The Okanagan Valley is considered Canada's only true desert. Sun-drenched vineyards and orchards nestle in the valley surrounding the lakes. The ideal location for golfing, water skiing and wine tasting all in one day. But for me, it's more than that. Because I grew up in this climate, it makes me feel like home. A deep breathe takes me back to hot summer days by the river, the water down to a slow flow, but still holding its emerald green. It might be the smell of the sagebrush, now brown and dry. Or the sap seeping from the willlows. It might be the hot sun heating the tar on the roads. It might be the sweetness escaping the peaches and cherries, now ripe and full. Or maybe its the crickets in the late summer evening, the rocking of a swing on a front porch. It might be the breeze, still hot with the desert air, blowing the white cotton from the poplars, dancing them down the quiet roads. Perhaps it's the smell of freshly mown grass, or the waft of a bbq from down the alley. Whatever it may be, I feel a pang of homesickness and in that breathe, remember a million moments spent in the desert heat throughout my childhood.
Here are a few desert blooms from last week's venture. Lavender... my favorite.