The Okanagan’s Dirty Secret

Is it the Dirty Laundry Winery?

No. That’s actually a little bit of colonial Canadian culture using the Okanagan to market Canada to itself by romanticizing prostitution. That’s easy. No, no, I mean the freaking air. Or, rather, its replacement with smoke and car exhaust.

Maybe building a city 150 miles long was a bad idea.

But, hey, party on.

 http://www.winetrails.ca/2015/05/its-party-time-at-dirty-laundry-vineyard/

But maybe you could walk?

Where the Mountains Become Water

In my country, the rivers are born in the mountains. Here is born the Missouri, the Columbia, the Fraser and all their ancestors and all their daughters.

This particular mother is the Cascades: a sea bed melted in the deep earth and lifted into the sky by a younger sea. Look at its wave break in a crest of foam.

This is one of the old ones of the Columbia, the Washaptum. Here, the mountains become water again. Note how they turn to eggs of stone. Look how the current is the flick of a salmon’s tail. Look how the sun comes in waves. This is the wave trough. It is like the call of a whale.

Look how the water and the rock braid together in these depths. This is the deepest floor of the sun.

Look how water and sun and stone and sea mingle and part and mingle again in these depths. That’s how it’s done.

Since the beginning of civilization, long before the pharaohs, Owhi’s people, the Pisquouse, came here to meet the salmon the mountains were calling out of the distant Pacific where they fed on the sun. This is the power song. This is where fish make people.

Come, they called.

Come and be born.

These are the eggs of humans, as the mountains make them.

This is a man rising from the stream to breathe his sun.

This is what he sees when he looks back to his birth. This his mind and heart. These are his children’s children’s children’s children, calling for him to help them be born.

This is what we do here in Cascadia.

We are being born. Sometimes it means writing stories about all of this on our ancestral rocks, just as the pines do. Here the fish are born from the mind that is born from minding the fish.

Everything else is the dying. Does this sound fanciful to you? OK. What about this?

Poisoning the earth down the road from my house, in the Columbia Headwaters at Head of the Lake.

Maybe you like your royal gala apples with poison. When Woody Guthrie, the Traitor, sang his song, “Roll on Columbia…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20ZffI6by3A
This is the impounded river: a chain of shipping locks full of southern, warm water salmon-egg-eating-fish.

… he bragged that the Columbia River, the great salmon river of the world, would live on in the electrical grid, translated into pure energy. That’s part of that above. Here’s some more, on the Okanagan Lake Shore:

That’s what these stones …

… look like after Woody’s betrayal. Let us love each other again.

Let us be the children of the mountains again.

Filthy Air in the Okanagan

The difference in colour between the air in the foreground and the background of this image looking from Bella Vista (surely a misnomer) to Okanagan Landing and the Commonage in Vernon yesterday is a measure of how much filth we have put into only five kilometres of air.p1450985

Every cubic metre of that air holds extra heat from the sun. The colour shows that. It is as much a part of global warming as the weedy trees that have crept down the grassland hill, whose dark colour holds the sun’s heat in winter, melting snow that should be melting into the grass later, and then ejecting it into the atmosphere as water in the summer heat, where it is blown away to the east, and gone. The grass wouldn’t have done that, but in our ignorance of grass we did. Forget global C02 measures. We just need to step outside and look at the water. This is what “development” as an economic strategy leads to: dirt. Wear a mask. Because, when you get up to 650 metres on the hill, you can smell this stuff. Here’s what 15 kilometres of it looks like.

p1460011

Let’s stop selling the Okanagan as a place with a clean environment. It just makes things worse.

Art and Ethics on the Okanagan’s Ancient Water

The sun rises.p1430784

It draws the night fog off of Okanagan Lake. It’s early and 18 Below Zero. The gulls sleep on.p1430791

The gulls that seem to have erupted from the lake. The lake that is feathered with frost.

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The frost that is like eiderdown. Such mysteries here. p1440285

Such beauty.p1440345

The lake turned into art by geese.

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Geese with cold feet.p1430923 That warm the lake in goose-shaped blotches to get those feet warm.
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Artist geese.p1430934

What a show! p1440028

What a beautiful earth, all linked together like frost.

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Under the open stars.

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And the Milky Way.

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With a view right to the Big Bang.

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Ah, but what’s this?

