Early summer dusk in Osoyoos

Dusk at the beginning of summer in Osoyoos can be a colourful time — especially if there’s a changing weather pattern with moving storm clouds reflecting the setting sun. The view from my balcony looks over a small vineyard. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dusk at the beginning of summer in Osoyoos can be a colourful time — especially if there’s a changing weather pattern with moving storm clouds reflecting the setting sun. The view from my balcony looks over a small vineyard. (Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos Photography Club exhibition at The Art Gallery Osoyoos

This month I’ve been showing a few photos at The Art Gallery Osoyoos along with other members of the Osoyoos Photography Club. Thank you very much to Margarete, who bought my photo Change of Seasons, which is printed on canvas and shows winter creeping down the mountain into autumn below. I’ve now replaced that with Spotted Lake, Winter Magic, also on canvas. Also showing is a framed print of an old log barn under a full moon and stars. The show runs until March 3, 2018.

Winter descends down Mount Baldy as the golden larches of autumn still colour the valley below. (Richard McGuire photo)

Clouds and fog blow across a frozen Spotted Lake, just west of Osoyoos, while the sun tries to break through. (Richard McGuire photo)

I went out with several guys from the Osoyoos Photography Club to photograph the Perseid Meteor Shower. I was too early for the best meteor show, but as a photographer, I found the combination of moonlight and expressive clouds to be more interesting. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Super moon

I was returning to Osoyoos from Mount Baldy today when I turned a corner and saw this amazing super moon rising right in front of me. Osoyoos was socked in clouds all day, but the elevation of Mount Baldy was above the clouds. Moments later the clouds rose and the view of the moon was gone. Happy New Year everyone! (Richard McGuire photo)

I was returning to Osoyoos from Mount Baldy today when I turned a corner and saw this amazing super moon rising right in front of me. Osoyoos was socked in clouds all day, but the elevation of Mount Baldy was above the clouds. Moments later the clouds rose and the view of the moon was gone. Happy New Year everyone. (Richard McGuire photo)

Local landscapes, 2017

With 2017 coming to a close, I thought I would post a few photos of landscapes in the Osoyoos area that I’ve taken in the last half of the year. I’m truly lucky to live in such a beautiful part of Canada, and although I like some seasons better than others, the constant change of season always brings changes to the landscapes. (© Richard McGuire photo)

An old log barn on a sideroad near Anarchist Summit, east of Osoyoos, B.C. This shot was taken in mid-August, after the worst of this year’s smoke from wildfires was past, but there was still some haze in the atmosphere. (Richard McGuire photo)

Starlings perch on a wire. (Richard McGuire photo)

McIntryre Bluff is a massive ridge of gneiss rock at the south end of Vaseux Lake between Oliver and Okanagan Falls. (Richard McGuire photo)

The mud mineral rings of Spotted Lake west of Osoyoos become more and more dominant later in the summer and fall. The white is minerals — not snow — in this photo taken in early October. (Richard McGuire photo)

A grove of aspens is lit up in autumn gold as the sun lowers on an October day. (Richard McGuire photo)

As water evaporates, the mineral rings in Spotted Lake become more pronounced. The lake, sacred to local First Nations, is just west of Osoyoos, B.C. (Richard McGuire photo)

An autumn evening in October descends on the town of Osoyoos and Osoyoos Lake. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dusk descends on Osoyoos and the town lights up. The name “Osoyoos” comes from the Okanagan language and refers to the land bridge across the lake. (Richard McGuire photo)

A pool in the mountains west of Osoyoos reflects the autumn colours. (Richard McGuire photo)

The water of Kilpoola Lake ripples on an October afternoon. (Richard McGuire photo)

Aspens give off a golden glow in the grasslands above Osoyoos on an October afternoon. (Richard McGuire photo)

Burned trees on the hilltops tell of a wildfire in the past. The flaming aspens and other bushes almost appear like fire on an autumn afternoon west of Osoyoos. (Richard McGuire photo)

As dusck descends on Osoyoos, the town’s lights shine around Osoyoos Lake. (Richard McGuire photo)

Stars fill the sky above Haynes Ranch just north of Osoyoos. The building and grass are lit with “light painting” — the combination of a long exposure and “painting” using a flashlight. (Richard McGuire photo)

