Oh, Canada!

Mile Marker 9.  That was as high as I went before having to turn around and come back down.  Yes, I know.  It should be Kilometer Marker 9.  But that doesn’t have the same ring to it.  I suppose, if I wanted to, I could show off my Canadian-ness by saying 9 Klicks.  I’m not entirely certain I’m that Canadian.  And that makes me laugh.  Just this morning, I was having a conversation with Jaki.  I was telling her about a group of American women I found on-line who have a poetry group much like ours.

“Except,” Jaki said, “we’re more beautiful, more intelligent, more…Canadian.”

“Well, we’re definitely more Canadian.”  I said, and we laughed.

Speaking of Canada, there’s a “polar vortex” scheduled for the week and even here in the sunny Okanagan, temperatures are expected to be 10 – 20° below normal.  Today was the last chance I had to leave the house willingly.  In keeping with the Canadian theme, I decided to follow the road leading to Beaver Lake. 

The first part of the drive was clear and sunny.  Mule deer grazed on the naked hilltop. 

The road wound its way up, and trees began to crowd the edges.

Ahh!  Nothing like a little forest bathing to get you feeling good.  I rolled down my window, inhaling deeply.  There was the faint smell of smoke and rounding a corner, I discovered the source – a couple of old guys in lawn chairs next to a fire, F150’s and snowmobile trailers parked along the side of the road.  They waved as I drove by and I laughed, wondering if they heard me singing at the top of my lungs before I noticed they were there. 

The higher I went, the thicker the snow covering the forest floor. 

At Mile Marker 9 the road changed.  Ice and snow covered the road now, and while it had been worn smooth, it hadn’t been cleared.  I could feel the Rodeo start to fish-tail when I stepped on the gas.  Even though I have four-wheel drive, I decided I’d gone high enough.  I wiggled myself around, put it in low, and headed back down the mountain. 

The sky was no longer the clear blue it was when I started out.  In fact, it was looking rather dramatic.

Damn, it’s good to live in Canada.

I found a hawk near the bottom of the road – the only bird I’d seen all day.  Once I reached the highway, I counted eight more between Winfield and home.  It’s a good time of year to head out on a hawk walk.  Here’s an interesting fact for you.  You know in the movies when they show an eagle flying and you hear that wonderful scream?  Yeah.  That’s not an eagle screaming.  Eagles sound a bit wimpy.  The scream belongs to a hawk doing a voice-over. 

I took my only photo of the hawk, taken from too far away to be any good, and digitally altered it. 

Now it’s art.

Author: Featherstone Creative

Sally Quon is a photographer and writer living in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, where she is blessed to live, love and grow on the traditional and unceded territory of the Syilx people. Her photography has appeared in Canadian Geographic Magazine and in Nature Alberta’s various birding brochures. Sally was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul - The Forgiveness Fix and was long listed for the Vallum Chapbook Award. She is an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets. One of her photos was chosen for inclusion in the Photographer’s Forum “Best of 2018” Collection. She has two beautiful, almost grown children and a cat who loves her.

3 thoughts on “Oh, Canada!”

  1. Wise of you to turn back! And now I can add one more little-known fact to my Random Knowledge arsenal: hawk voice-overs! Stay warm this week, OK?

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  2. Somehow I imagine your voice when I read your stories, and it adds to my enjoyment of them. Thank you for taking me on this road trip. I could envision all you spoke about. I especially enjoyed the old guys and imagining them hearing you singing!!! I may or may not sing out load when I’m walking the dog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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