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Oh, bugger it, that’s not fog. That’s smog spewing north from Kelowna, a collection of wineries, wine bars and chain stores skirting a thirty-kilometre-long strip mall of car dealerships and bars twenty kilometres down the lake.

p1440337

This is our shame. Look hard. This is what a failure of ethics looks like.

Do the Rich Have All the Fun?

p1420726You tell me. That’s their houses up above, and some beautiful ice drifting in. Below, is Okanagan Lake the next day after the wind did its thing all night long.

p1420773

I have no answer to the question, but these nests do manage to privatize public water, wind and sun, don’t they. I wonder if that makes the nesters happy. With any luck they’ll be down there composing poems and music for the ice right now.

 

Water and Air Pollution in the Okanagan Valley

This is the bottom of Okanagan Lake, in 15 centimetres of water, in Vernon, on a public beach.
yuckI know the green stuff is algae, that shouldn’t be there, but what is the purply white stuff? Would you drink that? Would you let your kid swim in it? Would you even let your dog swim in it? The image below is from Okanagan Centre, twenty kilometres down the lake. It shows what those stones should look like: old volcanic cores gouged out in the over deepening processes of a melting continental glacier.P2200050

Unfortunately, I had to search for those stones. The image below shows what it really looks like, for kilometre after kilometre, at Okanagan Centre (below.) These stones are covered in green slime (like in the picture from Vernon above) in the wet (summer) season.

P2190977

Look, I know I’m as old as the hills, but I think it’s completely beyond acceptable that this has happened. In 1970, you could drink this lake. The water was clear for three or four metres, at least.  You could swim in it. Now people do this:

swim

You could make soup out of that junk, but would you spoon it up?

This is in Vernon, by the way. The  slime and weird whiten and purple crud photo at the top of this post was taken to the left of this image, where the brown resort apartments meet the lake. The current $900,000,000 (!!!!!!) water improvement project for Greater Vernon includes dumping millions of litres of treated water into this arm of this lake, letting the lake miraculously clean it, then pumping it back out again and spraying it on lawns, orchards and vegetable fields. From beginning to end, this is obscene. Ah, you think that is bad? Well, the image below is no better.P2190102

That’s the main channel of Okanagan Lake, ten kilometres north of Okanagan Centre and forty kilometres north of Kelowna. What you see is cloud, and below it a layer of smog blowing up from the city. In 1970, this air was so clean, there were no impurities in it at all, and certainly not brown smog blowing in. I remember the first time I saw smog in the Okanagan. It was in 1980, rolling south from Kelowna. Now, many people say,

that’s progress,

or even …

You can’t stop progress.

That’s bullshit. It’s a crime, that’s all, pure and simple. I know. I have the memory. I carry the grief within me. Just look at this!P2170755

That’s four days ago. Look at the brown smog in those clouds. Chances are it has blown north from Seattle or Vancouver: hundreds of kilometres away. It does that. Look at the lower level of smoke drifting up the main body of the lake, moving north from Kelowna, 35 kilometres to the south. Look at how it pools in the Shorts Creek Draw (in the middle right of the image, between the two low white clouds.) For the love of all things decent, hundreds of people get their drinking water from that creek!

The Urban Planning Paradox

Without planning, there is chaos.
landingGoose and Gull Chaos

Oh, wait, maybe it’s with planning that there’s chaos.

P1170113Okanagan Paradise

A park bench, a valley view, and the grassland hill behind. 

Might it be that that only looks like paradise because we are trained (domesticated) to see it that way? Look again.

rec2Everything Has a Purpose …

… and all purposes can co-exist. Well, as long as one ignores the fact that the land was stolen back in 1895 and has been in land claim ever since.

Well, let’s look more closely, eh. A garbage can beside a park bench so you have to smell fermented dog feces while cars whizz by at your back, while you’re looking over productive grassland fields irrigated with sewage outflow, which are grazed by cattle, full of unexploded military ordinance (in places), used as a gravel and soil dumping ground (in places) and leased out to a forestry nursery? Maybe it’s better not to know, eh.

P1150773

Close Your Eye, Buddha Boy

That’s the stuff.

Sure, there appears to be total chaos up on the hillside, but maybe it’s not, eh. Maybe it’s a message, written crystal clear, like this:

P1150626

Gull Cleaning Up the Lake

Go, Gull, Go!

So, yeah, maybe that there garbage can is a message, and an indication of the attitude of [someone in authority] to “the people”, that might go something like this:

CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF!