Snow covers the higher elevations on Mount Kobau in the background, but Osoyoos is still enjoying the last of autumn on a mid-November afternoon. (Richard McGuire photo)

Snow has covered the fields around the old Lawless House just west of Anarchist Summit on the descent to Osoyoos. Each year the old house’s condition looks more deteriorated. (Richard McGuire photo)

A tall dead tree stands like a sentinel overlooking the Okanagan Valley east of Oliver. (Richard McGuire photo)

This old barn stands next to the Haynes Ranch off Blacksage Road on Road 22 north of Osoyoos. (Richard McGuire photo)

A dusting of snow covers the grassland in the foreground on Mount Kobau. This view with a telephoto lens shows the different landscapes descending through pine forest, grasslands and finally to the valley bottom planted in vineyards and orchards. (Richard McGuire photo)

Snow covers the slopes of Mount Kobau as the Okanagan Valley enjoys a sunny day in early December. More and more days are overcast at this time of year and it’s not long until the snow reaches into the valley too. (Richard McGuire photo)

A few golden delicious apples still hang in the trees and others are scattered on the ground. It’s early December and the harvest is over. Soon the leaves and apples will be covered in a layer of snow. (Richard McGuire photo)

A lone pine tree is living on the edge of a rocky cliff east of Vaseux Lake. (Richard McGuire photo)

The shoreline of Vaseux Lake is brown after the end of autumn in early December. Snow is creeping down from higher elevations into the Okanagan Valley. (Richard McGuire photo)

A bighorn ram munches on dry grass in the hills east of Vaseux Lake. This shot was taken from considerable distance with a very long lens. (Richard McGuire photo)

A winter drive up the Similkameen River

Chunks of ice flow down the Similkameen River and mist rises from the water as the temperature falls to around -16 C. (Richard McGuire photo)

It’s not often at this time of year that a rare day of sunshine coincides with a day off work. Yesterday (Saturday) I took advantage of the sunshine to do a drive up the Similkameen Valley to Princeton and back. Arctic air has moved in and although the temperature was about -6C in Osoyoos, it fell to -16C as I got into higher elevations closer to Princeton. The Similkameen Valley is gorgeous and without the runaway development that has taken over much of the Okanagan. (Richard McGuire photos)

From the lookout off Highway 3 heading west of Osoyoos you look out across Osoyoos Lake. On the opposite shore are The Cottages on Osoyoos Lake. (Richard McGuire photo)

In winter, the snow on Spotted Lake forms ridges along the edges of the mud rings. (Richard McGuire photo)

In winter, the snow on Spotted Lake forms ridges along the edges of the mud rings. (Richard McGuire photo)

Mountains rise up was you enter the Similkameen Valley, descending from the Richter Pass. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Similkameen River meanders past vineyards. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Similkameen River meanders. (Richard McGuire photo)

Frozen tire tracks reflect the sunlight on Barcelo Road near Cawston. (Richard McGuire photo)

Erosion on the side of a mountain outside Cawston makes snow-covered patterns. (Richard McGuire photo)

A few frozen apples cling to young apple trees in rows near Cawston as the sun beats down on a cold winter day. (Richard McGuire photo)

St. Ann’s Catholic Church is perched on a hill just east of Hedley at Chuchuwayha, an Indian village. It was built around 1910. (Richard McGuire photo)

Hedley is a village west of Keremeos that has a gold mining history. The Hedley Country Market, like many buildings in Hedley, look like they’ve changed very little in the past 50 years or so. (Richard McGuire photo)

Sunlight catches the trees on a ridge above Bromley Rock Provincial Park on the Similkameen River between Hedley and Princeton. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Similkameen River winds past the rocky cliffs at Bromley Rock Provincial Park between Princeton and Hedley. Chunks of ice float in the river and the sun lowers behind the mountains, throwing the valley into shade. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Similkameen River winds past the rocky cliffs at Bromley Rock Provincial Park between Princeton and Hedley. Chunks of ice float in the river and the sun lowers behind the mountains, throwing the valley into shade. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Similkameen River winds past the rocky cliffs at Bromley Rock Provincial Park between Princeton and Hedley. Chunks of ice float in the river and the sun lowers behind the mountains, throwing the valley into shade. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Similkameen River winds past the rocky cliffs at Bromley Rock Provincial Park between Princeton and Hedley. Chunks of ice float in the river and the sun lowers behind the mountains, throwing the valley into shade. (Richard McGuire photo)

