The Greenwater Report for December 10, 2001

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, December 10, 2001 - by: Jerry Crawford


December 9th, 2001: It was barely below freezing when we got up this morning, with a heavy overcast and no wind. There was a heavy, fluffy snowfall in the afternoon; I couldnít see the other side of the lake, so hope if anyone was out there, he had a compass with him. We have three inches or more of fresh snow. Yesterday was nice, except for a strong south wind that chilled to the marrow. Last Tuesday night must have been one of the coldest this winter; it got down to ó22° and was still ó16° next morning, but that didnít last long.




Merv Miller told me that George Renneberg has his ice-fishing hut out on the lake, north of the east point, and there was another just northeast of the Marina. He saw a snowmobile dashing around on the ice yesterday, too. I havenít seen George lately so donít know if he is catching any. Doreen made some noises last fall about ice fishing, but so far she hasnít done any. I suspect she is finding the idea of digging a hole through the ice with an ice cream scoop daunting.




There was a brief item in the Saskatchewan Senior newspaper; someone wrote in with a cute rhyme asking how one divines a well with a crowbar. I have never been able to get any reaction at all from willow sticks or welding rods. One time, Mike and I were both down at Grimsons and we got to talking about witching wells. Bryan had an old well that had been covered over years ago, and he had a rough idea where it was. We each took turns carrying a crowbar balanced across a couple of fingers, and every time, the crowbar dipped when we walked over the old well. It was quite strong for Mike and I, less so for Bryan. I have never tried to find a new well that way, though.



never did
hit water

Once, in the late Ď40s at Kelliher, I watched a man witching with a willow fork. Every time he passed over a certain spot, the fork would drop; when he tried to prevent it, the bark stripped off. Then he held a long willow withe horizontally over the spot and counted the number of times it bobbed. Seems to me it was seventy-some times, and he figured the water was about seventy feet down. He brought his horse-powered well drilling rig and a team of horses to the spot and started drilling. I talked to him a few weeks later, though and he said he never did hit water. So much for witching. A few years later, we brought a well driller to a poultry farm we owned; all he wanted to know was where we wanted the well, figuring that our chances are just about as good at one spot as at another.



the Cove

There have been some big changes at the Cove lately. The new part (joining the two sections that were moved in) is closed in, and the roof built and shingled. New windows and doors have been installed in the new part and in the lower level of the motel section, and plumbers and electricians are hard at work. A week or so ago, they poured cement in the basement under the dining room part so they could set up and connect the hot water furnace. They must be at the stage where they can put some heat on. Itís looking more like a business and less like a mess every day. Despite the construction, business at the Cove has been brisk. There have been a lot of hunters staying in the cabins and eating at the Cove, and they are catering to fifteen or more Christmas parties this month. Still no definite word on whether they will have the rooms ready for use during the holidays.




I walked west on the road past the old motel this morning. A big owl swooped down from one of the footpaths on the right, flew about three feet off the ground down the road a hundred yards, and perched in a tree. I had my camera all set, but it flew again before I got close enough for a picture. I think it must have been a great gray owl, because horned owls arenít usually active in the daytime. Seems to me someone mentioned seeing great grays a few weeks ago; maybe we are going to have a migration like last year. That suits me; I find them an attractive and interesting bird, but I imagine there are thousands of mice and voles that wouldnít agree with me.


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