Vermilion Forks Field Naturalists took to the trail again on Saturday, Nov. 21st, when Joan Kelly led 18 of us along the Kettle Valley Railway in the Tulameen area. We began at the south end of Otter Lake and walked northward along the path, which is wedged between the eastern shores of the lake and steep mountainsides. The temperature was a cool –10 degrees, but the sun was shining and there was little wind. We were an eclectic group, with ages spanning four generations and a couple of dogs to complete the mix. We walked 4 km. before stopping for an early lunch, taking advantage of a picnic table and fire pit placed close to the lake for optimum viewing of the scenic landscape. We mixed and mingled, while warming ourselves with hot chocolate and lunches toasted over the fire.
After lunch our group split in two, with half heading back to the vehicles as the others continued north another 8 km., past Otter Lake to the north end of Frembd Lake. The latter route took us alongside Otter Creek, where the trail crosses the waterway to travel along its west side, and past the confluence of Otter and Frembd Creeks, a particularly picturesque segment of the KVR. During our 3 hours of walking we had spotted 8 different species of birds, including Red-necked Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes, Common Mergansers, and Common Goldeneyes, but 2 more species captured our attention as we approached the north end of Frembd Lake. Tundra Swans and American Wigeons gracefully dotted the icy water, an exquisite sighting that brought our outing to a perfect conclusion, as our companions were nearby on the road, ready to pick us up and travel home!