Spot the vineyard monster

Forget scarecrows — monsters are the latest in vineyard protection. 

An Osoyoos couple has been cultivating a huge spectre made of Virginia creeper vines on their property for many years, looming large over their vines directly adjacent to Highway 97 north of Osoyoos. It's highly visible from the road heading into town. 

"He's kind of the welcome to Osoyoos," said Teya Coty, who owns the land with her husband. "People call him different things, 'The Monster,' 'The Scarecrow.'"

Towering dozens of feet above the ground, the monster is made of a Virginia creeper vine that has been growing for many years around a telephone pole. The vines have been kept trimmed in a spectral shape by Coty's husband. 

"He has been around for years, but it's just the last two years that he has been given eyes," Coty explained. "Two years ago the local museum put eyes on him."

She said the site is one of three geocache sites in town, and she often sees visitors pulling up and circling the base, looking for the small clue that bears its coordinates. 

The monster has many seasons, showing off bare vines in the winter and turning green in the spring. 

"And in the fall he is bright red," Coty said. "And lots of birds live in him, they make their nests inside him."

It takes a lot of maintenance to keep the vineyard monster tidy, but Coty said it's worth it based on the community's positive response. 

"He keeps coming at us, it's growth on top of growth and there's old wood underneath and it's neat when you look up close," Coty said. "We get people saying 'Don't take it down!'"

Keep an eye peeled for the vineyard monster on the east side of the highway just north of Osoyoos. 

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