The Greenwater Report for October 7, 2002

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, October 7, 2002 - by: Jerry Crawford



October 6th, 2002: It is still cool, going down to as low as —7° overnight. Very little wind today, but there was an inch of new snow on the ground. It was just about all gone by noon, but would certainly dash any hopes of combining.

There is a lot of good fall colour around the Park, but towards Kelvington the poplars were touched by frost, and the leaves are just turning brown. In the Park, the ash trees have shed their leaves, and the elms are a dingy brown but many of the poplars still look fresh. We could get a good display yet!

1.8 inches snow

In case you are interested, I recorded 1.8 inches of rainfall in September.



four inches
snow at

On Monday, it rained very lightly all day, and on Tuesday morning there was an inch of water in our rain gauge. There was also snow on the ground, though the temperature didn’t get below —1° all night. The snow was enough to knock down the willows down by the ball diamond, but they didn’t hurt our shrubs. We heard rumors of nine inches south of Porcupine, but some people who live in that area say four or five inches is more like it.




Bernard Hayunga phoned me Friday; he, Mary, and Don Forbes were at the Perigord access road, watching five whooping cranes. I threw my camera into the car and went down there, and by then Wilf and Alice Rodenberg had joined them. Don had a powerful spotting scope and they had been using it to watch the cranes. They pointed out the birds, which had walked from the mud flats on the east side of the highway up to the top of a hill. They weren’t much short of half a mile away, but their size was impressive. I set up my camera, but before I could get it focused the cranes flew off.

mud flats

We drove a little farther northeast on the highway and watched them again, but they flew again; we drove around all sides of the sloughs they seemed to like, but didn’t see them again. Apparently they have been hanging around there since we had that snowfall Monday night. When you drive by Perigord on the highway, keep a lookout on the mud flats east of the highway, and maybe you will get a look at them. I believe it is the first time I have seen whooping cranes, to know for sure what they were.


Bernard called later in the day; he and Mary had been at Kelvington, and when they came home, the cranes were back. I went to Kelvington yesterday and checked pretty well going and coming, but didn’t see a sign of them. I went past there this afternoon, and there were four of them on the east side of the mud flats. I took a picture, but they were too far away for it to be much good. Where was the fifth bird? I would think they would stick together.




A flock of about twenty five very large birds flew over in formation this morning. They certainly weren’t geese or pelicans, so I assumed them to be swans. The sound they made was a bit like a goose’s honk, but definitely different. I don’t know if they were tundra swans or trumpeters. My bird book describes a tundra swan’s call as a “noisy, high-pitched whooping”, which doesn’t fit; a trumpeter’s most common call is a “sonorous single or double honk”. That sounds more likely.

hunting with

Linda Jankowski is a young photographer who works out of her home north of Kelvington. For the past couple of years, she has been advertising that she would provide photographic coverage for hunters, and she recently went out on a hunt with some hunters from the US. She joined her hunting party about 3:30 am, got some photos as they set out their decoys by the light of the vehicle headlights, then lay belly down on the cold, wet ground for hours, trying to keep both video and still camera warm. Her hands and feet almost froze. When the geese came, they came from behind, which left her trying to get both cameras into action without making any sudden moves that would scare off the geese. It sounds to me like an awful way to make a living, but I do believe she enjoyed it! I can hardly wait to see her pictures.
  After being so careful not to make a move, later on, as they were walking around packing up their decoys, a flock of Canadas flew over, not at all disturbed by their activity.
  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423


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