Sensible, that’s for sure. Mind you, just a tiny suggestion for improvement? Sure, why not, in the spirit of community solidarity. Might it not make it awfully hard to enjoy the recreational opportunity provided by governmental zoning here when that message is at your elbow and dominates the scene and really says:

Peeyew!

It’s like, you know, not all that respectful, really. Maybe part of the problem is zoning and government budgeting. Maybe all that goes something like this:

1. A city truck can only deliver a pre-manufactured park bench where there is a road, so the bench must go at the roadside.

2. Same goes for a pre-manufactured concrete garbage can…

3. … and the garbage can only be collected, by truck, if it, also, is near the road, because there isn’t the budget to pay people to do this work independently of machinery.

Let’s admit it. Problems like that must bring grey hairs to city planners in a petroleum economy. Maybe all parts of the scene are dominated by messages in the same way? Like this?

P1170031

Forestry Nursery, Irrigated by Reclaimed Sewage

The hand is pointing out various slumps in the land from excess water and retaining dikes that try to contain it from filling the ditch beside the path. Maybe the thinking that lead to this expensive governmental construction project went something like this:

1. The land is covered in grass (and grazed by the cattle of the cattlemen who ahem, inherited it, blush, from the Syilx, thus it is considered farmland.

2. In terms of zoning, that allows for agricultural use.

3. A tree nursery is agricultural use. It’s about growing trees, right?

4. Agriculture requires water. Plants like that.

5. Earth purifies water. Humans like that.

6. The application of water to an agricultural use, on agricultural land, built out of earth, purifies water.

7. So we can put our reclaimed sewage up there and use the Syilx grasslands to turn it into lake water that we can swim in.

8. Gravity helps.

9. This is a very good thing and an image of environmental stewardship.

I dunno. Take a closer look.
P1170032

Forestry Nursery on Post-Glacial Lakebed

The trees in behind have largely grown in since Syilx burning was outlawed in 1920. The trees grown in the nursery are designed to renew forests like that (once they are logged), although this one, being in plain sight and all, is retained for its aesthetic properties.

Isn’t that beautiful? An ingrown forest of weeds in a grassland is zoned of aesthetic use, and it works. It makes tourists and residents happy, makes for lovely views, and sells real estate. Aw shucks, that would be enough to bring great joy, but there’s more: apparently, an appropriate agricultural use for a grassland habitat is to grow trees to represent in physical form  a racist, legal directive. These trees are, in other words, one of the reasons the indigenous people, and their forms of land use, were suppressed in British Columbia a century and a half ago. And, you know, that would be enough to turn the world into an artwork, but there’s something even more beautiful and up-to-date about it: all this is considered environmental stewardship and social support for the people, on the principle that caring for people follows the creation of “jobs”. You’d think it might be the creation of food, security and shelter, but no, that would be wrong thinking. If you find yourself thinking like that, it might be that your domestication (indoctrination) was faulty and you need some political re-training.

Note: In the upper grasslands of BC, there are between 100% and 1000% more trees than there were in 1920.

Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe it’s not, but one thing is for sure: it’s a regulatory, zoning decision that just so happens to have the result that it removes opportunity for the Syilx (or anyone else) to live from any part of the land that has not been first converted into an industrial process, or, may I add, a zoned or regulatory one. Here’s a closer look at a regulatory decision:

P1170135

This is the Kind of Post-Glacial Lakebed We’re Talking About

It started on the bottom of water, and it just loves to flow with water again, whenever you give it a chance.

If you find yourself thinking that maybe, oh maybe, when zoning is coupled with “fiscal restraint” within an industrialized culture that spends most of its human work hours to maintain the ability of linear, petroleum-dependent machinery to do work that might have been done by humans, weird things happen on this kind of a hill, you know your indoctrination (education) is wobbling again. Fortunately, even the regulators, who have a firm grasp on reality, stumble into error when their expensively-capitalized machinery intersects with planning and management issues. If that makes you feel any better. It can look like this:

P1170005

Oops!

This public trail is built out of gravel, no doubt precisely in accordance with regulations, above a drainage pipe, designed to take waste water (i.e. too much reclaimed sewage) off of the clay of the grasslands and deliver it to the lake, but this is a hill, and when the rain and snow melt it does what lake bottom hills love to do: go back down to the lake bottom. Truth is, water moves down these hills from plant to plant to plant, never being allowed to move freely. Trouble is, cattle graze the plants that are good at this, and graze the flatland prairie ones seeded to replace them, until, well, it costs a lot to put things back together again.

