Why You Need to Visit the Okanagan Valley This Summer

Coyote hiding in the grassPhoto: Carla Hunt

Hiding in the grass

Another commonly seen creature in my travels are coyotes. They always bring a smile to my face, as they remind me of the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote. One particular coyote (pictured above) appeared as if he was hiding in the grass, laughing at me.

There are also quite a few moose in our area, although they are a little harder to find. I remember the first moose I saw—I was so intimidated by its size and unpredictability.

Other species in the area include skunks, deer, bighorn sheep and western painted turtles, as well as many varieties of birds and other mammals and critters.

Don’t miss this Canadian’s close encounter with a coyote.

An osprey brings fish back to its nest during a “wildfire” sunsetPhoto: Carla Hunt

Picture-perfect moments

Unfortunately, living in a hot, dry environment in the summer season, wildfires are a real danger. The smoke often fills the valley from fires in surrounding areas, sometimes from as far away as California. The air quality varies throughout the summer, which makes the clear days that much more enjoyable. The smoke does add some drama to photographs, though.

One particular photo I captured depicts an osprey (pictured above) bringing fish home during a wildfire sunset. I aligned the sun with the nest and suddenly, the chicks started chirping like crazy and I knew the adult was nearby with their dinner. Being pretty much blinded by the sun, I just had to hope this photo worked out, luckily it did.

Find out how to take stunning silhouette photos in the wild.

A majestic bighorn sheepPhoto: Carla Hunt

Conserving and protecting water

Many people visit the Okanagan in summer to enjoy the numerous lakes, tourist attractions and activities. Often, when I’m at the lakes photographing birds, people will stop and chat and ask about the subject. I love talking to people about the birds and wildlife and they enjoy learning the few facts I know. And I’m learning more every day.

Having so much wildlife around us, it’s important to keep a balance in our environment. Here in Vernon alone, the city is expanding quickly, and building further and further out, which affects important natural habitats. This is something to consider in future development projects— building more sustainably, and conserving and protecting water.

Discover Canada’s most beautiful waterfalls.

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