Exploring Peterson Creek and Waterfall in Kamloops, B.C.

I live in Kamloops, British Columbia
which is one of the most wide spread cities in Canada! 

 We are surrounded by rolling grassland hills, clay bench lands, volcanic rock formations and plenty of sunshine on our semi arid landscape.
This photo journal is about Peterson Creek Park.  

The park is considered right in the heart of Kamloops, BC. 
This is a great hiking park perfect for exercise and adventure! 
It is also accessible from several neighborhoods
 that border the park property. 

There are several paths from the downtown in the valley, 
as well as from the higher elevated bench land neighborhoods. 
Do crooked photos get your attention?
Nowadays the Trans-Canada Highway crosses 
over top of the Peterson Creek ravine. 

So the traffic noise is something people have to tolerate 

while hiking the trails nearest the highway.

Plateau above Peterson Creek
When I see a patch of  dirt cracking open like this, 
I know something is busy growing underneath! The earth is alive!
Some of the late spring wildflowers blooms linger due to heavier rainfall this spring

The Pine Beetle attacked many Pine Trees in the past few years. 
It was really, really, sad to see them turn red brown 
and then dangerously snap or fall during windstorms etc.  
Pine Beetle kill of the Pine tree
Nowadays, many of those dead trees lay toppled over 
or they have been logged off to remove the fire hazard.

As a result, the highway traffic noise has increased in the neighborhoods, because older Pine trees no longer buffer the noise or slow down wind patterns.  Once you are up on the plateau or further in the ravine, it is quieter.
There is just something so exciting and makes me want to jump for joy when I see young Pine Trees thriving so green in the landscape.  It is just more precious to appreciate their growth after the devastating pine beetle kill.
When I do go into Peterson Creek for exercise, 

                    I like to check out the seasonal changes in the area.

This day I decided to taste test several Saskatoon Berry Bushes!
 It was much like taste testing wines! 
I was surprised to notice taste differences depending if the tree grew on slopes with less rain with more clay silt soil or flat bench grasslands near rainwater runoffs with sunshine or shade!  

 I also have a Saskatoon bush in my backyard and I can harvest a years worth of berries for my freezer! All year long I can make the most nutritious smoothies with these berries!

Nowadays, marketing tells us the best super foods that we should consume come from other countries. Super foods such as Acia berry, Goji berry or drink products like Monavie, or Chia seeds, Flax seeds etc.

But really~ what our modern society has lost, is the indigenous knowledge of local foods. It is known in cultures that live in harmony with the land, 
that the food grown locally, provides exactly what we need 
because of our interrelationship with the land. 
Saskatoon bush berries ripen from a red color to a deep blue plump and seedy berry!
 So this is the berry bush that I thought was the~ best! 
It is higher up on the bench land, excellent rainwater troughs 
and plenty of sunshine!   The berries were very sweet and I thought 
the best for pies or jellies.  There were several bushes in this area.

I kept an eye out for the neighborhood bears too!  
I call them neighborhood bears because we do share their home! 
But sadly, many bears have been shot because they come 
onto our properties for garbage and fruit.

So the power of the humble Saskatoon berry contains nutrients 
that feed our bodies right where we live, walk, breathe and interact daily.

The Saskatoon berry has sweetness and an abundance of seeds that provide nutrients and protein. They are known to regulate blood sugar levels too!

 I prefer not to dress mine up as jam and jelly with large amounts of sugar. Instead, I simply add it to yogurt or kefir, juice or water 
and blend it into a smoothie with a variety of other foods too!  

Yes, it is seedy, but that is the natural protein, minerals and vitamins 
from the local land that we live on.

For me it deepens my sense of connection to the land, 
and gives me a sense of place where I live.

The landscape trails are rustic and the grasslands are sensitive. 
When damage happens on some trails from cyclists, 
then eventually the trail needs to be closed due to erosion.
 As the noxious weeds take over and then the 
natural grassland habitat changes rapidly.