Chunks of ice flow down the Similkameen River and mist rises from the water as the temperature falls to around -16 C. (Richard McGuire photo)

Chunks of ice flow down the Similkameen River and mist rises from the water as the temperature falls to around -16 C. (Richard McGuire photo)

A quick trip through Alberta

Near Drumheller, there are rock formations known as hoodoos. Harder stone, often with iron, forms a cap that sits on top of a column of eroding sandstone. At this hoodoo area, a stairway and platforms have been built to provide tourists with a close-up view. (Richard McGuire photo)

I took a quick trip through Alberta this past week when I traveled to Edmonton to trade my aging VW Golf in on a 2008 Jeep Liberty. I much prefer to drive a standard, but they are getting harder and harder to find, which is why the only vehicle I could find that met my needs was in Edmonton. I drove part of the spectacular Icefields Parkway through Banff National Park, stayed at Stony Plain, where I edited a newspaper in the early ’80s, and explored the Badlands between Drumheller and Dinosaur Provincial Park. (Richard McGuire photos)

The Columbia River becomes Upper Arrow Lake to the south of Revelstoke, B.C. Along with Lower Arrow Lake, the lake levels were raised by a dam to the south near Castlegar. The morning light made it look beautiful. (Richard McGuire photo)

One of the most beautiful road trips in the world is the Icefields Parkway, which stretches from near Lake Louise in Banff National Park up to Jasper. This shot was taken near Hector Lake close to the south end. (Richard McGuire photo)

Bow Peak rises dramatically to the west of the Icefields Parkway to the west of the Mosquito Creek campground. (Richard McGuire photo)

Bow Peak rises dramatically to the west of the Icefields Parkway to the west of the Mosquito Creek campground. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Crowfoot Glacier near Bow Lake along the Icefields Parkway looks like a chilly place on a cold early October day. As the glacier has retreated over the years, it has lost the lower toe and now looks less like a crow’s foot. (Richard McGuire photo)

Bow Lake, next to the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park, is the closest lake to the headwaters of the Bow River. It’s lined with steep mountain cliff faces. (Richard McGuire photo)

Bow Lake, next to the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park, is the closest lake to the headwaters of the Bow River. It’s lined with steep mountain cliff faces. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Saskatchewan River Crossing is where the David Thompson Highway leaves the Icefields Parkway to head east from Banff National Park. The aspens were a brilliant yellow. (Richard McGuire photo)

Abraham Lake is an artificial lake next to the David Thompson Highway heading out of the Rocky Mountains. It is kept full by the Bighorn Dam on the North Saskatchewan River. That storm in the background brought snow flurries. (Richard McGuire photo)

This old abandoned house south of Stony Plain, Alberta, leaves a memory of an earlier era. The area is still farmed, but the houses today are much larger. (Richard McGuire photo)

This rural road south of Stony Plain travels through typical Parkland County landscapes — low, rolling hills, trees and fields, and lots of small lakes. It’s very different from the open prairie. (Richard McGuire photo)

I was the editor of the Stony Plain Reporter in the early 1980s. The building is still there, but it’s now a Community Futures office. A mural on the wall, one in a series of historical murals decorating downtown Stony Plain, shows an early printing press in the days of the Stony Plain Advertiser. (Richard McGuire photo)

When I worked at the Stony Plain Reporter in the early 1980s, we often went for lunch at Bing’s in the Stony Plain Hotel. Both are still there, though much of Stony Plain has completely changed and grown since I lived there. (Richard McGuire photo)

The 1910 Oppertshauser House was faced with demolition in 1984 at a location a few blocks away. Stony Plain had some soon-expiring provincial grant money that could help to save it, but the County of Parkland opted to let its grant money expire rather than put it towards saving the house. “What that house needs is a gallon of coal oil and a match,” said one redneck county councillor. I spoke to the council of Edmonton Beach and they agreed to provide their grant money, thus saving the house. In 1987, it was subsequently moved to a new location next to the Multicultural Centre, the brick former schoolhouse on the left. (Richard McGuire photo)

