My focal perspectives – Orchards and Grasslands

“Trifocal Perspectives” is an exhibition of my photographs, along with those of Greg Reely and Peter Hovestad, at The Art Gallery Osoyoos throughout April 2019.

I’ve divided my photographs by four themes. “Orchards and Grasslands” features landscapes from the South Okanagan around Osoyoos, B.C.

Orchards and Grasslands:

Here in the South Okanagan and Lower Similkameen, we live in an arid grasslands environment that is unique in Canada. We’ve transformed it from parched earth to lush orchards and vineyards.

There’s always been a tension between protecting portions of this environment in its natural state and the desire to harness the climate and soils for economic purposes. But most agree that what we have is special.

As a photographer, I seek to celebrate what we have here.

Richard McGuire

Click on thumbnails to view as gallery with larger images:

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Autumn in the orchards north of Osoyoos glows golden on a sunny day. Green glass and blue sky add to the palette. (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)

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

It’s called Blue Lake, but this lake next to Kruger Mountain Road is very green in colour. It is surrounded by flowering bushes. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Fluffy cumulus clouds roll over the South Okanagan Grasslands, casting moody shadows. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The sun lowers behind an orchard, casting shadows with the gnarly trees in the Similkameen Valley. (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 bee feeds on nectar in an Okanagan orchard. (Richard McGuire photo)

Kilpoola Lake is a small lake surrounded by grasslands. On a May weekend, a number of people came to fish for rainbow trout, which the lake is stocked with each year. (Richard McGuire Photo)

In February in the South Okanagan, sometimes the cloudy skies break up to let in sunlight. Spotted Lake, which is sacred to Okanagan First Nations, is already a magic place. This day was especially magic. (Richard McGuire photo)

There was lots of snow at Mount Baldy in mid-October, but it was still autumn, with yellow larches in the valleys below. (Richard McGuire photo)

 

A layover in Mexico City at jacarandas blooming time

I had 12 hours layover in Mexico City in late March on my return from Colombia. I got in around 5 a.m. and after a few hours sleep, there was time for a stroll through El Centro, where the jacarandas were blooming in Alameda Central and by the Palacio de Bellas Artes. They are flaming purple and could be seen as lilacs on steroids. (Richard McGuire Photo)

On my return trip from Medellin, Colombia to Vancouver late in March, I had a 12-hour layover in Mexico City. The plane arrived around 5 a.m. and so after grabbing a few hours sleep in a cheap hotel popular with couples, I had a few hours to stroll through El Centro.

My timing was perfect. The jacarandas were blooming. The Alameda Central, a central park, was full of them.

I stopped to visit the Diego Rivera mural of Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central (Sueño de una tarde dominical en la Alameda Central). This mural from the late 1940s depicts personalities from Mexico’s history all out for a stroll in the Alameda, just outside the door.

The mural survived the earthquake of 1985, but the Hotel del Prado where it was located was destroyed. When I visited Mexico City in 1988, I had an old guidebook from before the earthquake and when I walked to it, I was shocked to find the hotel no longer standing. Fortunately, the mural was saved, restored and moved to its own museum across the street.

Click on thumbnails to view as gallery with larger images:

I had 12 hours layover in Mexico City in late March on my return from Colombia. I got in around 5 a.m. and after a few hours sleep, there was time for a stroll through El Centro, where the jacarandas were blooming in Alameda Central and by the Palacio de Bellas Artes. They are flaming purple and could be seen as lilacs on steroids. (Richard McGuire Photo)

I had 12 hours layover in Mexico City in late March on my return from Colombia. I got in around 5 a.m. and after a few hours sleep, there was time for a stroll through El Centro, where the jacarandas were blooming in Alameda Central and by the Palacio de Bellas Artes. They are flaming purple and could be seen as lilacs on steroids. (Richard McGuire Photo)

