Lost in the Grasslands

Lost in the Grasslands

When I get the chance to wander places like the Lac du Bois Grasslands northwest of Kamloops, British Columbia, I sure get feelings of comfort, peace and awe. I feel my blood pressure drop. I stop thinking about deadlines and instead focus on, well…not so much–other than the wind, the immense sky, the pure silence and an abundance of birds.

Scientists who study such things posit that, in general, modern man retains an affinity for broad open spaces because we descended from ancestors that wandered the African savanna.

The protected grasslands cover 15,000-hectares (37,000 acres), hosting two Ecological Reserves set aside for their research and educational significance. McQueen Creek in the northeast protects a sample of the middle grassland community, while Tranquille in the west protects a small area of ponderosa pine and bunchgrass.

There are a number of small lakes, including some that support trout. Others dry up in the summer, leaving alkaline ponds with vast areas of brilliant red flowers called red glasswort or pickleweed.

Red glasswort, or pickleweed, grows at the fringes of evaporating lakes and ponds.

You need not wander far from the road to find a great, healing nothingness, and that great, open expanse that seems to draw on some long-lost call deep within us. And the silence, as they say, is deafening.

You can find a lot more information on the grasslands website.