Maybe this kind of error is more expensive than doing things right? Oh, that’s just seditious thinking, that is. It’s not ultimate costs that matter here, but costs within a particular budgetary cycle. Paying for a path ten times over, over ten years of erosion, beats paying for it once, at half the cost, because that kind of behaviour exceeds budget capacity for any one year, and you’d have to raise taxes, and who wants that, right? So, the work is kind of a dance between budgets and time. Here’s another example:

P1170075

Forestry Green Houses

Because green houses raise plants, they can be zoned for agricultural land. That the land has to be dug up and filled with glacial outwash gravel (deposited in rivers, against walls of ice, as the glaciers were melting, while the silt settled to the lake bottom that forms the soil here) is irrelevant. Gravel is also soil, the thinking goes, and that’s agricultural, too.

It’s all logical and legal (although gravel is ground up river bars and soil is a microbial community, but let that be) and yet it leads to this:

P1170080

The Washout Begins

The gravel doesn’t want this water either.

And why is so much water trying to get away from the greenhouse complex? Ah, look…

P1170089

Forest Seedling Growing Area

Large trays of seedlings will soon be laid out on these supports. Then the spray irrigation will begin.

Take a look at the floor of that area: gravel. You can’t really grow anything on something like that, but because there are plants present, and greenhouses are defined as agriculture, thats OK. I think the thinking, among the enlightened rather than the ignorant, goes like this:

1. Gravel is earth.

2. Gravel is more stable than clay, so you can run machinery on it without mud.

3. Gravel absorbs water.

4. Gravel cleans water as water trickles through it.

5. Water that enters the earth stays in the earth, until it fills groundwater aquifers, with pure, clean, gravel-filtered water.

6. Like a fridge filter!

It’s as if the earth were a machine. And what do you do when the machine doesn’t work, because gravel, clay, hillsides and soil in a dry country grassland don’t combine according to textbook principles, because those principles are not based upon this environment but upon ones born in regimes of excess water, which adapted to that water long, long ago? Well, in an industrialized, petroleum-driven culture under budget constraints created by zoning parameters, you build a French Ditch:

P1170073

Excess Water Made to Go Away

And what is a French Ditch? Well, it’s a ditch full of rock. I.e. it’s a septic tank, a kind of sewage disposal device, that keeps excess water below ground.

You know, it’s sad. The land just wants to create a wetland, wherever it is cut or damaged, or wherever water appears. Irrigating the fields creates wetlands. They form spontaneously all over the place. Thing is, they’re kept in a juvenile state, full of algae and… isn’t that the same as a septic lagoon? Haven’t we turned the hillsides into a sewage plant? Oh my, there I go again, with my poor socialization on display for all to see. You see how rough I have it? Instead of seeing the light, I think of the ditches being filled not with semi-radioactive rock from the quarry on stolen Syilx land over the hill but with rushes, reeds and, ta da…

P1170095Weeping Willow

Weeping willows can take up  250 to 1750 litres of water per day. They also remove toxins from the water.

Here’s how you plant a willow: you cut off a twig, stick it in a bucket of water for a couple weeks, then stick it in the soil. If the soil is wet, you can just stick the stick into the soil. Hopeless, aren’t I. Well, in my defence, let me point out that among all my failings I do recognize that there’s a problem with the willow idea. All that water, you see, needs to be returned to the lake bottom, instead of being evaporated by willows into the air. It needs to replace the water that was stolen from the earth-sky-lake cycle by diverting it through the houses of the city in the first place. OK. Fine. But first, would it be completely inappropriate to ask why is the water sprayed on the dry hillsides during the day, then, when 65% of it evaporates in the first place ? Might it be that human culture in these parts is one that understands water and rain but not drought? Might it be an English culture? Might it not be imported from England? Where it rains? A lot? Maybe. Gee, I dunno. OK, what about this:

P1170146Water Cress

Here at the bottom of all the “soil-filtered” water at the bottom of the hill.

That’s what the land is trying to create here: life, rather than a system of raw elements (soil, water, air, etc). Why, instead of eroded vertical ravines, might there not be systems of stone or concrete steps that pool water on the way down, instead of fighting it, and in those pools might not a valuable agricultural crop  be grown? What if instead of algae, the result of the erroneous thinking that soils (and not the bacteria within soils) purify water, the pools looked like this?