I had 12 hours layover in Mexico City in late March on my return from Colombia. I got in around 5 a.m. and after a few hours sleep, there was time for a stroll through El Centro, where the jacarandas were blooming in Alameda Central and by the Palacio de Bellas Artes. They are flaming purple and could be seen as lilacs on steroids. (Richard McGuire Photo)

I had 12 hours layover in Mexico City in late March on my return from Colombia. I got in around 5 a.m. and after a few hours sleep, there was time for a stroll through El Centro, where the jacarandas were blooming in Alameda Central and by the Palacio de Bellas Artes. They are flaming purple and could be seen as lilacs on steroids. (Richard McGuire Photo)

I had 12 hours layover in Mexico City in late March on my return from Colombia. I got in around 5 a.m. and after a few hours sleep, there was time for a stroll through El Centro, where the jacarandas were blooming in Alameda Central and by the Palacio de Bellas Artes. They are flaming purple and could be seen as lilacs on steroids. (Richard McGuire Photo)

I had 12 hours layover in Mexico City in late March on my return from Colombia. I got in around 5 a.m. and after a few hours sleep, there was time for a stroll through El Centro. I stopped at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, a theatre and cultural centre from the early 20th Century. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The equestrian statue of Charles IV of Spain now stands outside el Museo Nacional de Arte and el Palacio de Mineria in the Centre of Mexico City. Charles was the last Spanish ruler of Mexico. The statue was nearly destroyed during the stuggle for independence, but it was saved due to its artistic merits. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The Museum of the Mexican Army and Air Force is located in a former 17th century chapel. This is the face of the building facing Calle de Tacuba. The entrance is around the corner. (Richard McGuire Photo)

One of Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s greatest murals is Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central (Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central. It covers people from throughout Mexico’s history on its 15.6 metre width (51 ft). This detail from the centre shows Rivera as a boy left of the skeleton Catrina. Behind him is his wife the artist Frida Kahlo. The mural survived the earthquake of 1985, even though the hotel it was in was destroyed. It was moved to its own museum across the street. (Richard McGuire Photo)

 

 

 

Autumn colours in the South Okanagan

The autumn colours are normally my favourite time of the year to photograph and depending on where you are, October is normally peak. Here in the South Okanagan we don’t get the flaming reds and orange of the sugar maples, but there’s a kaleidoscope of colours — even if yellow dominates. Grasslands come together with orchards and vineyards and nature blends into agriculture. I only really had a chance to get out one weekend, on the 13th, but it was a good one. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Vineyards cover the South Okanagan making the antelope brush and sagebrush dry vegetation in the foreground more scarce. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Autumn in the orchards north of Osoyoos glows golden on a sunny day. Green glass and blue sky add to the palette. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Grapes for red wine ripen on the vines in a vineyard north of Osoyoos in October. The leaves haven’t yet changed to their full autumn colours. (Richard McGuire photo)

The Okanagan River passes the Oxbows in a channel and empties into the north end of Osoyoos Lake. Vineyards are turning yellow. (Richard McGuire photo)

Plants leave squggly reflections in a small lake’s water, which is yellow with autumn reflections. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Golden aspen leaves are backlit in a forest on Kruger Mountain Road.

A cyclist enjoys an autumn ride through pines and aspens to the sagebrush landscape near Kilpoola Lake. (Richard McGuire photo)

Golden aspens and arid hills surround Kilpoola Lake. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Golden aspens and arid hills surround Kilpoola Lake. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Golden aspens and arid hills surround Kilpoola Lake. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Rosehips next to Kilpoola Lake add some bright red to the colourful autumn landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The waters of Kilpoola Lake add some blue to the arid autumn landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The waters of Kilpoola Lake add some blue to the arid autumn landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

A cluster of golden aspens zigzags up a slope from a small pond west of Kilpoola Lake. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area and the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area offer spectacular and ever-changing vistas of this unique grasslands landscape. (Richard McGuire Photo)

