The Greenwater Report for April 15, 2002

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, April 15, 2002 - by: Jerry Crawford


April 14th, 2002: This is what spring should be like - warm, sunny, and hardly any wind. It went down to a couple of degrees below freezing last night, but not likely for very long. It clouded over in the afternoon, and the wind came up, so maybe we will get a bit of rain. That will help get rid of the snow.




I walked over to Fishermanís Cove this morning; made a mistake and walked in from the north, where the grass and gravel have been scraped away in the new construction. I decided to leave my shoes at the door when I went in. The dining room has been shut down all week while they make the move into the new dining room; they had to move tables and chairs, of course, but also updates and improvements in their fire control system, wiring, and plumbing. Connie tells me they will be open for business on Wednesday, April 17th.




Sandy picked us up on Thursday; we went to Hudson Bay and had lunch with Mike and Marg and the boys, then on to Dauphin. Our grandson, Ryan, lives there (remember - the Mad Trapper/Fisherman?); he is a conservation officer in Manitoba and spent the past two summers at Assissippi Provincial Park, north of Roblin. He just got his posting for this summer, and will be patrolling about 5000 square miles of wilderness between Lake Winnipeg and the Ontario border. Patrolling will be by airplane, boat and canoe, as there are almost no roads. A terrible job, but I guess someone has to do it!




Just east of Chelan, there were three snowmobiles traveling along close to the highway; while there was still a lot of snow around, they had to pick their route. When we got east of Carragana, the snow was thinning out, and by Hudson Bay there was very little. By the time we turned southeast at Swan River, the fields were bare. None of the creeks or rivers was running Thursday or Friday, but when we left Saturday morning, most of them were.




Coming back, there was some snow in the fields east of Yorkton, but almost none from there on. We stopped at Corrie and Bryanís on the way; their yard is pretty wet but the sun and wind will dry it quickly. When we got home, about the only snow left was what was pushed into piles; on the level, the ground is bare, and there are puddles of water all over the lake.




Almost overnight, it seems, the migratory birds are back. Lots of geese and ducks in almost every puddle, and down at Grimsonís a small flock of sandhill cranes flew over. We havenít seen any of the smaller geese, but Corrie and Bryan saw lots when they were down at Estevan. We saw lots of different hawks on our trip, and today there was a purple finch in the feeder. Pretty soon the whole deck will be purple.



Just this side of Perigord yesterday, one of Federated Co-opís big 34-wheel double tankers was on its side in the ditch. There were lots of emergency personnel around so we didnít stop. We didnít see any skid marks on the road, and the highway is dead straight right there, so have no idea what caused it. There was another tanker at the bulk tanks just south of the Park, likely unloading fuel it had pumped out of the toppled one.




Doreen has seventeen (count Ďem!) kitchen knives, all of which she says she needs. Some were in drawers, where they went dull very quickly; some were in a knife block, and a knife and fork set made for her by Bill Schiller was in a presentation case, and not too convenient. For less than $30, we bought a magnetic tool bar from True Value and mounted it above the chopping block. It holds all seventeen knives, keeps them separated, and she can find the one she wants at a glance.


Blue jays are handsome birds, but they are awful bullies. A bunch of smaller birds can be cheerfully pecking away in the bird feeder; then there is an awful squawk, the birds scatter, and the blue jay lands in the feeder. We found out that they are more than bullies - they are downright dangerous to small birds. Doreen looked out the window one day last week and saw a blue jay chasing a small bird, likely a redpoll, through the bushes. She called me, and by then the small bird was on the ground, fluttering weakly as the blue jay pecked at it. Pretty soon, the little bird was still, and the blue jay picked it up and flew off with it.


We tend to classify birds and animals as either carnivorous or herbivorous, yet I remember a squirrel catching a goldfinch at our other house; it sat on the windowsill, turning the little bird in its forepaws and chewing away at it.
  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423