The Okanagan, according to author, pilot and photographer Mike Biden of Penticton, is one large gem.
Biden has released his third book on the region combining his passions of piloting and photography (and his sixth book overall), Jewels of the Okanagan.
The first two books – Okanagan Above and North Okanagan Above – were taken strictly from the cockpit of Biden’s Cessna aircraft, and gave readers spectacular images.
Okanagan Above focused on the south and central Okanagan, while North Okanagan Above featured photos from Lake Country through to the Shuswap and Revelstoke.
Jewels of the Okanagan has 79 photos taken over a 16-month period, capturing all four seasons. The photos are taken from both the air and on the ground, ranging from Osoyoos and Oliver in the south to Spallumcheen in the north.
“What I see of the Earth exhilarates me,” said Biden. “The more I photograph this Okanagan region, the more precious it becomes to me. And the more diverse in geology and animals that are unique and rare to this area, it blows my mind.”
North Okanagan landmarks featured in the new book include Kalamalka Lake, O’Keefe Ranch and Predator Ridge Resort.
Lakes, vineyards, bighorn sheep, orchards and the Okanagan’s history also play prominent roles in Biden’s images.
“We live in such a pristine area. The orchards, vineyards, lakes, it’s amazing,” said Biden. “That’s why I like photography. It makes me slow down and makes me appreciate what God has made.”
Biden’s past books and images have struck a chord with readers.
More than 5,000 copies of Okanagan Above and North Okanagan Above were sold, and interest is already running high for Jewels of the Okanagan.
“I’ve sold 718 books in 12 days. I can’t believe that. It’s staggering,” said Biden.
Jewels of the Okanagan is available for $20 at Bookland, the Greater Vernon Museum and the Vernon Visitor Information Centre.
The book can also be ordered from Biden at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phoning him at 250-486-2112.