Planting winter wheat.


The Greenwater Report for September 23, 2002

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, September 23, 2002 - by: Jerry Crawford

- 1/2º

September 22nd, 2002: The temperature went down to about half a degree below freezing last night; not enough to do any garden damage at our place. A heavy overcast was broken so the sun could shine through occasionally, but not the nicest day to go for a walk. There were two tenths of an inch of rain in our gauge this morning, and that would be the accumulation since last weekend. That brings our total for September up to 1.8 inches.


We walked over to the Cove for coffee, dodging the mud where the natural gas pipes had been dug in. We were surprised to meet some people we used to know in Saskatchewan Professional Photographers Association, like Ralph Bradatsch (now living in BC), Mike Delorme, Darrel Hoffmeister, and Lynn and Garfield McGillivray from Quill Lake. The Association holds its annual meeting at different spots around the province, and this year, Greenwater was chosen. It was nice to see them again, and I hope they find Greenwater a good spot for future meetings. That meeting room (the old dining room) at the Cove is proving very popular for meetings and gatherings. They can handle over a hundred people for a meal, more than that sitting theater fashion. It has been busy ever since the tourist season dropped off.


Cold and wet, cold and windy, and occasionally, cold and sunny. While combining, we watched threatening clouds all week. Thursday, the wind stayed up all night, and they kept the combine going all night (Not me - I was sound asleep!). Friday, we got an early start, took a couple of hours off in the middle of the day because of showers, and then were able to go until ten at night. By then, the ones that kept the combine going Thursday night were about played out, so we finished a field of oats and called it quits. An hour later, a few drops fell, and by 7 am Saturday there were four tenths in the gauge, so I came home.


On the way home, there was the odd break in the overcast and I got some photos of hay bales against the dark clouds. Bales are interesting subjects; while at Grimson’s we hauled some straw bales just before sundown and I got some photos of them looking almost orange. I included my shadow, and called it a self-portrait.




For years I have bragged that I went through a harvesting season without bending or breaking anything, but Monday afternoon I disgraced myself by bending the combine auger against a power pole. I had just dumped into the truck, and was turning a corner, starting into a new swath, and talking on the radio all at the same time. For the first time I can remember, I failed to retract the auger, and there was the pole. Coincidently, it was the same pole I leaned over at a 60° angle with a cultivator a few years ago. Revenge? I give the crew at Lakeview Farm Equipment credit - they had men swarming all over the combine as soon as I drove it in, and found us a replacement auger at Yorkton, which Bryan and I picked up that night. Next day, we were going again by noon, but it still cost a full day’s combining. With snow being forecast for next week, it was rotten timing!

to the

It seems that whomever I spoke to since then, whether it be people in the area or as far away as Greenwater, ribbed me about my accident. How does the news get around so fast? I sure didn’t tell anyone! The most common comment, though, was “Welcome to the Club!” so it obviously wasn’t the first auger to get bent, and it certainly won’t be the last!


all at
the same

It’s not all combining and trucking at Grimson’s; there’s baling, hauling bales, tending to cattle and goats, and seeding winter wheat, all going on at the same time. Last year, of course, harvesting was just about done by the end of August, and energies could be devoted to bales and seeding. This year, it is all going on at the same time.




I found that combining winter wheat is a lot like combining rye - the heads hang so low that the knife has to be skimming the ground, otherwise the heads are cut off and fall beneath the header. In a perfect world, that wouldn’t be a problem, but fields are rarely perfectly flat, and moles can make an awful mess. A combine going five miles an hour can pick up a lot of topsoil before alarm buzzers start going off. One time, I jammed the throat of the header with topsoil, and had to dig it out with a screwdriver. Not fun, and definitely not productive. Even worse than that, Dan finished the field while I had lunch, and didn’t plug up once!



Just last week, I commented that the forest still looks lush and green. Driving home Saturday morning, though, I noticed a lot of color, primarily in the underbrush but also in some of the black poplars. It looks all the more striking against the fresh green of the other trees. If we can get a little farther into fall without a hard frost, we should have some excellent colour.


We haven’t heard much about bears this year; for awhile, there was a young one wandering around Uskatik, and they may have trapped it and hauled it away. We were talking to Case and Bernie Markus yesterday, and they had three of them snooping around their house last summer, looking for a free lunch. Said they were pretty good-sized ones, too.
  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423


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