Some call him the Protector, others call him the Guardian or the Tree Spirit. No matter what his name is, the branch display hanging from a wire is an iconic landmark that welcomes visitors to Osoyoos with his creepy presence.
Megan Bell calls him the Vineyard Monster. She loves the vine creature so much she created a children’s T-shirt dedicated to the iconic Osoyoos statue. The T-shirt is part of the launch of her new clothing line Lake + Wild.
“I moved to the Okanagan three years ago from Vancouver and just love it,” said Bell. “My clothing is about celebrating beautiful B.C. I only have a few designs on the go as I only launched Dec. 4 but I hope to expand as time goes on.”
“Honestly, I just see this guy every day going to work and I thought ‘he needs to be on a shirt for kids! I have a one-year-old and loved the idea of getting him a shirt depicting the ‘vineyard monster.’”
The vineyard monster has been hanging there just off Highway 97 (coming from Oliver and Penticton) for more than 25 years. He stands high above vineyards with Osoyoos Lake behind him. There is recent debate about whether someone added eyes on him. But the eyes may have been there all along.
Recently on an Osoyoos Facebook page there has been huge debate about what to name the vine/branch man. He’s definitely a favourite landmark for locals. Of the more than 100 suggestions for the name, no consensus was made. Some say the Watchman, others the Phantom of the Vineyard, Monster, Bud the Cable Guy, Treesus and more.
Bell was inspired by the Vineyard Monster for her new business Lake + Wild — an online clothing shop.
“One thing I knew for sure though was that I wanted to create something of my own that would depict this beautiful place we live,” said Bell about her clothing theme.
Bell had been planning the Vineyard Monster tee for months and then all of sudden there was this social media buzz all about him recently.
“I’ve had some interest for adult sizes for the T-shirt. It’s not out of the question for sure.”
“I grew up coming to the Okanagan and absolutely love those long, hot summer days, the gorgeous lakes and carefree attitude, so when we were looking at places to move to, the Okanagan was an easy choice,” said Bell on her newly made website.
“We’ve lived here a couple years before we officially settled in Osoyoos and decided to start our family. One thing that was important to me was raising my child in a place that had a community feel, and I can confidently say Osoyoos has a strong, supportive community.
“After I had my son, things were going great and then COVID hit. So I spent a lot of time at home and isolated during my mat leave. This is when the idea of Lake + Wild came to me,” she explained.
She has made masks, word socks, hoodies and crew neck sweaters with the theme of loving B.C.
People can shop at Lakeandwild.com or find her on Facebook or Instagram @lakeandwild.