P1170148 I mean, given that the land wants to create wetlands, to replace the wetlands that have been filled with gravel at lake level, might it not be cost effective just to create them instead of the water systems that are dysfunctioning up on the hill at the moment, because of regulations built upon wrongful understandings? It’s just an idea, you know, but you could harvest this darned stuff, you could solve any contamination problems, you could have stable paths going up and down beside it, and you could just let the people eat it, even. Why not? Why does land have to be turned into cash, which is then used to create food banks to feed the people? Why does it have to cost so much, in terms of petroleum resources, constrained by the needs of machinery for roads and simplistic solutions? Well, that’s politics and planning, of course. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. It’s not a law of the universe, only a law of a system of regulations. One thing is for sure:

P1170094Night Lights

The culture that took this productive land (absolutely covered with food crops) from the Syilx, has to create industrialized plots out of earth, use industrialized water (called “waste water”, because there’s no other planning category for it, hence it is ‘waste’ to the planning system), and even recreate the sun, in order to produce anything at all and to create enough of a surplus to pay for itself. And where does that sun come from? More machinery.

MicaDamMica Hydroelectric Dam, Columbia River, Source

It might all be good, you know, if it didn’t lead to poverty and disrespect, such as this, right back where we began…

P1170113Maybe the initial disrespect, the theft of Syilx land, is still playing itself out. Maybe that’s the ultimate zoning decision, that is constraining all acts that follow. Maybe if we got that one right, we’d set up the conditions to get better regulations and better actions to follow, and we could lead the land to death rather than an ability to even absorb water. Maybe. Man, I’m glad I’m not a city planner. It must be murder having to keep trying and trying to adjust the system, and to continually be thwarted by a dwindling reserve of capacity within the land and water and a dwindling reserve of cash from the people. It’s about enough to make a guy stick a garbage can right by a park bench, that’s what it is.

The Beauty of Okanagan Beaches

Did you see the government ad about the Okanagan’s wonderful beaches? See it here. They understated the truth, that’s all I can say. For your holiday pleasure, here are the public amenities at “Lakeshore Beach” on Okanagan Lake.

P1170193 The beauty of this quintessential Canadian urban design makes me weep. You could travel the whole world and never find anything so pure. Here’s a closer view.

P1170194 Pretty down home and cozy, huh! That’s the Canadian way, don’t you think otherwise. Oh, shucks,  why not look again …
P1170196
Right down to the empty tuna tin and the lid from a plastic storage tote that drifted in on the winter winds! I blush to show you such riches. Now, if this were private land, you’d think, aw, I wish I could live there, all snuggly and all, but it’s not, see, that’s the beautiful part. This is City of Vernon recreational land, in other words, a public beach! Of course, the lake is also a boating playground. We can share, right? Don’t paddle too hard, now!

oarOoops! And, heck, just a multi-sport recreational paradise when you get right down to it.

P1170176Na, not just the canoe, which is a beauty of romantic aging-in-place and jerry-rigged repairs with a spray can, but look at it’s, ahem, deck (for suntanning, I presume?) …

P1170174A bike stunt platform in the frost! Hey, where else would you find this level of civic infrastructure at your disposal? Oh, speaking of disposal, totally up to date and state of the art. Why, the wetland in behind is so compromised by gravel infill and somebody’s sewage that it, ahem, needs a little help getting into the lake, but there are always helping hands. This is no backwards third world country or anything like that, you know.

stink

It stinks, that’s all I’m saying, but only half as much as this:

http://bctree.com/about/our-story

which contains this whopper of pristine ad copy:

British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley boasts rich, fertile soil, endless days of summer sun and 135 kilometers of pristine lake fed by pure mountain streams. It almost doesn’t seem fair that one place should have so much. But thank goodness.

Thank goodness, indeed! Now, don’t you dare get all weepy and think for a second that european society is an invasive organism in this dry grassland, because if the city can’t afford picnic facilities, here in Canada the neighbour can, right off the edge of the beach, in the wetland…

bench

… and homeless people can use it, and everything. That’s the beauty of the Canadian way: all putting our shoulders to the wheel, in honest work and honest play, in the great outdoors, surrounded by the pristine and the beautiful. Why, we love our lake so much, we even pump it up the hill, so we can follow it back down. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen from afar, to the waterslide…

P1170038Wheeee! No, no, no, no, this is the invasive species.

starling

Starlings! Boo!

