Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kangaroo Creek Farm ~ Lake Country ~ Winfield, BC

We had learned of the Kangaroo Creek Farm a few years back but had not yet been there for a visit.  I was waiting for the opportunity to visit here with our young grandsons and although one of them was not able to join us, we set out with the 7 year old to enjoy a visit with the kangaroos.

Kangaroo Creek Farm - Winfield, BC
The Kangaroo Creek Farm is a private farm that has been keeping kangaroos and wallabies for over 20 years.  They opened for this season in March and will be open until the end of October every day from 10am until 2pm.  The months of July and August are extended hours.

A wonderful place to visit
They charge a very affordable price for entry, children under 5 are free, seniors and youth only $5, adults $10 and there are no other costs once you are on the farm, unless you choose to buy a cold drink available at their concession.  No gift shops, just lots of animals to spend some time with up front and personal.

the Capybara family
This very large rodent is a native of South America and the largest rodent in the world.  The most familiar rodent I can relate him to is the guinea pig, which we consider pets in this country but these live wild in their homeland.  The smaller one enjoying his petting is almost 8 months old.  His dad, lying nearby blended in with the sacks and just kept on napping, oblivious to the activity around him.

the Pantagonian Cavy
The Pantagonian Cavy, known also as a Mara and so much easier to remember, is from Argentina.  It is amazing how well all of the animals at Kangaroo Creek Farm have adapted to their human visitors, young and old.  There is no reaction when someone approaches to pet, they seem to enjoy it all.  Being the fourth largest rodent in the world, they are also related to guinea pigs and the capybara but are more similar in looks to a bunny and a deer, whom they jump like.

Old western town
The enclosed field where the kangaroos and wallabies are found has a ‘western town’ to add to the fun of this adventure.  We are free to wander around visiting with the many staff members who are very willing to tell you all about the animals including each of their names.  They carry branches and treats and will give them to you to feed to the kangaroos and wallabies as the animals wander freely around the area, too.

Peacock has his say
This peacock, whose name I’ve forgotten seemed to think he was the boss.  He would put the run on the kangaroos, although these two were quite patient with him and ignored him until he went away.

Kangaroo enjoying the banana
One of four kinds and the largest of the species, this is the red kangaroo.   Known to be from Australian where the kangaroo population was 34.3 million in 2011, we were excited to be able to pet one of these special fellas with the soft coat.  These young ones can grow up to be 6 feet tall and weigh 200 lbs.

Wallaby not hungry
The wallaby is the smallest of the species and weighs up to 18 kg (40 lbs).  The diet for them as well as the kangaroos is mainly grasses, weeds, roots and green leaves.  The many staff on the farm are ready to give you a branch of willow leaves to feed the wallabies or their favorite treat, a chunk of banana when they get their fill of leaves.

Irwin in the shade
Irwin is a young male albino wallaby.  Being albino, he has no color in his skin or eyes.  He kept his eyes closed for much of our visit with him, they would be sensitive to the sunlight, but he didn’t hesitate to take the leaves and the banana, once he was able to smell it.

Baby kangaroo - joey
What a thrill to be able to hold a joey, the babies of the kangaroo family, while visiting the Farm.  There were several of them but our grandson was holding the one albino of the group, whose name was Casper.  He was able to hold him for a few minutes while giving him some nibbles and a cuddle before Casper was passed to another of the long line waiting to have their own cuddle. 

Lots of animals
There is quite an variety of animals on the Kangaroo Creek Farm other than kangaroos that enjoy the visitors, too.  The baby emu were only 2.5 weeks old so not outside yet.  The large emu enjoyed visits as he wandered about. They goats are friendly, always looking for treats.  The Sugar Glider of the possum family is so tiny.  The llama and horses are in their own corral.

Birdhouse display
The Kangaroo Creek Farm has some great information and related links on their webpage about all the animals we were to see on our visit there and I recommend, should you be interested to learn more, that you check that out.  

They are located on Main Street, one block behind the A&W in Winfield on Hwy 97.  Parking is on the street but there is also limited handicap parking down the driveway on the Farm.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Riverside Park ~ MacArthur Park ~ Kamloops, BC ~ Flooding 2017

Flooding is not new to Kamloops but the threat of it still creates fear of the possibility of it happening again.  The fact there are two rivers meeting at Kamloops only doubles the chances.

Riverside Park in Kamloops
This winter there was a lot of snow up in those mountains, then we got some cool days with quite a bit of rain, and then the hot weather speeds up the melting.  Mix all of that together and we have a flood threat in Kamloops.

High water at Thompson River wharf
The parks are feeling the high water level, although that hasn’t stopped people from visiting the parks.  The wharf at Riverside Park is at water level, when it is usually several metres above that.  The railings have been removed to discourage any visitors onto that so barely visible.

Forbidden waters
Normally there is a very large sandy beach between the sidewalk shown and the river’s edge.  This shows the water to be about as high as we’d like to see it come up.  At this point, the damage appears to be extremely minimal.

There are white bags sitting on water grates all over the city that will hopefully prevent any water coming up through those grates from the storm drains.   Water in this parking lot at the east end of Riverside Park is fairly shallow so many are enjoying the walk through the water.

River height history
This monument shows the water heights throughout history but also the height of the water for the floods we’ve been through.  The one that we personally lived through was in 1972, 3 weeks after we’d moved into our new home.  More info on this from a previous blog I had written here.  

Under the railway bridge
Typically one would be able to follow the path under the bridge that would then take you to Pioneer Park, which is mainly covered in water on this day.

Kids playing in the water
At this point, the railway bridge is not in any danger from the rising waters.  Many people were at the park enjoying this sunny Sunday with their families, many of which were playing in the water, and it was not only the young that were playing.

MacArthur Park boat launch
The boat launch at MacArthur Park has been closed due to the high waters, although the next photo shows a small boat tied to the small wharf, which is usually many feet lower than it is now.  Signs do not always work but at least this boat is not out on the river, which would be quite dangerous to maneuver.

At this point in time, the North Thompson River has been said to have crested, meaning there is no longer a danger of flooding.  The South Thompson River has not crested yet, but had dropped several inches since these photos were taken.  The threat of flooding has lessened and hopefully will allow Kamloops to get past this point, once again, without any damage done by flooding.