Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Winter Wonderland in Kamloops, BC

Winter…. a season that comes with mixed opinions for many of us but as with all weather, the changes we see are usually a great topic of conversation. The older we get, though, it seems the more we notice the cold weather.  Some of us become Snowbirds or plan those trips to other warmer climates but for most of us, we can still appreciate the beauty of winter in our hometown.

Snowy silence 
Early winter snowfall may offer some of the prettiest sights of winter in the city.  We took a drive through McArthur Park during the first snowfall of the season and could feel the cold and the quiet.  I prefer looking out through the window to enjoy these sights and it seems am not alone, we did not see one person on this day.

The duck pathway
What we did see were flocks of fowl.  These ducks were not down on the water, as is usual for them, but rather up on the walkway where they may have thought would be an easier place to receive treats from the visitors who usually pass by and feed them.

The duck gathering
This was a gathering of ducks and some Canada Geese all nestled into the snow covered parking lot.  When we stopped to take some photos, they seemed to think we might have something for them so began flying our way.  I didn’t like to disappoint them but we sure didn’t come prepared with bird feed!  It seems they may associate park visitors with food, interesting!  

Winter days on the North Thompson River
I will admit that the days of winter are best when the sun shines.  This drive along the North Thompson River with a view of Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter shows a day with low lying clouds that hover over the east side of the river and do not give the benefits of sunshine unless you rise above them.  The valley often sits under clouds while the upper levels might enjoy the winter sunshine. 

Hoodoos overlooking the S. Thompson River
Driving east along the South Thompson River during these early winter days offers a different view.  The light snow coverage highlights the voodoos that are such a significant part of Kamloops scenery and a great sight to see any time of the year.

Scenic hills Kamloops, BC follow the S. Thompson River
The Thompson River is very low at this time of year but usually has some water flowing by, and is therefore a winter home for Trumpeter swans that we saw on another visit to the South Thompson River in this Valleyview area of Kamloops.  Click here to view them.

Bald headed eagle in Kamloops, BC
There was an optimistic eagle perched high above the S. Thompson River waiting for his lunch to swim by.  The early winter snow may have surprised us but I wonder, did it surprise this eagle or the wildlife in the area?   Some animals hibernate and some birds fly south but as long as the river does not freeze over, this eagle just might stay around awhile.  Many more eagles to be seen here.

Banana Island on the S. Thompson River
Speaking of fishing, Kamloops is known worldwide for the fishing in this area and winter doesn’t seem to stop the avid fishermen.  River fishing is left for the eagles and Trumpeters but we have several lakes within minutes of the city and when conditions are right, fishermen gather to try their luck at ice fishing.  

Ice fishing on Monte Lake, BC

It did once cross my mind that I should see what this is all about but I just could not bring myself to go on that early winter morning drive up into the hills just to get some photos of ice fishing.  Then on a recent drive by Monte Lake, we saw lots of tents and fishermen out there. I guess just like when fishing, patience pays.  I got some ice fishing photos from the luxury of a warm drive-by car and they get their fish!

I hope you can enjoy the beauty of a Canadian winter in your hometown as we do ours; this is just another reason why we love Kamloops.