Heading south from Camrose, there was more and more snow in the fields after a storm that hit the previous night. (Richard McGuire photo)

There’s a gentle roll to the prairies east of Trochu, as the Red Deer River has eroded a valley. That valley widens and evolves into badlands as you travel southeast. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Orkney Viewpoint northwest of Drumheller provides a view of the badlands and the Red Deer River. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Orkney Viewpoint northwest of Drumheller provides a view of the badlands. The prairies suddenly drop off as they hit the Red Deer River Valley. (Richard McGuire photo)

When I bought this used Jeep Liberty in Edmonton two days earlier, they spent a long time detailing it an making it look clean and immaculate. It only took a short bit of driving on a few Alberta backroads and the car was covered with mud. (Richard McGuire photo)

Near Drumheller, there are rock formations known as hoodoos. Harder stone, often with iron, forms a cap that sits on top of a column of eroding sandstone. At this hoodoo area, a stairway and platforms have been built to provide tourists with a close-up view. (Richard McGuire photo)

Near Drumheller, there are rock formations known as hoodoos. Harder stone, often with iron, forms a cap that sits on top of a column of eroding sandstone. At this hoodoo area, a stairway and platforms have been built to provide tourists with a close-up view. (Richard McGuire photo)

Near Drumheller, there are rock formations known as hoodoos. Harder stone, often with iron, forms a cap that sits on top of a column of eroding sandstone. At this hoodoo area, a stairway and platforms have been built to provide tourists with a close-up view. (Richard McGuire photo)

The snowy badlands are reflected in the still waters of the Red Deer River southeast of Drumheller. (Richard McGuire photo)

The remnant of an old grain elevator still stands at Dorothy, Alberta. The small community is a semi-ghost town, which is still inhabited, but has many old derelict buildings recalling its history. (Richard McGuire photo)

When I drove through Southern Alberta the day after an early-October snowstorm, there were still many vehicles in the ditch. Conditions were horrendous during this storm, even for those with vehicles built to handle the rough conditions. When I came along the next afternoon, most of the roads had been cleared except for the odd patch, but many vehicles had not yet been rescued. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

Dinosaur Provincial Park to the north of Brooks, Alberta, is a great location to see the badlands and walk among the hoodoos. I took a short hike along one of the trails in the early morning, before anyone else arrived. It was peacefully quiet, with only a few deer stirring, and the light was beautiful. Many dinosaur bones have been found at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Richard McGuire photo)

The prairies, near Enchant, Alberta, to the north of Lethbridge are wide open and present a minimalist landscape. The expansive views of the sky form part of the landscape. (Richard McGuire photo)

Drive to Kilpoola Lake

Around Kilpoola Lake, grasslands spread over low mountains with the sweet smell of sagebrush. (Richard McGuire photo)

Whenever I need to take my mind off the stresses of work and be surrounded by nature, I take a trip up to Kilpoola Lake to the west of Osoyoos. It’s about 20 minutes away, but it’s like stepping into another world. The road — better described as a “track” — is rough, but the used truck I bought in July is better able to handle it than my car. I took a trip there in late July when water levels were still high from the wet spring, but the effects of drought were starting to take hold. (Richard McGuire photos)

I’ve heard this little lake on the way to Kilpoola referred to as “Turtle Lake,” but I can’t find any official reference to its name, so I don’t know what its real name is. It’s pretty, nonetheless. (Richard McGuire photo)

Up Kruger Mountain road, you come to this little lake, which appears to be an extension of Blue Lake. The landscape is very diverse with forests, grasslands and low mountains. (Richard McGuire photo)

Up Kruger Mountain road, you come to this little lake, which appears to be an extension of Blue Lake. The landscape is very diverse with forests, grasslands and low mountains. (Richard McGuire photo)

Blue Lake is the largest lake on the way to Kilpoola Lake. It’s set in the midst of forests, grasslands and low mountains. (Richard McGuire photo)

Around Kilpoola Lake, grasslands spread over low mountains with the sweet smell of sagebrush. (Richard McGuire photo)

Around Kilpoola Lake, grasslands spread over low mountains with the sweet smell of sagebrush. (Richard McGuire photo)