Peterson Creek Upper trails ~ Spot the jogger!
 I have lived in my neighborhood for 20 years.
So while raising my sons, or entertaining visitors,
 hiking the Peterson Creek area has been 
an easy adventure from our doorstep.
Peterson Creek seen from the plateau~ Do not attempt to climb above the waterfall- people are rescued every year!
Coming back down into the lower ravine, 
I decided to go see the waterfall.
 I was pleased to see a few  families with 
young children playing in the creek water. 
There is a designated lower trail to the waterfalls
The trail along the creek has eroded 
over the years and depending on water levels,
 it may be easy or hard to get up close to the waterfalls. 

Older children love to climb up to see the cave! 
Looks like someone lit a fire in the cave recently!
Do not let your dogs, children or friends 
attempt to climb higher than the cave.  

Every ~ year Search and Rescue has to come to assist 
someone and/or their dog off the rocky areas 
that are not designated trails!

Be sure to get as close as safely possible...
the waterfall is actually much longer than in this photo! 
You just have to get closer!
Peterson Creek Waterfall 2012
For two centuries families have hiked up to this waterfall
 for picnics and to cool down during the hot summer days.

Kamloops is a great place to live and raise a family, as well as an awesome place to visit!
Looking north over the Trans-Canada Hwy Bridge
For more information visit:

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Equinisity ~ Healing Horses and Magical Forests

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Arriving at Gateway 2 Ranch is like being elevated 
to a special hidden kingdom of magical healing horses,
 old growth forest and romantic grassland vistas that make 
you want to stay longer and let the wind blow your hair around. 
You can gaze far and wide and feel like you are far, far, away from the concerns of your daily life!
You too may visit this amazing 320 Acre Retreat Ranch 
to rest, reconnect with nature and heal with the Land and Herd
Near Kamloops, B.C.!
*See the links to Equinisity Retreats below this photo journal!*
Liz Mitten Ryan is an accomplished Artist, 
an Award winning Author of books channeled by the the Herd, 
Horse Breeder and Equine Communicator.
"There is something about horses that is good for the soul. Openhearted communication between horse and human has the potential to promote self-healing by enhancing one’s ability to recognize an emotional connection and a unified consciousness. Horse therapy has been shown to improve muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination, motor development as well as emotional well-being. In short, horses are an inspiration to humanity."  
~ Liz Mitten Ryan
People come from around the world to retreat with the horses and land. 
There have been many healing miracles that have occurred during these visits!
The Herd followed the cues to follow us into the corral that is 
specially arranged with a few healing tables and umbrella shades.
They snuff and snort, nudge or stomp, lean in closer and even nibble on a willing participant.
You know something deep is  happening and you can feel the presence of horse wisdom 
and the inter species connection.
This pony nudged into the supportive role! So there were many giggles and smiles too!
The horses were willing and  curiously approached participants lying on the tables.
One lady even had her hat and sock removed by one horse! 
The person receiving the treatment senses a profound connection 
and often realizes the horse's focus reveals their personal truths and needs for healing.
I did not have a turn up on the table, although I did have an amazing experience
while leaning up against a fence. One horse came up behind me and leaned over the fence
 to place her jaw down on my right shoulder. The weight of her head was painful for me and
she adjusted as to what I was willing to tolerate!

We stood together for up to 10 minutes, cheek to cheek in a deep meditative stance.
The warmth of this connection and listening to her breath was peaceful. I wondered
what she meant from this contact and I received a visual image of a loved one.
It brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart!                                 

Overlooking the healing corral near the end of our session and time for lunch!
After lunch, Liz led us for a walk up to the Old Growth Forest! 
 We stopped to talk of energy vortexes, ley lines and portals of cosmic energy.
Liz shared the stories of the land and encouraged visitors
 to sense and become deeply aware of the surroundings
 and subtle energies to discover their awareness of living 
with a higher consciousness that unites all.

Liz smiled as she directed, “You have to enter the old growth forest through this portal.” 
One by one we stoop down to pass under a rather large tree trunk 
to be greeted with more smiles on the other side! 
Onward we go, mindful to walk without chatter so that we can notice 
what is calling our attention from the surrounding forest.

