The Greenwater Report for July 2, 2001

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, July 2, 2001 - by: Gerald Crawford


July 1st, 2001: It got pretty cold last night, +2 according to my thermometer. It was still only +3 at 7:30, but it is bright and sunny for the most part. It seemed that every morning during the past week, there was another tenth or two in our rain gauge. Not much, but it adds up, and our forest looks about as fresh and green as I can remember.




Mabel Butler, our next-door neighbor, stopped in last Tuesday. She had read in my article about too many rabbits and not enough fox or coyotes, and she wondered if I were too close to the forest to see the trees. One day this spring, she opened the door of a little shed and there on the floor was a female fox feeding five glossy little kits. The mother lifted her head and looked at Mabel but didn't seem unduly disturbed, and Mabel quietly closed the door again. Mabel said they were quite dark, not red like most of our foxes. I wonder if the mother did her hunting farther from home? When Mabel checked awhile later, they were gone.




It has been an interesting week for animal sightings. On our way to Kelvington, a bald eagle swooped down past us and landed on a fence post just ahead of us. We slowed right down to get a good look at it and it ignored us completely < as if we weren't even there. A beautiful, majestic bird, it's no wonder the US adopted it as a symbol.




Not far from the Park entrance we saw a young doe on the road, and beside it on the shoulder, what looked at first like a dead deer. As we got closer, though, it stood up, a very young spotted fawn. It danced around on the road for a bit, and then took off after its mother. Beautiful sight!




Up near Chelan, a young badger waddled across the road in front of us and into the ditch. I haven't seen many badgers around here, in fact the only one I can remember was years ago, a great big thing crossed the road and immediately disappeared in John Wolkowski's field. I looked for it, thinking to take a picture of it; I couldn't see any sign of a hole, but no badger, either.




Don Beaucamp stopped around yesterday; he is from Birch Hills, and has a cottage in Uskatik. Our granddaughter, Sheryl, used to chum with his daughter, Angela. Don was responding to my article mentioning fireflies, and he, too, used to see them quite regularly. He said they could only be seen when it was very dark out, no yard lights, porch lights, etc.




And further on fireflies, I got a very nice letter from Virginia Perron, from Spalding. She attached a copy of an article she had written when she was a kid. In part, she says:




"Summer evenings were fun, unless we heard the coyotes that would send a shiver up our spine and we didn't wander too far from the house. The fireflies were fascinating to watch; their lights would blink on and off. It was one of those mysterious freaks of nature and there were no explanations. We didn't have the Book of Knowledge yet. We never tried to catch them until one night when our grandparents were over. After supper while the grown-ups were visiting, we decided to catch some fireflies. We had two uncles who were almost the same age as we were. We went in the house for a jar and as the kids were more numerous than the fireflies, we soon had a lot of them.




"We were so proud of our catch, we couldn't wait to see them by lamplight, however, we were soon disappointed. By lamplight they were just plain bugs. We didn't know at that time that the fireflies' glow was the male's mating call, and I think we were partly responsible for their extinction."




She says: "When we moved to Spalding in '49, we had some in our yard I haven't seen any since. Maybe we did catch them all!"




Thanks for writing, Virginia it was good to hear from you! I look forward to meeting you in person!




An old friend from the Sask. Elk Festival days stopped around for a visit yesterday Frank Tasker now has a fleet of track hoes and travels all over the world closing up worked-out mines. He always did have a thing about demolition, dynamite, fireworks and such. The work must be agreeing with him he looks and sounds just great, and it was mighty nice to visit with him.




By the way, Frank was in Toronto a while ago, just wandering around waiting for his plane, when he came face to face with Lois Matton. Lois' husband, Bob, was United Church minister in Kelvington in the early '90s, and Lois was the financial whiz for the Elk Festivals. A wonderful lady we all gained a tremendous respect for her. Frank reports, I am glad to say, that she is looking fine!
  Gerald B. Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423 Check out my Webpage: