From Loon Lake Road – A touch of frost, flocks of birds flying south

Barbara Hendricks' monthly column of community news and events in Loon Lake.

Cranes flying south

Summer left from Loon Lake Road on Sept. 16, five days before the calendar said it ended. It was a good summer with plenty of sunshine, warm weather and good conditions for enjoying outdoor life. September 16 started with a long, earth drenching rain and cooler temperatures, accompanied by the sound of flocks of Sandhill cranes heading south.

The ground was very dry in the early part of September and there was a small wildfire on the plateau north of the lake which was quickly handled by Wildfire Management Branch. I started to hope for rain, then thought that one better be careful about what one hopes for considering the way rain has been coming down in places like Colorado lately. I can’t imagine what kind of damage seven inches of rain falling at one time would do to our valley.

At Loon Lake Road, we are most fortunate to be in a location that has not been subject to major weather problems; flooding, wind storms and heavy snowfalls happen but so far in the history of settlement here nothing extreme.

With no records kept of weather, there are no records to be broken; however some conditions are worth noting. The growing seasons seems to be getting a bit longer and some years we have success with over wintering plants that prefer warmer climates than Loon Lake valley. The first frost touched my garden on Sept. 24. This means that there was a frost free growing season here this year of 122 days – quite possibly a record – if records were being kept on Loon Lake valley weather and climate.

Habits switch to winter mode

September is a month of change and migration. It is time to put away open toed shoes and pull on the socks again. Time to dig out the harvest of those plants so lovingly set in the ground in late May. A pumpkin had decided to take over the compost pile, however it did not manage to ripen any on the many fruit set.

A flock of snow geese was reported on the lake in mid September and Canada geese were also observed stopping at the lake on their way to greener pastures. Early in September the little flock of hummingbirds that had fought over our feeders and entertained us all summer had moved on. However stray hummingbirds are still passing through here at the end of September and tanking up at the feeder before flying on.

Passing flocks of robins have raided the berries on the mountain ash and elder trees. There is a very good crop of evergreen cones and the squirrels are busy falling cones in nearly every tree – just about need a hard hat on to do yard work.

The nature and wildlife around us has changed and adapted to some extent to living amongst us. Hummingbirds must recognize those familiar feeders at a great distance and home in on them.

Deer have become accustomed to living near to our homes and enjoy eating a much wider variety of non native garden plants. They have developed a taste for exotic plants like sedums and bergenia and seem to be able to sniff them out in every garden. They likely find some security as well as ease in the nearness to residential areas which have been built up in their preferred habitat.

This year I have heard reports of a “nanny” doe living about midway along the lake who is caring for up to five young deer, two are her own young and the others she seems to have taken under her wing when they lost their mothers. Isn’t nature amazing when you stop to watch it? Perhaps soon there will be deer schools to teach them to cross the road only where there are signed deer crossings.

Boil Water and Loon Lake Park

On Sept. 20, the TNRD issued a “Boil Water” advisory to all Loon Lake Road residents connected to the Loon Lake water system. Residents are advised to boil all water used to wash fruits and vegetables and for drinking at least one minute or use an alternate source of water. This highlights just how precious clean potable water is.

Another Loon Lake Road issue on the TNRD agenda is discussions around “repurposing” Loon Lake Park.  The park is a provincial park but has been closed for many years now, even though many maps and guides still list it. Further updates will be posted as more information becomes available.

Barbara Hendricks

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read