We walked in the cool shadows into a thick grove of trees following along after Liz. 
The wild grasses grow tall in there, as the horses cannot enter this area. 
Liz’s assistant passed us stems of wild garlic to taste. 
We stop as Liz shared bits of knowledge about the indigenous plant life.

Some of us are used to hiking up and down narrow forest pathways while for others, 
this experience is new and can be quite frightening at times.
Yet it is all what we need to experience, as the landscape always provides for us 
exactly what we need in the given present moment.

Liz leads us down towards a huge tree named the Merlin Tree
I clambered down to lean up against the thick bark,reveling in her size knowing it is
probably 400 to 600 years old or so. I think of all the ancient feet of animals and humans
that have walked past this tree for so many centuries.

We passed through a Fairy Forest where Retreat Visitors come for meditation.  This is a place of peaceful sleepiness and you want to lie down!
We whisk on, quietly walking and briefly stopping to hear the stories of this ancient and sacred land.
There are so many ancient trees to admire 
and so much energy to intuit or channel from the landscape 
as it shares stories for those who choose to tune in.

Near the end of a hot afternoon, we descend down a narrow path playing as we go.         
In an ancient dry lakebed near a clearing of ponds, Liz points out magnetic crystals 
in the rocks and encourages us to tune in and feel the vibrations with our fingers.

Our visiting time winds down as we proceed to the Spirit Lodge, a cozy modernized  earthen hut.

We took time to share our gratitude for the amazing and insightful day spent on Gateway 2 Ranch.  There were smiles and tears of amazement. For some visitors this has been a life-altering day, 
an experience reportedly shared by many other visitors from around the world.
Amazement, smiles, sweat, gratitude and dust we say goodbye
 and travel down the dirt road to the valley that leads home. 
We are so happy to have visited and eager to return again!

Visit  Equinisity Retreats ~ for more information!
As well as.....

Book Review: Farming Soul ~ A tale of initiation

In Patricia Damery’s book, Farming Soul ~ a tale of initiation, I was curious to learn about growing dreamy crops of Lavender and tending to Grapevines with Biodynamic gardening practices, on their ranch overlooking the Napa Valley of California.  Seems like heaven on earth to me!  However this story is not just about growing romantic crops full of love!

Patricia also weaves in her personal dilemmas and her determined yet agonizing goal to be become certified as a Jungian Analyst over a span of several years.

Patricia describes in her book that Biodynamic gardening means to intentionally and intuitively connect to plants and the land, using mindful and meditative rituals and routines, while growing and harvesting plants according to Rudolph Steiner’s methods.

During her adult journey Patricia deepens her awareness of not only herself, but also of the ranchland around her. She becomes aware of how everything is interconnected, not only in her daily life and on the land, but her dream life too

Some of her most meaningful experiences happen during shamanic retreats and psychic mentoring. Yet it becomes her daily life living on their ranch that gives the space and synchronicity for deepened awareness to expand.

Life has dealt Patricia various key life events, spiritual awakenings and power struggles before she could actually claim her individuation as separate from the scrutiny of her analysts, spiritual mentors and others.

When Patricia recognizes the energy of her own confidence, she is then able to claim her selfhood and not only does her intuition strengthen, but so does her wisdom. It is then that she can look back at the struggles of her initiation.
(See below for more information about Patricia's book and lifestyle!)
For it is the conflicts and struggles that make us unique and resilient even in times that we don't feel the strength.  This of course all plays out in the larger aspect of our basic human need to belong and feel comfortable with our identity. 

Teachers and Mentors (supportive and challenging) are so important during our life journeys. They can help us to comprehend the complex issues and the constellations of our relationships in life, as well as help us to understand the emotional underpinnings of maturity.

In our modern society we will continue to need this guidance to understand and make sense of these experiences to help us normalize the journey through adulthood.

Hopefully stories like Patricia’s can reach out and inspire other people to honor their own journeys and notice the magic and spirituality contained within their own experiences!! 

As it is more common for women to consider our own stories and lives as insignificant, and not worthy of celebrating or sharing!

