I’m on a quest. Mid-November – about the time of year that the Big Horn Sheep rut begins. Generally speaking, the challenges take place on the female’s wintering range. I’m not exactly sure where that is, but I know where I usually see ewes and kids, so I thought I’d start there.
The rain was coming down in sheets when I left the house. By the time I dropped Santana off at work, the sky had begun to change from a blanket of soft grey to a mix of colours and textures. There was even a bit of blue. Sunlight fell in patches on the hillsides, and the road glistened in the light. The spray that followed each passing car created a prism of light, making me smile. I was surrounded by rainbows. What a great day to be out!
I followed West Side road until just past Fintry, stopping occasionally to take a picture or have a look around. I was struckby how much colour there was. At this time of year in Alberta, the colour has seeped out of the land, and what isn’t covered in snow is a dull greyish brown. Maybe it was the rain, but the colours seemed so alive and fresh.
“Opens a door in Heaven:
From skies of glass
A Jacob’s ladder falls
On greening grass
And o’er the mountain-walls
Young angels pass”
Turning around, I headed back toward West Kelowna. I stopped when I spotted a large gathering of Ravens and Magpies feasting on something at the side of the road. Bald Eagles looked on from nearby trees.
I turned onto Bear Lake Main and followed it for a while, all without seeing any sign of the local sheep. The nice thing about gravel roads after a rainfall is that there isn’t any dust.
I had my window down and the stereo off, listening for any sound that might indicate head-butting action. Nothing. But the day wasn’t wasted.
I found myself on a narrow road off of the main drag. The forest here was quiet, and there was a low, golden glow about it.
This was the road to the Bear Creek Recreation Site – Aspen Trail. There is a lovely hidden campground that still housed about three or four motorhomes. No tents. Wussies…
The clouds hung low in the sky. Winter is just a few kilometers up the road but I’m not quite ready for that.