Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Allan Brooks Artist Naturalist: Haines Ranch 1922, Okanagan

New School: Robert Bateman doesn't "hunt" or, kill to be an artist
           The Old School:  Allan Brooks' friends, did.

 Vaseux Lake Party, 1922.
 Back row - Left to Right,  Allan Brooks, P. A. Taverner, Frank Farley;
Bird Observers xls file
Front row - H. "Mack" Laing, George Gartell, D. Allan Sampson

 ....... On the morning of June 10, we walked down the mountain in advance of the truck, we saw a small hawk topping a large bull pine.  From its dark colour we were sure it was a Pigeon Hawk (Merlin) and not a Sparrow Hawk, so we turned aside to get it.   Travener presently fired and dropped it, then we stood and gloated.  It was a black adult Pigeon Hawk, the coastal form, then considered one of the rarest North American birds in museum collections.  We were standing in the dry belt where a pale-coated Richardson's Merlin might be expected as a stray from the arid plains, but this slately-blue beauty!  We both had the same thought at the same time, what will Brooks think of this, for the pursuit of this dark form on the coast had been his Holy Grail.

It is my considered opinion that Travener was the luckiest man who ever packed a collecting gun afield.  He turned up the most unexpected things, not by special skill but by sheer blundering luck.  To prove my point, next day at base camp near Vaseux Lake he returned from a short walk at midday with a Dickcissel, a bird that anywhere west of Manitoba could be called a rare take.   This was a new record for British Columbia! .......
Allan Brooks

Haynes Ranch

 Farming and Orcharding began following World War I. A government sponsored Soldier's Settlement program was initiated and offered veterans assistance in developing 10 acre units of land. By 1927, a government irrigation system was in place, and the desert hillsides around Osoyoos bloomed. It was soon apparent that this was a perfect spot to grow ground crops and develop orchards. Orchard farming became a general practice, and today we're proudly producing the earliest fruit in Canada.

Haynes Ranch 



Living Landscapes

The name of Allan Brooks was a household word in Canada thirty years ago. His illustrations in Taverner's Birds of Western Canada, a series in the National Geographic magazine, calendars, cards issued by the National Association of Audubon Societies, and covers on Keystone school exercise books all familiarized Canadian children and adults not only with North American birds and mammals, but also with the work of this eminent zoological illustrator.

For residents of the Vernon area Major Allan Brooks, walking with his military bearing, dressed in tweed jacket and plus fours, often with a gun under his arm, was a familiar figure, for Okanagan Landing was his home from 1905 until his death in 1946. To the end of his days he loved nothing better than rambling over the Commonage or Rattlesnake Mountain, checking on the wildlife, hunting in season. He was a superb marksman and a member of the Vernon and District Fish, Game and Forest Protection Association, donating his pictures as prizes for their crow and magpie shoots. There are some who remember his participation in Okanagan Landing and Kelowna regattas. SNIP
Then and Now

49° 5'28.52"N 119°31'49.64"W

 Haynes Ecological Reserve

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Map Link

Location and Maps

Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Adjacent to N end of Osoyoos Lake, 6 km NNW of Osoyoos

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