Lichen and mosses on the Jan lake Nature trail

The Greenwater Report for October 8, 2001

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, October 8, 2001 - by: Jerry Crawford


October 7th, 2001: We just got back from Hudson Bay, where we spent Thanksgiving with our whole family, except for Sandy and her family. Marg and Mike wanted to have Thanksgiving there so they could show off their new abode to the rest of the family, and what a job they did! Wonderful food, and wonderful visiting!




Coming home this evening we were driving the motor home and pulling a boat trailer; despite having superior headlights, our stopping distance is not as short as with the car, so we were taking it easy. We spotted the odd deer from Hudson Bay to Chelan, but within the Park, we counted about forty; since we can only see into the right hand ditch, we have to assume there were as many in the other ditch. Luckily, none were in any hurry to go anyplace special so we had no trouble.




When we got up on Thursday morning, it was overcast, cold, and windy. For a while, there was some snow blowing around, and on our way to Tisdale, there was snow on the grass in places. Thursday night, the temperature dropped to about —4°C, which is the coldest we have seen this fall.






Jan Lake

Our daughter, Sandy, has a cottage at Jan Lake, and we went up there with her to close it up for the winter. We had never been to Jan Lake before, though we have been over the Hanson Lake Road a couple of times. Right behind her cottage is a nature trail, so we walked it on Tuesday evening. We found it very interesting. The jack pines seem to grow right out of solid rock, and many of their roots cross bare patches of rock. One has to be careful of one’s footing. There were all kinds of lichen, moss and fungus growing on the rocks, and many of the trees seemed covered with some kind of gray moss. Doreen says it might be dwarf mistletoe, a parasite.


At one point on the trail, we found an ordinary office safe. It was lying on its side and someone had gone after it with some heavy-duty tools. One hinge was knocked off, the dial was chipped as if someone had been prying at it, and a hole was punched through the door by what must have been a pickaxe. The bottom, too, had been punched in, and some kind of a tool had cut a round hole through the insulation and into the body of the safe. None of us had small enough hands to see if there was anything inside. Later on, Sandy talked to the man who owns the resort; he said it was his safe, and had been stolen a week or so earlier. However, there was nothing in it, so someone had gone to an awful lot of time and trouble for nothing!



I was surprised at the acreage that has been hit by forest fires, in a big area south of Choiceland, then most of the way to Jan Lake. In many cases, it had left the jack pines dead but standing, straight as an arrow and fifty feet or so tall. Someone was at work harvesting the jack pine; he was bundling thirty or so to a bundle, tied with strapping. They looked to be about six inches in diameter at the base, down to about three inches at the top, and maybe thirty feet long. They would make dandy corral or fence rails.




A little farther along, we saw a truck backed into the ditch, and three men were chipping loose slabs of flat, pink limestone and loading it onto the truck. I suspect it would sell for a pretty good dollar to a landscaper. There’s more to harvest than hay and grain!




A couple of weeks ago, we were out on our boat, tooling along close to the shore, when we spotted a piece of iron barely under the surface. It appeared to be part of a larger section, and looked as if it could do grievous damage to boats or water skiers. I phoned Alex Dunlop, and before long Frank Duhaime came by to check it out. First thing next morning, I heard tractors roaring and walked down by McDonald’s to have a look. Wayne Guest was coming down the path with a tractor, and hanging from the front end loader was the piece of metal they had fished out of the lake. It looked as if it might be part of someone’s dock, or boat lift; likely left out in the fall and demolished by the ice in the spring. It was gratifying to see how seriously the Park staff took the potential hazard, and how quickly they acted!

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