August 22, 2014

Osoyoos Lake, the beach and an apocalyptic sun

Osoyoos Lake is Canada's warmest fresh water lake, with summertime water temperatures averaging 24 degrees. It attracts tens of thousands every summer.

For some reason, southeastern British Columbia is popular with people from Alberta. Not that there's anything wrong with that, nor with people from Alberta. The license plates seen at the Spanish Inquisition are mainly from Alberta and the accent often heard in coffee shops and pizza parlours in Osoyoos is Albertan, and there isn't anything wrong with that either, though visions of tar sands and bursting pipelines filled with goop, tend to come to the minds of those from the southwestern coast of BC. Some of us drive around in great big SUVs too, far too many of drink coffees from disposable cups, and according to popular belief we all seem to be wearing yoga pants. All of which probably irritates people visiting from Alberta, especially the part about yoga pants.

In any event, the lake is warm and wonderful, though full of motorised craft. Speed boats and personalised water craft speed up and down and all around, mainly in circles to impress someone on the beach. This is not Idabel Lake, nor is it St. Mary Lake either.

Our afternoon at the beach was hot and muggy and there was taste of smoke in the air. What began as a clear morning in Osoyoos turned into a darker midday, the sun hidden at times behind clouds and smoke. While there were a number of forest fires burning in BC, this smoke was actually coming from fires burning across the international boundary in the US.

At times, the sun turned a brilliant red. The darkness on the beach caused many to look up from their phones, however briefly, to view what might have been described as an apocalyptic sun. What else could it be? The ear-splitting drone of high speed mechanisation on the water, the soundtrack from the best of the 60s, 70s and 80s booming in from the parking lot of the Spanish Inquisition, and hundreds of people on the beach, each staring at a personal hand-held device, oblivious to the world around them.

The end is near. Possibly in Alberta though just as likely in lululemon land.

 Photos taken between noon and 3:00p.
Photos by Jim Murray. Copyright 2014.

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