April 2nd, 2006: A bright, sunny day, not quite as warm as some we’ve had, but pretty nice. Our snow is disappearing fast but not too fast, as every night the temperature drops down below freezing. We worried about getting stuck on our driveway, but it’s bare and almost dry. It will take a long time to cut down those snowbanks, though.
The skating rink is no longer useable, in fact about two thirds of it is now dry gravel. Brian put in an awful lot of work for a very short season!
You can hear geese just about any time you go outside. The first ones showed up just over a week ago, a flock of a dozen or so. Seems to me they normally start showing up around this time of year. What do you suppose they live on? Joe Ottenbreit was the first to report seeing crows, near the Chelan corner. Frank hadn’t seen any yet, so we can’t couldn’t on the “seven snows after the first crow” rule. By now, he must have seen some, but the seven more snows we can do without.
We saw several crows between here and Melfort last Monday, and now there are lots of them. I talked to the Fowlers, Sharon and Brian, and they said they saw robins south of the park. They also saw a bluebird near Porcupine Plain yesterday. Brian Shuya spotted one, too. I thought it seemed a bit early for them, but Fowlers have a friend who keeps track of the birds’ comings and goings, and this is just about normal.
Talking of geese, Frank says they are really easy to catch. You put a few grains of corn in the bottom of a styrofoam cup and rub some honey around the lip of the cup. Set the cup down where geese feed. Pretty soon, a goose will stick its head into the cup to get the corn and the honey will stick the cup to its head, blinding it. You just walk up and grab the goose by the neck.
Jack went him one better. Years ago, goose hunters on the shore of Lake Lenore would pile some home brew mash at the edge of the water, then hide in their blinds. The geese loved the mash and pretty soon would be too drunk to fly, so the hunters would just walk up and take what they wanted. Of course, if the hunters had the product of the mash in their blinds with them, they may not have been in any condition to walk!
Where are all the red polls? Seems to me by this time of year there should be lots of them coming to the feeder, but nobody has reported seeing them. Fowlers, who live in Saskatoon, haven’t seen any, either. A lady from Barrierford told us yesterday that she had hardly seen a bird all winter, though she had seeds out for them, and I have heard that from others as well. We certainly haven’t had big flocks of birds but there always seem to be a few.
George Renneberg said he was able to get his fishing shack off Greenwater, but not off Steiestol. He had one on each lake. George said the ice thickness on Steiestol is only about fifteen inches. On Greenwater it was about seventeen inches, but there was a foot of floodwater above that, and then just a coat of fresh ice. The deadline for removing fishing shacks was Friday, and I could see four on the west side of our bay, and two on the east side. This afternoon, only the two on the east side were left. I had a nap and when I woke up, those two were gone also.
It wasn’t easy, getting them off, as they had frozen into the ice. I heard of one man who had one up by the former picnic table. He despaired of ever getting it off the ice so took a chainsaw, cut through the wall just above the floor and removed the shack, leaving the floor frozen to the ice.
I got an e-mail from Keith Bjorgaard. He now lives in Terrace, but was raised four miles north of Perigord, and went to Bellshill School. Keith is Thelma Toovey’s brother and periodically visits back here. He asked if the Merv I sometimes mention is Merv Miller, so I mentioned it to Merv. He remembered Keith well; they chummed together when they were about sixteen. The Bjorgaards left soon after that. Merv is going to get in touch with Keith.