Wednesday, 8 August 2012

"OK" weekend - a bit of everything

We spent last weekend in south end of the Okanagan Valley, in south central British Columbia (many just refer to the valley as the "OK"). We went to the OK to attend a wine dinner at the Orofino Winery (in nearby Similkameen Valley) and to visit friends and a few wineries.

This post has three parts: first the dinner, followed by some flora and then fauna (aka critters) from the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys.

As I mentioned in the introduction the dinner was at Orofino Winery near Caston in the Similkameen Valley. The Winery partnered again this year with Joy Road Caterers to offer a 1.6 mile dinner; almost all the ingredients were sourced from within 1.6 miles of the winery. We arrived for the dinner (on a shuttle bus), and were greeted by our hosts, John and Virginia, and offered a glass of one of their newest wine offerings Moscato Frizzante.

The table were setup on the patio right beside the winery and John had set up a windbreak with grape pallets and wine barrels to shelter us from any late evening breeze. There were blue skies, beautiful summer weather and wonderful aromas from the outdoor kitchen set up for the event.

As we enjoyed our frissante the appetizers were passed.

The crackers were made from milled locally grown rye.

Time to find our places and sit down for the dinner. In our places were menus, the tables were decorated with local flowers and the view was of the sun on the hillside. 

Here are a couple of reflections for you: the first is the hills reflected in one of the winery windows and the second  the patio setting for the dinner (this one is a bit of a stretch I admit).

And then a hush settled over the tables as the dinner was served.

Wouldn't be a winery without grapes and grapevines.

Some of the flowers, trees and plants


Almond "fruit"

And here are the critters I promised. This one is looking for the rest of the flock, seems that the blog lady separated it from the rest.

Two pigmy goats, very cute and quite anxious to have their heads scratched, which is why the next couple of pictures are a bit too close up. These guys are fully grown but only about 18 inches tall. You will no doubt notice the rectangular pupils, a trait shared with sheep, and cows I think.

After much scratching they finally settled down for a portrait shot, a little later the brown one settled his chin on the white one and both dozed off.

The rest of the chickens.

Which came first?

A few birds collected at a feeder in the early morning much to the delight of our friends' cat, Zee.

House finch

Gold Finch

"Zee" enjoying the bird activity

Pine Siskin

A dove and a baby bird hanging around near the feeder, maybe they enjoyed watching the indoor cat.

So when I say an OK weekend I mean a weekend filled with friends, good food and wine, beautiful weather and interesting critters to watch.

When I took this it reminded me of something but for the life of me I can't remember what.
Loved the colours and patterns reflected in this tasting sample.

Something different this week. I finished this painting, intended for a card, it is a watercolour called "Age old question?": 

Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate your visit and I read and enjoy all your comments.

Happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next time ............


  1. This is must have been a superb do.
    I love both wins glass images.
    I always look forward to your posts.

  2. that painting is adorable. :) the wine and feast looked great. i liked the critters, of course. :)

  3. So many wonderful photos. All that food looks so yummy. And you know I am always impressed by your paintings. This one is so cute. I just adore it..

    Hope you are enjoying your week.


  4. seems like a very special day. :)

  5. WoW, you always share so much in your entries!!

    i think the food is my favorite part, it looks so yummy!!

    next favorite are the feathered guys of course.

    your painting is wonderful!!

  6. Wowee, I am in love with your winery, glug glug glug. Lovely photos and painting as well, superb.

  7. Wish I had been there! What a delightful place to visit!

  8. Ah, had I known you were up here, I would have waved hello. LOL.

    What a spectacular dinner, and scenery.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  9. Once again a very interesting post. It's a great idea to have all the ingredients for the dinner sourced from so close. Some of those flavor combinations sound very interesting - I think I should do a little experimenting in my kitchen! The glimpses of the landscape were beautiful! I knew the OK many years ago.

  10. My mouth is watering over all the food and treats. Lovely capture of everything you had and the critters too!

  11. Love your blog,love the critters the most-surprise,surprise,the goats especially,phyllis in USA in Pa wild bird Wed.

  12. What a charmed weekend! Ooooh I love the wineries. We have one near the Tucson area and it's always a lot of fun. The appetizers look delish! What a nice selection of foods. I have to be careful drinking the wine.....especially the reds:)

  13. Nice set of pictures - I like the look of concentration on Zee's face!

    I had a bad encounter with a dog on the way home last night - I'm even more of a cat person now!!

    Stewart M - Australia

  14. The food all looks so delicious and also great shots of the animals and flowers. Sounds like a good weekend.

  15. What a fabulous weekend away! Love the shots.

  16. I really enjoyed the reflection shots, and most especially the wonderful patterns in the wine glasses. Your cloud shot.. don't laugh.. maybe a dinosaur with umbrella? Your watercolour is adorable!

  17. Gillian, what a sweet watercolor! And a perfect title!
    I love your photos of the little farm creatures.

  18. so manay things to see, to eat ! so many beautiful shots of animals !
    great post

  19. What a special experience to eat outside and enjoy the food as well as the scenery. I love your representation of the do you love me/ love me not - especially with the petals on the sweet bear's knee.

  20. The food looks so delicious and knowing it's all fresh and very local is a wonderful bonus.

  21. The wine looks great and love the goats and birdies!

  22. These are such wonderful photos, Gillian. That winery dinner sounds and looks amazing. I'll bet it was just delicious.. your photos had me drooling. Yum!

    Those goats.. oh my.. just adorable. I'd be scratching their heads still.

    Your painting is so cute. I didn't count but I'll bet you made sure there were an odd number of petals so that it would certainly result in "Loves me."

  23. Hi,
    The pygmy goats are very cute! They look very sleepy with their rectangular pupils.
    In Nara Park, there are about 1100 deer. They also have the rectangular pupils, but not so obvious like pygmy goats.
    Thanks a lot for wonderful stories and photos.

  24. You captured some real beauty in these images....great job! You've shared every aspects of life in your photo. Superb!
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  25. It looks like you must have had a fine time in the Okanagan Gillian. We lived there for 9 years and it was a life filled with lovely people and memorable outdoor experiences. I enjoyed the trip back!

  26. Gillian, this sounds like a wonderful evening, A dinner, wine and a beautiful place to enjoy it all. Your photos are wonderful. I loved the birds too. Did you enjoy the wine, which was your favorite?
    Have a great week, what left of it.

  27. Sounds like a lovely evening at the winery. Hubs used to make wine, so we visit them as often as we can. We plan to do the wine trail into Indiana when it cools off. Love the birds and those goats eyes are amazing.

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