As a society we could all benefit by spending more time outdoors to reconnect to nature, in order to ground ourselves to the deeper cosmos of existence. 
When we can recognize that our inner and outer landscapes can be a symbiotic relationship, we can then use these as intentional or conscious reflections to guide us on a more meaningful journey of initiation.

It is in my learning that Carl Jung’s life work exploring the realms of psychology and spirituality of the deep unconscious provides, wonderful enriched and creative ways for us to understand the more complex aspects of human life. 

Reading and learning more about Jungian psychology has deepened my own creativity too! But not everyone has the time or interest to delve into this rich body of work. However it is also my experience that people do not always need to seek the intellectual or in-depth meaning of symbols or archetypes in an analytical way.

For even Patricia acknowledges her wish that, ‘practitioners of psyche’ will consciously incorporate ways of knowing or spiritual practices such as, ‘the old ways of relating to our earth with focused awareness and consciousness.’ Pg 114

After reading Farming Soul, and reflecting on Patricia’s story, I realize that her description about the process of Lavender distillation continues to linger within my psyche too.  

Patricia quotes from chemist and philosopher Primo Levi, that distillation is
”slow philosophic process, and silent occupation” which keeps you busy but gives you time to think of other things…“ page 93

She goes on to explain that, to extract the ‘essence of lavender’, the liquid is condensed into drops that collect in a flask. The oil rises to the top and hydrosol to the bottom.
Patricia explains, 
“The essence of lavender is a balance of opposites operating on our nervous systems as a tonic and a relaxant.  The beauty of it is that neither is forced on you. Your body decides which it needs and uses the essence accordingly.” Pg 93-94

So, I find that I too have allowed a ‘distillation of the essence Patricia’s story as I reflected not only on my own story of Individuation, but also the gift of having witnessed and celebrated the journey of several other women too!

I believe that just as the essence of Lavender provides two potential healing purposes (ex. tonic or relaxant), so do all ancient cultural archetypes and symbols, as they can provide more than one purpose of insight.

Our psyches will use what it needs, to guide or gift us during our human journeys. The symbols and archetypes remain there to be understood in new or deeper ways as we reflect on them during our whole spiraling lifecycle journey.

When conscious enlightenment happens, or intuition inspires us, we can choose to celebrate or grieve, and share these discoveries of new or deepened awareness, or keep the precious essence to ourselves!

So Patricia’s story reminds me more, that we need to increase social awareness for all people to honor and tell their own stories. Not only of overcoming the trials of childhood, but the trials of their own personal journeys of adulthood in our modern society. 

So much societal emphasis is naturally placed upon the memories of our childhoods and the passage into adulthood that supposedly, gives us permission to do more of what we want to do.

But it can be challenging to give our adult selves permission to explore, as well as see that it as okay to focus some attention on ourselves, or even venture in new directions despite the opinions of other people.

It is also common while we progress through adulthood, that many people often have experiences where they silently feel as if they are alone in the world and do not have a sense of belonging, despite being surrounded with people. We need to remind or acknowledge to each other that we are not alone!

In essence when we all allow our souls to stir and mingle, we can all benefit and seek understanding from other peoples trials and transformations.

There are many more people gardening soul, just like the way that Patricia is Farming Soul. There are even several more people just seeking soul-stirring experiences out in nature. Essentially we can all benefit by simply seeding our souls with meaningful spiritual rituals and practices as suggested by Patricia.

It is healthy to be curious and seek understanding ourselves deeper and connect with the creative life force energy to give our lives meaning and fulfillment.

For example, I am a home gardener. Rather than large crops, I only have one prolific Lavender bush in my front yard and one Grapevine mainly for shade that offers some yummy little grapes in my backyard.  But I fuss and learn from them each year, by trial and error and my garden yard gives me a whole lot of creative inspiration! 

Also, I proudly love my 3 compost bins. It is a place to transform my kitchen and yard waste into soil. The microorganisms are alchemy in action. As Patricia describes, "Compost holds the soul of the world".

My compost has long been a sacred place where I offer my personal prayers and let go of that which no longer serves me!  This is also where I can express gratitude for the alchemy that happens in my life!