A breeze blows through grasses near Kilpoola lake. Although a drought is underway, there’s still a lot of green after the spring flooding. (Richard McGuire photo)

The road past Kilpoola Lake is just a rough track across the grasslands. There was still a lot of green in late July here despite concerns about dry vegetation and the possiblility of fire elsewhere. (Richard McGuire photo)

Around Kilpoola Lake, grasslands spread over low mountains with the sweet smell of sagebrush. (Richard McGuire photo)

Around Kilpoola Lake, grasslands spread over low mountains with the sweet smell of sagebrush. (Richard McGuire photo)

Around Kilpoola Lake, grasslands spread over low mountains with the sweet smell of sagebrush. (Richard McGuire photo)

Flooding in the spring has left the water high in Kilpoola Lake. Even at the end of July, the lower road was still submerged under water, despite widespread drought elsewhere. (Richard McGuire photo)

With higher clearance, the used truck I bought in July was good for travelling on the dirt tracks around Kilpoola Lake. (Richard McGuire photo)

Blue Lake is the largest lake on the way to Kilpoola Lake. It’s set in the midst of forests, grasslands and low mountains. (Richard McGuire photo)

Blue Lake is the largest lake on the way to Kilpoola Lake. It’s set in the midst of forests, grasslands and low mountains. (Richard McGuire photo)

Trip to Mount Kobau and Spotted Lake

From the road up Mount Kobau, you can look down on Spotted Lake, a unique lake known for its rings of mineral-rich mud. With water levels still quite high from the rainfall in the spring, despite the summer drought, the rings aren’t as visible as they usually are at this time of year. (Richard McGuire photo)

Mount Kobau and Spotted Lake, both west of Osoyoos, BC, are areas of great natural beauty that are also sacred in local Indigenous tradition. I took a drive part way up Mount Kobau late in the afternoon on the last Sunday of August when the wildfire smoke was lighter than usual for this year. From viewpoints on Mount Kobau, you can look down on Spotted Lake in the distance, with the help of a long lens. Later, I stopped at a highway pullout to admire Spotted Lake from closer. With all the flooding this spring, the mud rings in the lake are less visible, despite the summer drought. (Richard McGuire photos)

I encountered this black bear on a drive up Mount Kobau at the end of August. He or she didn’t stick around long enough for me to get a decent shot before heading off into the brush. And no, I didn’t try to walk up and take a selfie with it using my smart phone. This used a long lens and was taken from my car. (Richard McGuire photo)

From the road up Mount Kobau, you can look down on Spotted Lake, a unique lake known for its rings of mineral-rich mud. With water levels still quite high from the rainfall in the spring, despite the summer drought, the rings aren’t as visible as they usually are at this time of year. (Richard McGuire photo)

From the road up Mount Kobau, you can look down on Spotted Lake, a unique lake known for its rings of mineral-rich mud. With water levels still quite high from the rainfall in the spring, despite the summer drought, the rings aren’t as visible as they usually are at this time of year. (Richard McGuire photo)

From the road up Mount Kobau, you can look down on Spotted Lake, a unique lake known for its rings of mineral-rich mud. With water levels still quite high from the rainfall in the spring, despite the summer drought, the rings aren’t as visible as they usually are at this time of year. (Richard McGuire photo)

Two years ago, in 2015, fire tore up the side of Mount Kobau near Osoyoos leaving charred trees behind. Today there is new plant growth, though the charred trees still remain. (Richard McGuire photo)

Two years ago, in 2015, fire tore up the side of Mount Kobau near Osoyoos leaving charred trees behind. Today there is new plant growth, though the charred trees still remain. (Richard McGuire photo)

I took these photos of Spotted Lake just west of Osoyoos from behind the gate at the highway using a long lens. The lake is considered sacred by local First Nations. The Okanagan Nation Alliance, which owns the land, restricts entry. (Richard McGuire photo)

I took these photos of Spotted Lake just west of Osoyoos from behind the gate at the highway using a long lens. The lake is considered sacred by local First Nations. The Okanagan Nation Alliance, which owns the land, restricts entry. (Richard McGuire photo)

I took these photos of Spotted Lake just west of Osoyoos from behind the gate at the highway using a long lens. The lake is considered sacred by local First Nations. The Okanagan Nation Alliance, which owns the land, restricts entry. (Richard McGuire photo)

