Greenwater Report for August 18, 2003


The Greenwater Report for August 18, 2003



August 17th, 2003: Another warm summer day, and judging from the lineup of vehicles by the beach people are taking advantage of it. We thought it was going to be unbearably hot today, as the temperature at 7 AM was already 21°. However, it never did get much above that, and was clouded over for a good part of the day. Last year, summer ended at the end of July; this year it doesn’t look as though it is going to end! This is the longest straight stretch of perfect beach weather I can remember.

fire at

Last night, the temperature didn’t get below 20°, where normally it would be anywhere from 10° to 15°. There is a low-lying haze, which is likely smoke from forest fires. Marg tells me there is one burning out of control a few miles north of Hudson Bay. We were rudely awakened at six this morning by the smoke alarm, then again at seven. We couldn’t find anything in the house that would cause it to go off, so it must be the general smoky conditions. Nice to know it is that sensitive!


Home again! …at least for a little while. We spent a few days visiting Sandy and Blaine at Beiseker, AB and believe me, it was just as hot and dry there as it was here!



When we left, last Saturday, there were some swathers working, but not many combines. When we came home Thursday, there was lots of harvest activity. Quite a few fields were finished, mostly peas and lentils, but some wheat too. Just west of Wakaw, we got behind a convoy of six big Case IH combines, which turned south at Wakaw. Custom combiners, I expect. It wouldn’t take them long to clean off a field!



fear low

Crops mostly looked pretty good from the road, but the heads don’t look very big, and the only ones I saw with heads hanging over were a couple of fields of rye. The seeder rows are plain; I remember someone telling me years ago that in a field of wheat yielding forty bushels to the acre, you can’t see the rows.

on trees

The trees are showing the drought more than the crops, and no place more so than in Wakaw. Our grandson, Sean, has a mountain ash tree in his yard; the berries were yellow, shriveled and dry, and were falling off the bush. Spruce trees look as if they have about had it. We ran into Perry and Jane Wilson in Kindersley. While things didn’t look too bad right at Kindersley, Perry tells me it is far drier north of there.



wind mill

And then there are the grasshoppers. Every little sortie through the ditch to take a photo stirs up thousands of them. We stopped at That’s Crafty, an excellent craft and antique shop and tea room west of Drumheller, for lunch and a visit with June Evans. She showed me some iris leaves and rhubarb leaves that were badly eaten. Why didn’t the rhubarb leaves kill them? Aren’t they supposed to be poisonous? I took a close-up of a ‘hopper and will e-mail it to June; I’m sure she would appreciate a portrait of one of her little pets!

We tried to slow down a bit, and take time to browse through some of the little towns along the way. An
empty church with an unusual turret instead of a spire caught our attention at Laura, SK. I’m afraid there wasn’t much else there, yet it rated a station agent in the ‘50s. Harris looked like a pleasant place, with some nice homes, including some new ones. It looked like the old CNR water tower is part of the museum, but it was closed on Sunday.

Delia has a museum and part of it is a wind-powered grist mill in a separate building. It was being repaired when we were there, so we couldn’t see it operate. Will tuck that away in our minds for another trip.




has its welcoming goose (I think there is a second one somewhere) and a big museum in the form of a pioneer town, but it was closed. I did get a photo of a covered wagon being drawn by a four-horse tandem team and accompanied by an outrider, but I haven’t a clue what it was doing going down one of the town’s main streets. I think there was a fair on somewhere – maybe they were lost?




Beiseker has as its mascot a sculpture of a skunk called “Squirt” in its very pleasant campground. Torrington has a different type of museum: theirs is called the “Gopher Hole Museum” and is about fifty little vignettes using stuffed gophers dressed up and posed like people doing pioneer-type people things. The caretaker said they wanted something different from the usual museum, and they sure have it!




North-west of Three Hills is the “Guzoo”, a zoo started and run by the Gustafsons, and we had a good time there. Donkeys, goats, and other animals roam free and love attention. Basset hounds are everywhere, a dozen or more. Many of the cages are unlocked and the public can go in and handle the animals. The woman in charge was very knowledgeable, friendly and outgoing, and was usually seen with a macaw on her shoulder. There were lions, tigers, cougars, lynxes and bobcats, zebras, emus, rheas, and ostriches. The emus make a fascinating very low booming sound. Many of the cages had signs: “Warning: We Bite” and the tiger had one saying “Warning: We Spray”. We saw a couple of kids get sprayed just after their dad warned them to get back. Yuck!




Torrington isn’t a very big town, but there were motor homes and fifth wheelers parked on almost every vacant lot, with town volunteers running around on golf carts, keeping everything organized. There was an “Old Tyme Music” jamboree starting the next day.





We went to Pioneer Acres at Irricana; its fair ended the day before, but there were still a lot of old tractors, trucks, and so on. I found it particularly interesting because of the trucks; usually there will be lots of cars, and the odd old pickup truck, but rarely the big guys. There were Macks from the teens, a Sterling from the ‘30s, and dozens more, most of them lovingly restored. I loved the 1928 Ford Model A two-ton, piled high with junk like an old time tinker might carry. There was a tiny little crawler tractor, smaller than most garden tractors, an old Fordson converted to run on tracks, and a Fordson Major crawler, something I had never heard of. We have marked our calendar for their next year’s fair. (click on the image to see full size)



Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423


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