So when we intentionally and intuitively tend to our plants and wild nature, we deepen our awareness, we feel interconnected and support one another on our journeys through life.

Spirituality in nature helps us to understand that we are all bits and pieces of one another and part of a larger soul stirring cosmic alchemy.

We are one and interconnected, despite living separately or apart. What one does, affects or inspires the other.  When we are conscious of this, we are stirring souls.

So when reading Farming Soul, it could be helpful to honor our own unique journeys, magical or spiritual experiences and teachers along the way! Then create  community, to acknowledge and support each other through these initiations!

For more information visit: 

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share

Book Review: Orange Moon and the Grandmother Tree

How exciting, this is one of my favorite author/illustrators with an amazingly beautiful and insightful story of Orange Moon with the magic of nature at her fingertips and a heart full of wonder and joy! 

Rich hues of orange-red with a hint of umber contrast with brilliant wildflowers of summer, to set the stage for a vibrant story that warmed my heart and imagination!

At bedtime I sat down to read Orange Moon and the Grandmother Tree
Elloise, otherwise known as Orange Moon loves to play outside anytime of the year, but especially summer.  Reading the story aloud to myself brought to life the healing power of love.  
Orange Moon (Elloise) shares her love and joy with a new friend.  She has experienced grief and empathizes easily with the loss her friend feels. So Orange Moon shares what she compassionately believes to be true and gratefully celebrates this with her Grandmother Tree and her new friend too.

Gently Orange Moon models how to open our hearts warmly with love to discover more about nature, our relationships and our selves.

I noticed myself pausing to gaze at the beautiful pictures. As I reflected, they reminded me of my own childhood innocence spent in natural spaces relaxing and playing during timeless days. 

I realized the power of these beautiful pictures can invite a young child also to pause and gaze at the nature surrounding Orange Moon. The pictures can invite the readers to talk and warmly open our own hearts to share just like Orange Moon.

This story eloquently expresses the healing potential of seeking out nature and noticing how infinitely connected we all are to each other and everything on our world.

This book is a treasure, a keeper, and one that will enrich a very young child as a picture book and last right through the school age years!

The story can enrich our adult lives too, as Orange Moon encourages all of us to open our hearts, to notice the beauty and healing potential within nature! There is a lifetime of wisdom to discover within this story, to grow with your child and within us adults too.

The morning after reading Orange Moon, the sunlight shone a little brighter as it melted the snow in my backyard. The warm winds that night had blown the coldest winter chill away.

The sunlight barely enters my kitchen and only in the winter. So on this warmer day, I opened the kitchen door and encouraged my cat Lila to it lay upon a chair in the sunshine. I sat in the sunshine too and together we absorbed the brilliant and warm solar energy for a half hour before it slipped behind a cloud.

During this quiet sit, I realized that Orange Moon was with me too at that moment.  With my eyes closed, face tilted into the sunshine, I could see the soothing colorful hues of orange and red with a hint of umber. In this warm space, I too reflected on the teachings of Orange Moon.

In the afternoon, the sun returned and so I drove up to higher hills to go for a walk, just so I could linger in the sun and stretch the daylight a little longer

Marghanita Hughes is such a talented Storyteller, Illustrator, and Photographer!  She is truly able to spark a child’s sense of wonder or with the active child within your adult heart!
Orange Moon is part of a book series based upon a child’s wonder of the natural world. 
So the fun will continue!
To purchase this Ebook or illustrations 
and view other products visit 
*Choose some crafts at the end of the story to inspire 
your play outdoors and notice the magic and wonder in nature!

Educators, Counsellors etc. would also 
appreciate this book as an excellent therapeutic tool 
for discussion of death/dying.

As well, Marghanita Hughes is the award winning creator of, 
“The Little Humbugs”.

She is also Founder of the non-profit organization, 
Let’s Go Outside 
whose mission is; to inspire to change the way children spend their time.

As Marghanita Hughes states,
“ We Are Nature - We Are All Connected!”

Bookmark and Share
Bookmark and Share