Fault in the new ice surface skakes across the lake.


The Greenwater Report for October 28, 2002

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, October 28, 2002 - by: Jerry Crawford


October 27th, 2002: We just got home from the Fall Supper at Perigord. As usual, it was a great meal; more importantly it was a great visiting time. Connie Marquette must have thought I had a lean and hungry look because she cut me a piece of apple pie that made the plate disappear!




On the way to Perigord, we had a close encounter of the unpleasant kind when a grouse flew into our grill. It demolished the grill, and didnít do the grouse any good, either. The car is so round that if the grouse had hit anywhere else it would have bounced off without doing any damage, at least to the car.




It has been fairly mild, though it got down to about ó11° overnight, overcast and calm. The lake appears to be frozen over, and then a bit later there is a strip of open water. At any given time there are a thousand or more geese sitting on it, along a fault. Walking is pleasant, but very icy where the snow is packed. It looks more and more like permanent winter, but with a few warm days the snow and ice could be gone. The walking trail (right) over to the Cove is a challenge - one false step and the snow puffs hung up in the branches are down your neck.






I am thinking of getting out our cross-country skis and giving them a try, if I can find some wax. Last time I tried them I had no balance and couldnít stand up on any kind of hill or curve; now that Iím not quite so top-heavy it might be better.




Coming south on Highway #38 last Monday evening we were in a snow flurry, so I had the lights dipped and was traveling eighty clicks or less. We suddenly realized that the legs of a big, black moose were crossing the road directly in front of us; we hardly saw its body because of the low beams. If it had been one or two seconds slower, or if we had been going one click faster, we would have hit it. Neither the moose nor us had time to dodge. Scary! But nice to know there are a few moose left.




I saw a half-ton in Porcupine Plain yesterday with what looked like the immature racks of two small moose sticking up above the box. It surprised me, because I didnít think there was a season on for moose. Then I got a little closer and realized it was the beaters from a manure spreader!




The grosbeaks are back - we had one evening grosbeak at our feeder last Tuesday; Millers reported having one, and Shuyas had three. According to our bird book, we are in their winter range, but their year-round range isnít much farther north. We never see them in the summer. That same bird book, though, indicates that we donít have pine grosbeaks here at all. While not as plentiful as evening grosbeaks, we do get lots every winter. Sometimes I wonder about these bird booksÖ..




The ice on the lake spread to the north side, but despite the cold nights there was always a stretch of open water just north of the narrows. I walked out a few feet from shore on Wednesday and it seemed firm underfoot, though I did hear a cracking sound once. With the wind Wednesday and Thursday a lot of faults (top of page) showed up on the ice, looking like the tracks of a snowmobile or car. Sometimes one can see a large gaggle of geese hanging around near the open water. Those birds are heavy - how can the new ice support them? Or is it the geese keeping the water open? Wayne Guest spoke of some sloughs with open spots maintained by geese swimming around. Canadas by the thousands fly over two or three times a day, likely feasting on farmersí swaths then going to the lakes and open sloughs to rest.






We went to the Dinner Theatre at Bjorkdale on Friday. They served a wonderful meal, and the play was a blast, with a unique twist. Saturday is the preferred time for the Dinner Theatre, but you have to be right there when the tickets go on sale because they will sell out in fifteen minutes. The Friday performance sells out, too, but it takes longer. On Sunday, they have a dessert matinee, which is handy, because attendees can still get to one of the many fall suppers.






It snowed all the way to Bjorkdale, all during the performance, and most of the way back. It must have snowed overnight, too. There was likely three or four inches of new stuff, settling overnight to two or three. Beautiful stuff, but not really welcome right now. Some of the local experts think we will still get a warm, dry spell in November that will let farmers get their swaths in, but most seem to think this is winter. If we can go by the size of Melís woodpile, itís going to be a long, cold winter!


  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423 http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/crawg


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