I took these photos of Spotted Lake just west of Osoyoos from behind the gate at the highway using a long lens. The lake is considered sacred by local First Nations. The Okanagan Nation Alliance, which owns the land, restricts entry. (Richard McGuire photo)

I took these photos of Spotted Lake just west of Osoyoos from behind the gate at the highway using a long lens. The lake is considered sacred by local First Nations. The Okanagan Nation Alliance, which owns the land, restricts entry. (Richard McGuire photo)

I took these photos of Spotted Lake just west of Osoyoos from behind the gate at the highway using a long lens. The lake is considered sacred by local First Nations. The Okanagan Nation Alliance, which owns the land, restricts entry. (Richard McGuire photo)

There was relatively little of the smoke that has plagued the Okanagan most of this summer when I took this photo at Osoyoos Airport in late August. The sun was about to go down and the sagebrush and antelope brush were lit up in gold light. (Richard McGuire photo)

Nightfall at the Osoyoos Desert Centre

The sun sets behind the mountains above the Osoyoos Desert Centre. (© Richard McGuire photo)

The Osoyoos Desert Centre is a protected island of endangered antelope brush habitat on 67 acres outside Osoyoos.

The interpretive nature facility provides a 1.5-km boardwalk taking visitors into the dry, shrub-grassland sometimes referred to as a “pocket desert.”

Last month I took one of the evening tours when animals are often more visible than they are in the hot daytime.

The Desert Centre remains open until early October. Check my stream for earlier photos I took there in a previous spring when flowers abound.

(Richard McGuire photos)

A young buck deer at the Osoyoos Desert Centre is well camouflaged among the sagebrush, antelope brush and tall grass. Animals are often more active in the evening. Although night tours at the centre concluded last week, the days are getting shorter. (© Richard McGuire photo)

This small species of prickly pear cactus is native to the South Okanagan and is often seen growing at the Osoyoos Desert Centre. It’s much smaller than the cacti seen growing in other areas, such as the U.S. Southwest or Mexico. But brush against it when you’re walking and it can stick to you and give you great respect for it. (© Richard McGuire photo)

A Nuttall’s cottontail freezes among the grass when it perceives a predator. (© Richard McGuire photo)

Sagebrush (left) and antelope brush (background) are some of the main vegetation preserved at the Osoyoos Desert Centre. There’s very little left of this environment that is unique in Canada as much of the surrounding land is farmed or otherwise developed. (© Richard McGuire photo)

Antelope brush grows on a hillside at the Osoyoos Desert Centre along with other plants unique to this arid corner of Canada. There are also non-native grasses that were introduced when the land was used for grazing. (© Richard McGuire photo)

An antelope brush reaches for the sky. (© Richard McGuire photo)

The South Okanagan’s endangered antelope brush habitat is unique in Canada. (© Richard McGuire photo)

Antelope brush rises from non-native grass at the Osoyoos Desert Centre. The air is thick with smoke from burning wildfires in other parts of B.C. (© Richard McGuire photo)

Antelope brush spreads out at the roots with the same plant often covering a larger area. In the spring it is covered with a small yellow flower. (Richard McGuire photo)

I spotted this flowering plant growing at the Osoyoos Desert Centre. (© Richard McGuire photo)

The big smoke

The smoke has been heavy in Osoyoos in the last while — off and on for several weeks — from the wildfires burning throughout the B.C. Interior. I took a few photos on the weekend prior to sunset, when the effect of the smoke on the sunlight is the most dramatic. Incidentally, I had to travel to the Sunshine Coast on Friday to retrieve my car and there’s even smoke down there, though not as bad as the interior. (Richard McGuire photos)

The sun becomes a fiery ball as it sets behind the ridge of Kruger Mountain above Osoyoos on Sunday night. The eerie effect is caused by the heavy blanket of smoke that hangs over most of Southern B.C. (Richard McGuire photo)

A thick blanket of smoke hanges over Osoyoos giving the sun an orange glow as it lowers in the evening. Large amounts of smoke cover most of southern B.C., blowing south from wildfires in Central B.C. (Richard McGuire photo)

The sun becomes an orange ball as it makes its final descent through thick smoke over Osoyoos Saturday evening. (Richard McGuire photo)