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  • Writer's pictureKarl Koerber

Today's Walk: Slocan River near Winlaw

I had a couple of free hours this afternoon, and the sun was making a good effort, so I drove up to a spot known locally as Lebahdo flats, where I was able to meander through some pasture land down to the river. It was still a bit misty, and Frog Peak, which is usually visible from here, was hiding in the clouds. Before cutting down to the river, I followed the rail trail for a short distance.

I can't seem to resist little sparkly things, like the ice crystals hanging from the twigs in the woods along the way. This one looks a bit like a dragon draped over the branch, I thought. Maybe?

I felt like I was on the border between two worlds this afternoon. Looking north, it was a crisp and clear blue-sky day.

When I turned downriver, to the south, however, I entered an ethereal, misty realm.

Of course, a dipper passed by, working its way upstream and stopping to forage here and there along the way. I don't know if I've ever spent time near a stream when one of these little guys didn't come along to keep me company for a while.

Walking along the shore, I heard what at first I thought was a car driving through some slush on the road, but then I realized that it was a group of eight or nine mergansers landing in the river just opposite of where I stood. Mergansers, both common (like these) and hooded, are among my favorites in the duck department. They are also one of the waterfowl species that overwinter here in the Kootenays. The photos are all of males, but there were a few females in the group as well.

They were a bit camera-shy, though, and quickly decided to ditch the papparazzo snapping pictures from the far shore and go find a more private spot farther upstream.

There were still a few splashes of green here and there, apart from the conifers, like this Oregon grape plant that has obviously seen better days, but carries a strange beauty in its woundedness.

Just before I headed home, I stumbled upon this magical little grove in the Upside Down.

I guess today is American Thanksgiving, but I give thanks every day for my many blessings and gifts: health, shelter, nourishment, family, friends, community and, of course, the list goes on. Struggles too, to be sure, but the capacity to cope and overcome is a gift in itself. One of the most precious gifts, for me, is the beauty of this place where I have been blessed to live for most of my life. May it never fade.

You can see more of my nature photography in the photo galleries on this site.

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Nov 25, 2022

Beautiful photos, Karl, and I love the writing as well.

Karl Koerber
Karl Koerber
Nov 25, 2022
Replying to

Thanks Susie (and Herb)!


Nov 25, 2022

Each one worth waking up to see and wishing I were there.

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