Archives for August 4, 2019
Mission Hill Family Estate Winery – West Kelowna was named the 2019 winery of the year, while Moon Curser Vineyards of Osoyoos was named the best performing small winery of 2019.
Just over 60 per cent of the entries were from B.C., with the West Coast taking 60 per cent of the medals.
Moon Curser Vineyard was founded in 2003 but under the name Twisted Tree. They rebranded in 2011 to Moon Curser – a name that captures many colourful stories of the Osoyoos area and the renegade spirit of their winemaking.
Top 10 wineries in BC
1. Mission Hill Family Estate, West Kelowna
2. Moon Curser Vineyards, Osoyoos
3. Desert Hills Estate Winery, Oliver
4. Nk’Mip Cellars, Osoyoos
5. Cedar Creek Estate Winery, Kelowna
6. Arrowleaf Cellars, Lake Country
7. Blasted Church Vineyards, Okanagan Falls
8. Corcelettes Estate Winery, Keremeos
9. Road 13, Oliver
10. Painted Rock Estate Winery, Penticton
Source: Global BC
WineAlign National Awards
Picture source: Moon Curser
Summer student Sierra Collins on deck
The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) has launched a citizen science initiative to help monitor for invasive mussels in Okanagan Valley lakes including Osoyoos, Skaha and Okanagan,
The society is seeking community members who own private docks on to participate in monitoring for the non-native zebra and quagga mussels. This citizen science project is the first of its kind in the province, and will allow community members to be more actively involved in protecting Okanagan lakes from the invasive mussel threat. Participants in the citizen science project will be provided with a pair of mussel monitors to be attached to their private docks. They will be required to check the monitors every two weeks throughout the summer for the presence of invasive mussels.
“Our Society has been checking for invasive mussels for seven years, however, this initiative will greatly expand our efforts to regions of the lakes that were previously inaccessible,” says Lisa Scott, Executive Director of OASISS. “Not only will we be able to improve the quantity of our data, but we will also be able to involve the community in an environmental cause that many feel passionate about.”
Zebra and quagga mussels are considered to be an environmental disaster, costing millions of dollars to provinces and states each year. In regions where they are already established, invasive mussels damage sensitive ecosystems, clog water intake pipes and water infrastructure, reduce water quality, and impact tourism and the local economy.
Growing up in a typical lower-working-class family, tea was the only beverage served in our home, it was either tea or water.
My grandma bought pop, usually Dandylion and Burdock, from the man in a van who did a weekly route. However pop was not drank at meal time, it was an afternoon treat for grandma. The strong flavour bit at my throat and was not to my taste, so I did like the horses did and drank water.
The refined way of drinking tea, as demonstrated in shows such as Downton Abbey is not the way most working class families drank their tea. Gran had a big brass kettle which sat on the hob of the coal fire, it was always hot and would be at boiling point within minutes when tea was needed. The kettle had sat in it’s place for many years and it was as black as the back of the chimney, it’s true colour was only revealed when, on a bet, it was taken by one of the uncles and polished to it’s original brass shine. There had also been a huge black tea pot, decorated in what was supposed to be gold vines that spent many years on grandma’s dresser.
The story behind the much treasured tea pot was hazy but it was supposed to be handed down to the first female in the family who had twins. Grandma had been persuaded to leave her home and go to live with one of my aunts, when she had fallen into a diabetic coma. She was unaware of her illness until she had to be hospitalised and, my bossy aunt had packed up gran’s rented house and moved gran and entire possessions to her home in the south of England. This was done so quickly that most of the family did not know what was happening until it was a fait accomplished. I was now married, with two small children and had been a weekly visitor to gran’s house but we had no car so was unable to visit her at the other end of the country.
Within two months my aunt regretted her decision and had my grandma put into a care home. Gran found herself away from most of her family and friends and living three hundred miles away from her life long home. My mother returned from USA, where she had been living since I was sixteen and managed to get gran transferred to a senior’s home in our home town. However, the illness and total transformation of gran’s life was too much for her and she lived in a state of confusion. I was now able to visit gran every week and she loved the babies but was not really sure who they were.
Grandma passed away with a brain aneurism several month later, and when I actually gave birth to twin girls, gran was gone and no sign of the family teapot. It was rather ugly and far too big to use but it would have been nice to have kept the item in the family. What ever happened to all gran’s treasures is a mystery. I don’t think she had anything of value but there was nothing at all to remember grandma by. I would have loved to have had her cameo brooch which was an item of daily wear on gran’s dress. One of her sons had been in the merchant navy and brought her so many items from all over the world, maybe not worth anything, but family treasures non the less. My thoughtless auntie got rid of all gran’s momentos as easily as she got rid of my gran.
A tea pot was usually one of the first items acquired by a prospective bride but in my mom’s home tea was just made directly into a mug. Mom’s mugs were huge and were blue and white striped, which pattern seemed to be had in many homes. A big spoon full of tea leaves would be put in the mug, boiling water poured over and then left to sit for a couple of minutes, to brew. Quite a lot of full cream milk would then be added which made the tea quite cool. The result was truly awful and made me shudder when I tried to drink it. Gran’s tea was always made in a big old, brown Betty tea pot which had a cracked lid and a chipped spout. The tea was not as bad as mom’s offerings but was still unpalatable to me. I was as confirmed tea hater until coming to Canada and was given weaker tea, without milk, a completely different drink and really refreshing. Here I also had my first cup of coffee, with half and half, and became an instant convert.
I’m not sure why the British hold the consumption of tea as an important ritual and a cure-all, but any emergency is a call for tea. Whether it be illness, bad news, good news, arrival of visitors or in fact any circumstance, it is deemed necessary to put on the kettle and make tea. Most British people drink their tea with milk and I think this is the reason why they say that English people have a stiff upper lip….they are trying to mask their distaste of the horrible milky concoction which is supposed to be the only thing that puts the Great in Great Britain!
UFO’s and Sasquatch
My dear wife commented on my post last week, but she didn’t make it clear which one of us believes in UFO’s and Sasquatch. It’s me. Here’s why.
The evidence for UFO’s is overwhelming. By definition alone – Unidentified Flying Objects – you have to believe. Approximately 93% of reported UFO’s can be explained. The remaining 7% are generally those that have been seen by trained observers or recorded on radar. This latter category comprises a sufficient number of incidents to convince me that some of them are real, unexplained (inexplicable), flying objects.
I subscribe to two theories for the origin of these real UFO’s. One, that they are piloted by sentient beings from another place (ie. aliens), and two, that they are from the future (ie. our descendants). I believe that the first explanation is more likely.
I am convinced that there has been contact between these sentient beings and living humans. I am convinced that most governments know the truth and have decided to not tell the public. Coverup? No, that would require official statements. Instead, they say nothing – their silence is deliberate. How many Canadians are officially in the ‘know’? My guess is probably 100 still working and another thousand retired.
For me, the evidence for Sasquatch is undeniable. I have seen one. To be clear, my Labrador retriever saw it first. I was one of four guys and two dogs on a week-long hunting trip north of Princeton. We were camped about two miles from the nearest road and hunted during the days in pairs or alone.
One morning, I went with just my dog to get some pot meat. I carried my Ithaca Model 37 loaded with slug-bird-bird. The day before, the other dog had retrieved a grouse that I had shot, and today, my dog needed to carry something into camp or her name would be Mudd – forever. She was really depressed but I think she understood our mission for the day.
Shortly before noon, the hair went up on her back from end to end and she stepped cross-ways in front of me. She growled. I looked where she was looking. I looked it right in the eyes over the barrel of my shotgun. And then – I cannot explain how or why – I knew what it was and felt an incredible peace. I leaned down and comforted her, then looked up. It was gone. We went over to the spot – less than 10 metres – where it had been. She sniffed. I looked. We left. And yes, she carried a grouse into camp later that afternoon.
You know from previous posts that I’m looking for a worthy candidate or party. The odds of seeing a UFO or a Sasquatch are much greater but … I’m still looking.