Saturday, January 7, 2012


Tourists on their way to our Beautiful Beaches

Good Food ( Dessert at Athens Creek Lodge 'Cruise Ship' ) served by Donna and Jill

Gorgeous Lakes ( Skaha Lake at Kaleden )

Okanagan Lake at Sonoka Beach
Penticton BC is the place to be, and to come and visit this year, according to The Huffington Post. Another article in the local paper here mentions that it has been named one of the top ten travel destinations in the world by Facebook users. An analysis of over two million comments on Travel Buzz came up with some nine other destinations including Laos, Spain, South Carolina, Columbia, and Bolivia. Penticton was the only Canadian city on the list! " Penticton's beautiful beaches, burgeoning wine industry, and outdoor activities galore, not to mention festivals, spectacular scenery, climbing on Skaha Bluffs, and the famous Iron Man Competition, all make this a year-round vacation hot-spot." ( Photos are from last July ).
So, what are you waiting for? get booking!
Oh! by the way, I forgot to tell you, there was another article in the paper headlined : "Man stabbed at Penticton bar" and that was in our favourite hotel too!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Waste Water

Penticton Waste-Water Treatment Plant on Waterloo Rd ( a most appropriate name! )

Singapore sells bottled water made from their waste water!

Our Okanagan Lake is a fairly pure water source for our taps.
Sign on the pump house on Okanagan Lake....
Dealing with what's left after we use our fresh drinking water is something else. In Penticton the purified water goes into the Okanagan River and on to the Pacific Ocean, and the remaining solids are composted for industrial use. (You can make out a pile of solids in the photo at the top if you enlarge it by clicking on it.) The processes are quite complicated because of things like industrial contamination and salt used on our roads. However in some places like Okotoks in Alberta, and in Singapore, the purification of used water is of such high quality, drinkable water is the end-product, thus relieving demands on reservoirs.
The use of bottled drinking water is another subject which is quite contentious, as the quality of the water used is sometimes questionable, and the disposal of the plastic bottles is polluting our world...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fresh Clean Water

Occasionally we may think about where the water comes from when we open the tap. Yesterday we set off to find out, here in Penticton, first locating the water treatment plant on Google Earth, then on arrival at the top of Penticton Avenue, we were pleasantly surprised to be offered a tour of the facility...
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Overflow from the Reservoir goes into Penticton Creek then back to Okanagan Lake.

Penticton Creek

Water Treatment Plant just below the Reservoir
Brad took a large flashlight with him and explained the set-up from beginning to end. It is far more complex than I had ever imagined. Previously I thought maybe a filter then some chlorine and off to the taps. There are a large number of steps and processes, well over a dozen, including air pumps, skimming off scum, filtering through six feet of anthracite, adjusting pH, adding chemicals, and so on. The skills required for producing drinking water are also complex, one has to be an expert in machine-shop skills, chemistry, computers, electrical engineering, and pumps and pipes.  If anything goes wrong with equipment, there is only a four hour window for repair.  70% of our water is pumped uphill to the plant from Okanagan Lake in an 18" pipe, and 30% is gravity fed from a reservoir just above the plant. It costs $18 an hour for each pump. Here are a few photos of our visit. None from inside the plant, it was a bit too rushed! Maybe next time!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter Bird

It continues warm in the West. The grass is very green. Yesterday a storm system approached the West coast producing spectacular streaks of clouds across our region at dawn in all imaginable colors. (Cheri would have loved it!)
At lunch quite a few of us noticed a big bird on a branch over Athens Creek. I rushed home and caught him on camera. He is either a Sharp Shinned or Cooper's Hawk, and was waiting for a pigeon to be served for his lunch. It is next to impossible to sort out the difference between the two as they are virtually identical, but the former is more likely as the Cooper is probably enjoying his winter holidays further South in the central USA by now.
Michael's "Artist's Impression" of the Hawk ( Accipiter striatus/cooperii)

Green Grass in Penticton. The Oak leaves hang on for nearly the whole winter.

Tree at the Hooded Merganser. Last of Christmas. All Decorations go by the sixth....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Other Things New

Time moves on in its new way, and change happens. I love this cartoon about change.
Things New Happen
In other areas, things stay the same. Or do they? The Bible for instance. It was written many moons ago, and is still around today. But go on line and it is amazing what you have at your finger tips. A host of different translations, the apochryphal books, even different collections of the books as in Catholic and Protestant groupings. I believe certain folk are even writing new books to add, but it will need a special meeting of the top brass to approve those! We are always looking and hoping for new and improved versions of everything, including this New Year. Hope springs eternal! Maybe it will be the best year ever after all! We shall see....In the meantime, we hope your English weather improves, and that you personally missed all those falling trees and flying bricks and roof-tiles in the recent storm.....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Dropping Things

Martin Street  changes in one block from two-way to one-way

Waterfront Gazebo

Decorations at the Hooded Merganser

Hanne's first breakfast of 2012. (Delicious Raspberry Crepe)
We humans are very strange. Some of us go to a lot of trouble to drop things at midnight on New Year's Eve. In New York ( since 1907 ) they drop a crystal ball decorated with three thousand triangles of Waterford crystal. In coastal Eastport in Maine they drop an eight-foot wooden sardine. In Key West, Florida they drop a conch shell, a pirate wench from the top of a tall sailing vessel, and a drag queen in a glittering six-foot high red lady's shoe heel! Each of these at three competing shore-front bars. Do other countries drop things or is it just in the USA? In Atlanta Georgia they drop a huge peach. Hey! they should do that here in Penticton! After all, we are known as "Peach City"!
Today's photos are from New Year Day's morning in quiet "Peach City", BC.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year Celebrations

Dancing the Old Year away

Our DJ is smiling because he's off to Arizona in the morning

A Very Happy New Year to you All from Michael ( Photo by Hanne)

Auld Lang Syne has been said once more all round the World, and off we go on our little raft into the unknowns of another new year. Last night we dressed up and had a lovely meal of lobster and chocolate cake to die for, then to the local community hall for a dance, and fun with friends. I didn't have much to drink honest! We went home and to bed at eleven (being seniors) but woke up at midnight. "Stop banging on the bed-head Hanne!" I said. but it wasn't Hanne it was the fireworks outside....