Monday, June 09, 2008

Glimpses of Osoyoos and Manning Park, BC

We pulled the kids from school 1.5 days, and escaped to Osoyoos BC this weekend. We have talked about camping again, but this weekend we stayed in style at the Walnut Beach Resort. Check out the view from our balcony:

View from Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos, BC
The clouds rolled in and out, but for the most part there was blue sky to be spotted (unlike Vancouver, where I understand it rained most of the weekend). Anyhow, we toured both desert centres in Osoyoos, and I took LOTS of photos there (click any photo for a slightly larger image)...

I love thistles, and they must taste sweet, too, if these bugs are any indication:
Thistle with beetle
Thistle with bumblebee
I was really hoping to spot a rattlesnake somewhere during the trip, but was still very happy to see this western yellow-bellied racer [thanks to Jake for correcting me], which raced through the sagebrush and grasses beside us, crossed the path, and seemed to stop for a moment to look at us before speeding on:
Rubber boa constrictor
While we're on the topic of wildlife, what trip through Manning Park is complete without a spotting of a black bear? This little guy was on the side of the road leading to the Lightning Lakes:
Black bear in Manning Park, BC
And of course, the Columbian ground squirrels (Spermophilus columbianus, but commonly known as "gophers") around Lightning Lakes are so charming, it was worth a number of photos:
Cute gopher at Manning Park BC
Columbian ground squirrel
It might be hard to see, but this little guy is chewing on a blade of grass:
Columbian ground squirrel at Manning Park
I'm too tired tonight, but I'll try to post a few more photos this week, of the many beautiful flowers found in the desert areas.


Anonymous said...

Hi I just wanted to tell you that the rubber boa you spotted was not actually a rubber boa, but a western yellow-bellied racer (coluber connstrictor mormon). Rubber boas are slow movig creatures, who would not race away like that. They prefer to hide rather than bask. You can tell its a rubber boa by the shape of its head and tail, which are rounded of much like a cigar. They are one colour all the way around their plump bodies. These snakes only range from 15"-22". Racers are much faster, slender, and their stomachs are of course a different colour. You are likely to spot them basking, but they will quickly slither off.

I hope this helped,

Garden Lily said...

Jake - Thanks so much for posting that correction. Yes, I'm sure it was the western yellow-bellied racer. I can see the yellow belly in my photo, and yes, he really slid by quickly. I had guessed the rubber boa based on the colour, and that it looked like the photo in the info centre. It certainly wasn't the rattlesnakes that I was trying so hard to spot. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

No problem. Rattlesnakes are much harder to spot because they blend in with their surroundings, stay very still and like to hide. You probably will never have much luck spotting rattlesnakes, unless you were to go out and check under some rocks and such. This is not advised because the rattlesnake may strike at you as you lift the rock, a reason why I use a snake stick. In my opinion a racer is a way neater find, because rattlesnakes may be seldom seen, but their numbers are greater than that of racers in BC.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin