Scorched Earth

On the way through southern BC a few weeks ago, we managed to avoid a lot of the areas where there had been wildfires this summer. The area between Princeton, BC, and the Okanagan was as lush as ever.

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But as we came to the Okanagan, especially near Osoyoos, BC, we saw signs of the recent wildfires that had raged across the land, fanned by high winds during the summer’s drought. In some cases, homes had barely escaped going up in flames.

Wikipedia gives the following definition of “scorched earth.” A scorched earth policy is a military strategy that involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. In the Okanagan I saw a different, but just as terrible interpretation of “scorched earth.” Imagine whole hillsides aflame and the wind pushing those flames toward your home.

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These were the lucky ones, but it must have been a terrifying time for the residents.

Pie in the Sky?

They say good things come in small packages, but in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia and its continuation (with a slight spelling change), the Okanogan Valley of Washington, they come in large crates.

Boxes piled up to the sky,

A crane is needed just to try

To bring the top ones down.

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The pickers work to fill the crates,

They laugh and joke among their mates,

But soon the job is done.DSCN4016

The driver checks the tie-down straps,

Avoiding possible mishaps,

Before he hits the road.DSCN4017

Green or gold, or maybe red,

They all taste good I’ve heard it said,

There’s just one way to know.015

So bite me!