you back treasures.