15,000 of these were killed last year.

Canadians. Responsible environmental stewards, lovers of nature, every time, where going to the beach is like sitting in your own front yard. Or back yard…

P1170011Up, up and away!

Next stop, the international space station!

 

 

 

 

Canada: Ideology Gone Bad

Ideology is an Invasive Weed (Part Two)

P1140716

In cold post-glacial lakes there are no weeds. The weeds grow in wetlands draining into the shore. In Canada’s version of the Okanagan Valley, it’s not quite like that, as I showed two days ago (Click.) Why, one would think that Canada is trying to turn this lake into an image of the famous muskeg of the Boreal Forest (Perhaps around the tar sands of Northern Alberta?), or maybe just the algal bloom and general over-fertilized muck of Lake Erie (tobacco field petroleum-based fertilizer runoff). I dunno. The geese do, though.

P1130521 Goose With a Feather Fail and Orange Peel

Florida 1. Okanagan 0. Third inning.

Poor things. They’re grossed out at the hell that human mis-reading of grassland lake systems as summer boating and swimming paradises have made out of the lake (see yesterday’s post) and are hanging out at the children’s playground instead of dipsy-doodling down on the lake shore, which isn’t really a shore anymore.

P1130528

Playgrounds are Designed to Teach Children the Skills Required to Do the Work of Adults in Society

Complete with wheelchair ramp. Note that these training devices for domesticating the wild human body don’t reference the natural habitat of such creatures (the earth). This playground is a visual representation of contemporary ideology. It should be a warning. Shouldn’t children be playing in the lake? Na, they’re probably grossed out by it too. They’re also smart enough to pick up that it has certain approved roles in adult society, and not others. No point wasting their time, eh.

The geese don’t know a thing about the niceties of economic triage, which is a cozy term to describe the ideology that holds (with trumpets) that all things in the world are subject to the practical demands of reducing public expenses to allow for increased corporate profit.  The political class of the city in which I live (Vernon, British Columbia) holds that it is the business of the government to reduce costs above all other things, and to create opportunities for private investment and profit. This ideology holds that it is the role of government to provide services that have only costs (roads, sewers, and so on), but no potential for profit. Did you get the irony in that? The government’s role is to reduce the costs that it’s responsibility is to provide? Kind of like this, I think.

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Adventure Playground Ideology by Another Name

In the terms of contemporary society, this is called “reality” and “practical thinking” and even “good government.” It is only good, however, if viewed from within its own ideology. When looked at from the world of the geese, maybe the world looks like this?

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Sometimes the Worst Picture from a Human Perspective is the Best

Ah, but these are publicly-kept non-migratory geese that have their eggs destroyed every spring so that they don’t have more geese, which will mar the expensive trucked-in sand  choking out the lake’s natural boundary with goose poop and making it useless to the ideology of summer. (Without cheap petroleum, no one would have thought of trucking sand across entire mountain ranges to make a place for half-naked humans to lie and soak up the sun and dream they were in florida.) Sure, go ahead.

P1130557Milfoil Crap, Ideology and Human Lies Washing Up on the Beach

Like the geese, I’m grossed out, too. This is like an oil spill.

Would you play there? No. The problem with that is that, by extension, the question could be asked: Would you play on the earth? The answer is, sadly, God no.

P1150163 Yup. That’ll do it.

The whole playground that has been made out of the earth because of the cheapness of petroleum and the ability it gives to create ideologies without connection to the living earth is based around the principles of a)  the earth can be discarded because we all outgrow our childhood fantasies and b) wildness will always heal what we do once we have done that.  In ideological terms, this is called, “growing up”, and “it’s just business,” and “we need balanced development.” It’s even called “responsible.” Sure.

P1140107

Impromptu Curling Rink on Okanagan Lake

It’s not just the shore that gets eroded.

For some reason, nonmigratory geese, which choose not to migrate (and to self-domesticate instead), and which are further domesticated by human intervention, are called wild. I think these images show that the humans have become domesticated, too. I’d say what has been done to the lake and these geese has also been done to us. You won’t read it in water management reports or civic government public information session promotional brochures or proselytizing Ministry of Environment apologies for goose egg coddling initiatives, but you sure can read it in the lake. Like the playground, it is our mirror.

P1130573 Oh, Canada.