High summer on Loon Lake, as families gather to beat the summer heat

Gardens are bursting, and the lake is buzzing, but it's not all fun and games at the Lake.

July began with a small but vibrant Canada Day parade and celebration that any rural community could be proud of. Even the sun came out to join the celebration. Many thanks go to the McMaster family at the Dabblin Duck’n Bed and Breakfast for organizing the day’s events. Canadian flags, jerseys, and innovative clothing in red and white looked great against the green Loon Lake backdrop.

The following week we were all reminded of the power of natural forces when a small wildfire started up on the plateau north of Loon Lake. Fortunately, the Wildfire Management Branch staff was on top of it quickly and got it under control within a short period.

During that time, however, the sky seemed full, with small planes and then the big planes with retardant coming in low to drop their load. These were followed later by the helicopters bringing up water. A lot of effort went into dealing with the fire, and it was an impressive response.

It is high summer, with full houses at Loon Lake this month, as families gather from all around. There are many families who have had their summer homes at Loon Lake since the late 1950s, and now the fourth generation are spending summer holidays here. These are serious family ties with Loon Lake, and the associated investment, and interest in the future of our area, will help it continue to be a good place to live.

Summer fun focuses on the lake and watery activities. The many hot days this month have meant that the lake has been a refuge from the heat. Some concerns have been raised about the problems created for nesting shorebirds by the wash from the larger and more powerful boats when they speed down the lake. Loon Lake is a very narrow lake, and high speeds down the middle of it still bring quite a wash to shore.

While relaxing, having fun, and no worries are part of the reason for spending the summer at Loon Lake, we need to ensure that the natural setting and its inhabitants continue in a healthy condition, so that Loon Lake will continue to be valued as a home by future generations. What would a Loon Lake summer day be without the call of the loon?

When so many people are living so close together a lot of fun happens, but there are also a few minor conflicts. A few inconsiderate individuals setting off loud fireworks at 11:30 at night in a closely-built residential area are among the irritants.

Surely any thoughtful person who wants to set off fireworks would inform their neighbours that they intended to do so. This would allow those affected to take care of their pets, which are frightened by such loud noises.

In the garden, I have proudly harvested my first ripe tomato. This is a very early date for tomatoes from my garden. The cool June meant that spinach and chard have done really well, so lots of spinach and ricotta gnocchi was made and put away for the winter.

Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries are now at their peak, and the annual race against the birds has begun. I love to watch the western tanagers, but not when they are in my cherry tree. Blackcurrants are still ripening, and I can hardly wait for their lovely distinctive odour to fill the house as I make Crème de Cassis, syrups, and jams. I think it is such a delicious and healthy fruit, and is so easy to grow. Why buy more exotic stuff brought in from faraway places?

Haying season is well underway on the ranches, with the first crop now in and irrigation systems working to grow the next crop while the sun shines. Summer, to me, is always associated with the scent of fresh-mown hay, especially alfalfa and clover.

Despite all the rain in June, the water level in Loon Creek at the mouth of Loon Lake remained alarmingly low; so low that large fish could not swim in it without their backs above the water. Then, on July 20, it rose a couple of feet in a few hours, although there was no rain, and it was a full clear sunny day. The next day the water level was down again in the morning, and then by noon it was rising once more.

Since then the water levels in the creek have been up and down like a yo-yo. This manipulation of the water level by someone cannot be good for the young hatching fish. Residents living along the creek should be informed of any intention of either stopping the water flow or increasing it so quickly.

Since writing here in June I have been contacted by several Loon Lake Road residents regarding noxious weeds in their yards, chiefly the yellow flowered Dalmatian toadflax. I can also see that there are still some very well-established stands of spotted knapweed along the roadside.

There is a program to help private property owners who have problems with these weeds. A biological control (insects) is made available free of charge from the Southern Interior Weed Management Committee (SIWMC), which can be contacted at 162 Oriole Rd.,  Kamloops, BC V2C 4N7, email info@siwmc.ca (or visit the website at www.siwmc.ca ), phone (250) 851-1699.

Happy summer, and Happy BC Day, everyone.

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