Red and white polka dot hair scarf: eBay
Strawberry earrings: Handmade by me
Vintage red beaded necklace: gift with purchase from an etsy seller
1980s does 1940s/50s novelty print dress: eBay
Red skinny belt: eBay
Vintage raffia straw and bamboo handbag: Yard sale find
White vintage bangle bracelet: Value Village
Red and green bangles: Forever 21
Red and white peep-toe wedges: Payless
Lip colour: MAC Russian Red
Photography by Antonio Cangiano
Canada is known the world over for its notoriously bone chilling, snow laden, icy street filled winters, and while that reputation is more than a little bit justified, I have long felt that we also deserve to be know for our incredible summers as well. Granted, some parts of the country experience longer, better and less humid summers than others, but from coast to coast, the country springs to life in the most profoundly lovely way from June to September, and few places exemplify that better than the Okanagan Valley where we live.
I know, you might think I'm being a touch biased, but having lived in cities in both the prairies and Eastern side of of the country, too, as well as a number of different parts of British Columbia (from the Carbiboo to the Lower Mainland), and also outside of Canada, I can tell with the deepest of convictions that there is no where else in the country - and quite possibly the world - that I would rather spend my summers than here in the Okanagan.
Our town of Penticton is hugged lovingly on both sides by sage brush covered hills and sandwiched squarely between two large lakes, which make for some of the best inland swimming and sunbathing you could ever hope to find. This corner of Canada is as close to a desert as one is going to come across anywhere in this country (much as it looks the part though, it is technically a semi-arid shrub-steppe) and the dry, sizzling heat that accompanies such a landscape is a huge part of the reason why the Okanagan has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in North America.
When I lived elsewhere, I pined for this kind of summer. It was in my blood, and nothing else - no matter how pretty and pleasant it might have been - could quite compete with the resplendency of this season in Penticton. Though the heat can knock the wind out of my sails sometimes, that would happen anywhere the temps climbed into the 20s (Celsius) and higher, so the Okanagan is not to fault there. In fact, I actually find it's dry heat infinitely easier on me than the stifling humidity we experienced for each of the six years we lived in Toronto.
From beaches to peaches, lakes to wakes (behind boats, I mean) I cannot get enough of summertime here. While autumn is technically my favourite season, and I do love the chill of winter and spring at times, I daydream about summer all throughout the rest of the year and love when I have days on which I'm able to get out and let the nourishing amber sun warm my skin and soul alike.
On one such recent day we stopped by Rotary Park down at the east end of Okanagan Lake and grabbed these subtly windswept shots after I'd wrapped up with a doctor's appointment. Medical visits, no matter how many I keep tucking under my belt, are always stressful and unnerving for me, regardless of what transpires during them, so afterwards I typically either want to go straight home or to someplace very serene. Few spots calm my nerves and put my mind at ease more than the beaches here, so Rotary Park seemed like the perfect spot to spend a little time.
We shot in three areas of the park, and I love each one. I've never used such a large tree trunk as a backdrop before, nor, I think, have I posed in front of one of our town's few public flower beds. You've seen Okanagan Lake before a number of times, but it never grows old - if anything, it just gets more gorgeous and endearingly wonderful with each passing year.
My ensemble might, in colder months, channel a certain December 25th vibe, but against summer's stark, warm sky and verdant backdrop, it makes me think more of a garden than Christmas trees, and the light hue of the white dress really helps keep a bit of the heat at bay.
As we sit here right now, hard as it is to believe, autumn is technically just thirty-two days away. I'm eager for its arrival, but am also keen on holding onto summer for just a while longer still. I want a thousand more days with weather as perfect as this, especially because those winters we're so widely well known for the world over live up to their rap - and then some!
Fall and winter and if we're lucky, some semblance of a spring, will happen of course, as they always do, and no amount of wishing will affix summer in place forever. Yet even when the mercury gets frostbite once more, I'll still have photographs of days like this, coupled with the thought of summer's distant return, to keep me nearly as toasty as I was on the beautiful afternoon when we took these lovely photographs.