I managed to find time Saturday for a drive to one of my favourite spots outside Osoyoos. Autumn at golden hour. A great time if the weather cooperates. (©) Richard McGuire photo)

The last glow of golden hour strikes the trees and wetlands vegetation at Blue Lake, west of Osoyoos. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Osoyoos from above on an August weekend evening

It’s been a smoky summer over most of B.C., but there were occasional breaks in the smoke as weather patterns changed. On Aug. 4, the B.C. Day long weekend, I took a few photos from the West Bench with a long lens. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Osoyoos Lake is calm on a summer evening in a view that shows the Main Street bridge, Hotel Row, the Cottonwood area, Nk’Mip Campground and Spirit Ridge. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Osoyoos Lake is calm on a summer evening in a view that shows the Legion Beach area, Kingfisher Drive, Main Street bridge, Hotel Row, the Cottonwood area, Nk’Mip Campground and Spirit Ridge. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Journey through smoke to Bella Coola

Until this past weekend, the Chilcotin and Bella Coola Valley were major areas of B.C. I had not yet visited. I’ve been wanting to go for several years, but only now had the chance for a brief trip. I’ve watched the wildfire situation for a while, knowing it could disrupt plans, but in the end I decided to chance it. There was smoke much of the way, but I tried to make the best of it to capture some different landscape images. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

North of Anahim Lake, the sky filled with an ominous, massive cloud of wildfire smoke. Beside it, to the left, the sky was clear. The sun casts an eerie orange glow through the smoke. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Fog clings close to the ground as smoke from wildfires fills the air north of Princeton in cattle ranching country. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Warning people not to pollute the air by idling their cars is a good message, but it will do little to improve air quality here — at a lookout next to Highway 20 west of Williams Lake. Wildfire smoke pushed air pollution levels to 10+ that day. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

After camping by Horn Lake in Chilcotin, I left my trailer in the campsite and took a drive down to Bluff Lake. There was some blue in the sky, but wildfire smoke cast a haze over the Coast Mountains. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

After camping by Horn Lake in Chilcotin, I left my trailer in the campsite and took a drive down to Bluff Lake. There was some blue in the sky, but wildfire smoke cast a haze over the Coast Mountains. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Chipmunks are skittish too, but they will pose if you stay a respectful distance. Another use for the 600 mm lens. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

South of Nimpo Lake I drove through thick wildfire smoke, which abruptly ended as I drove out into blue sky. A helicopter passes overhead surveying the wildfire’s growth. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

North of Anahim Lake, the sky filled with an ominous, massive cloud of wildfire smoke. Beside it, to the left, the sky was clear. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

North of Anahim Lake, the sky filled with an ominous, massive cloud of wildfire smoke. Beside it, to the left, the sky was clear. The sun casts an eerie orange glow through the smoke. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

North of Anahim Lake, the sky filled with an ominous, massive cloud of wildfire smoke. The sun casts an eerie orange glow through the smoke. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Wildfire smoke from a blaze to the north fills the sky at the eastern entrance to Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. This area has seen fires in past years, as evidenced by the burnt bark on dead trees and the abundant fireweed growing below. This pink flower is one of the first to establish after a fire. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The Heckman Pass in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is the road access to the Bella Coola Valley. But it’s at 1,524 metres — 5,000 ft. — and the descent is very steep and twisty. It’s called “The Hill” and while it can be very dangerous in the wrong conditions, it’s not that hard with caution, a mechanically sound vehicle and no bad weather. The bottom of The Hill was around 325 metres or 1,000 feet according to my GPS. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

As I reach the first hairpin down, the road has been quite steep, but doable, and the road is wide, well graded and with a fair number of pullouts. Note the clear sky over the valley, but smoke clouds drifting in from the northeast. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

There are no railings or curbs beside the road anywhere on “The Hill,” but that’s not unusual in B.C. Beside this pullout, cliffs drop down to the next switchback far below. At the bottom is the Atnarko Valley. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

