The Greenwater Report for November 12, 2001

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, November 12, 2001 - by: Jerry Crawford


November 11th, 2001: It was only —2° when we got up this morning, but the sky was overcast, and there was a strong east southeast wind that made me wish I had worn my toque. There was quite a bit of ice on the lake at the south end, right up to the shore by our place. Open water was visible farther north, and there was a black line that could have been rough ice. I tossed a stone out, and it chittered away for a hundred yards or so. Then right at my feet, a muskrat popped up and sat there, all hunched over. I said “Good morning, Muskrat” and it didn’t move a whisker. As soon as I moved, though, it dove back under the ice, and I could see it swimming in a big arc away from me.





Down by the peninsula, there was a black blob on the ice outside the reed bed. It disappeared suddenly — another muskrat took a dive. Farther west, off the water ski beach, several water birds flew; I couldn’t see what they were, but Sharon and Brian Fowler saw some goldeneyes and scaups on the water by their place near the north end of Uskatik.



ice floes

Walking away, I heard a musical tinkling sound, almost like a cell phone’s ring. It was repeated a few times; I suspect it was ice floes colliding.




We saw a rabbit (I believe it’s proper name is “varying hare”) across the street from our place. It was dark gray on top and on the fronts of its ears; the backs of its ears and its underparts were snowy white. I guess you could call it a piebald. Likely very effective protective coloring, when the ground is piebald too.



When we woke up Wednesday morning, the world was covered in two to three inches of fresh snow. It stuck to tree branches, so it really looked like winter. We walked to the Cove for coffee, but it was very icy walking. Despite some very pleasant weather since, much of the snow is still there.




I told you that the sand piled on the beach would be pushed out onto the ice in winter — well, I lied. It has been spread over the east half of the beach, right up to the water’s edge.


The sand, smoothed out by the tractor’s bucket, made a great canvas to show the tracks of the Canada geese, which were still hanging around. With no rain to wash it away, there were lots of other signs of their presence, too. I counted thirty-five last Monday, but Merv said he saw more than that. Since then, there have been very large flocks flying over, but none by the beach.




There was a pump running at the water’s edge this week, pumping water into the sewer. The construction of the new lagoon cell is finished, and they had to get some water in it before it froze up. The fire hose they were using had seen better days, and as a result the lawn in front of the Beach Café got a good watering.





The new motel is in place, and the basement boarded in. Connie tells me they still hope to have some rooms available for the Christmas holidays, but she is taking bookings on the understanding that they may have to cancel.





When we lived on the hill, nuthatches were regular visitors to our bird feeder, but only rarely did we see the pretty little red-breasted variety. Here by the lake, a red-breasted one is a frequent visitor, but we haven’t seen the white-breasted kind. We have lots of black-capped chickadees, but would love to see a few boreal chickadees — they are a bit smaller, dark brown where the others are black, with some brown coloring on their breasts. Beautiful little birds!
  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423