White Lake Grasslands Site 5 – Praising the Lord!
When the bear came into view I was singing before the Lord!
“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the LORD, for he comes, …”. Psalm 96:11-13 (NIV)
The White Lake Grasslands are a group of protected areas south of Penticton about 20 minutes and west of OK Falls about 10 minutes. I came across this beautiful Nature Conservatory while driving some back country roads in search of a place to fly my drones. Site five was spectacular that day and it has some gentle but amazing hikes.
There are several entrances or trail heads to choose from. I chose one closest to Mahoney Lake as it was well outside of the no fly zone by White Lake Observatory and nestled into some steed hills with amazing views.
Saturday Sept 24th was a great day to go for a hike and to see both birds and other wildlife. I arrived around 10am and decided to do a quick fly over of the lake as it was a mirror.
Then I threw my drone back into it’s pack and headed down the trail a couple of kms to the west. It was a very gentle trail following the valley between the steep hills.
At one point I came across another pond that was full of ducks and geese.
I noticed a lot of bear and other droppings around this pond. Most was old so I didn’t give it much thought and carried on up the path to the north. Then at one point I felt the urge to head straight up a small path which lead to the top of a hill providing a panoramic view to the east, south and west. If you look closely you can see my car way to the west in this next photo.
Here it is using my 400mm zoom enlarge 300%.
As I snapped this picture something behind me made a noise. So I went to investigate. I still had my camera in hand so I was hoping to catch a deer or moose, maybe an elk walking on the path that I had just ascended. Hmmmm I tot I taw a bear!
Yup it was a bear. A black bear. And it wasn’t very far away. Perfect, praise the Lord I can get some more bear pictures! But wouldn’t you know it my camera battery died just then! Just as the bear came out from the tree and looked to be heading in my direction.
Have you noticed that you sometimes don’t clue in on things as they are happening? I naturally pulled out my cell phone to snap a picture or two and then it dawned on me. That bear can out run me without breaking a sweat. To the north of me was a hundred foot drop onto rocks. To the south would take a route across the bears path. To the east another very steep drop off. And of course the bear was on that very path that I was was following before I was inspired to head straight up hill!
Needless to say I decided that it was time to head down the east side of the mountain making as much noise as I could. I sang “Victory in Jesus” and stumbled down the very steep hill.
I got about half way down and another noise in front of me caught my attention. Peering through the trees I saw, what at first I thought was, a moose. But fortunately for me and them it was two people on horse back who were heading down the same trail I had been on early leading to the duck and goose pond. I yelled out to them that there was a bear around the corner from the pond. They yelled back thanks and immediately road off in the opposite direction.
The walk back to my car was about 1.5 kms as I took the straightest path occasionally looking over my shoulder. About half way back I came across more bear scat that was very fresh. Apparently black bears like the wine grapes of the Okanagan. When I got back to my car I downed some water and decided to check out the other end of White Lake Grasslands by the Observatory. The largest radio observatory in Canada.