I stopped regularly at pullouts to take pictures. I’m towing a 1979 Triple E Surfside fibreglass eggshell trailer behind a 2008 Jeep Liberty with standard transmission. I’m well off the road, but I’m not parked too close to the steep edge. I also make sure I’m standing on stable ground. (Richard McGuire Photo)

Looking down from the pullout, I see the next switchback far below. This area has some steep descents and some narrow stretches. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

The road narrows neveral places around here where it skirts a cliff. It’s wide enough that two cars can squeeze past, but larger vehicles may have problems. Descending vehicles should yield to those making the climb. There are regular pullouts. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

I now tow my 1979 Triple E Surfside behind a 2008 Jeep Liberty with standard transmission. Last year I used an aging VW Golf diesel standard, which could handle more modest climbs, it could not have climbed up “The Hill.” (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Below “The Hill” is the Atnarko Valley. The rugged landscape made road building difficult when it was built in the early 1950s. Incredibly, the government rejected building a road as too costly, but locals banded together and built it themselves — calling it “The Freedom Road.” (© Richard McGuire Photo)

I decided to check out the Mccall Flats recreation site for camping, but the road was too rough with the trailer, so I didn’t go all the way. I did enjoy the views from the bridge over the Bella Coola River. They don’t allow tents because of the local bear population, so it looks like your best option would be a truck camper. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

This was the clearest evening I’ve seen since the beginning of July as there was hardly any smoke. You can even make out details of the half moon above the mountains around Hagensborg. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

With only the slightest amount of smoke, the sinking sun casts its golden light on the mountains around Hagensborg, where I camped. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

I was looking forward to getting up early and enjoying another clear day. But the otherworldy sunrise was because of the advancing smoke that moved into the Bella Coola Valley. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Framed by many of the washed-up stumps on the shore, a big, hulking abandoned fish cannery sits out on the water next to the Bella Coola harbour. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

The Bella Coola Harbour is mainly fishing boats that travel out on the North Bentinck Arm to fishing waters. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

A big, hulking abandoned fish cannery sits out on the water next to the Bella Coola harbour. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

A bald eagle takes flight where Clayton Falls Creek empties into the North Bentinck Arm. There’s a recreation site there operated by BC Hydro. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Although it’s past the middle of August, snow and glacier ice clings to the tops of some of the mountains overlooking the North Bentinck Arm near Bella Coola. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Water has sculpted the rocks at Clayton Falls, just up the creek from the North Bentinck Arm west of Bella Coola. BC Hydro operates a recreation site here, and there is a platform to view the falls. A graphic sign shows what happens to people who get sucked into the undertow of the pool below the falls. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

Water has sculpted the rocks at Clayton Falls, just up the creek from the North Bentinck Arm west of Bella Coola. BC Hydro operates a recreation site here, and there is a platform to view the falls. A graphic sign shows what happens to people who get sucked into the undertow of the pool below the falls. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

I took a short stroll onto a mostly dried streambed, strewn with cut logs. I never saw a bear, but I had my spray just in case. Hint: you don’t use the spray on yourself like mosquito repellent. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

A sign indicates the steep grades descending “The Hill” from Heckman Pass. At one point low down the sign is posted at 15%, though the road is said to have part at 18%. Most is 10 and 11% grade. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

North of Anahim Lake, the smoke became especially thick on the return trip. Vehicles drove with headlights and visibility was very limited. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

These cattle posed a roadblock on a bridge near Kleena Kleene. I don’t know if they wanted me to pay a toll, but I inched around them and they inched to the side. Cattle and horses aren’t fenced in this open rangeland, so you have to drive carefully. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

I drove fairly non-stop on the return through smoke along Highway 20. Williams Lake was less smoky than on my way up, but after stopping for gas, I continued down Highway 97. I opted to camp at Green Lake Provincial Park near 70 Mile House. (© Richard McGuire Photo)

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)