The Greenwater Report for December 3, 2001

Greenwater Provincial Park - Monday, December 3, 2001 - by: Jerry Crawford


December 2nd, 2001: Itís a pretty nice day! Just under freezing, little wind, and, for the afternoon at least, sunshine. We havenít had much for snowfall, but just a little almost every day for the past week adds up. It must have settled down to a couple of inches.




We just got home from a pot-luck supper at the Hall. There must have been seventy or more people there; as usual there was plenty of everything and not much to take home. There was no program, so the party broke up early, but there was lots of quality visiting done. (By the way ó Doreen wound up with an extra casserole lid. If itís yours, call.)




Both George Renneberg and Bill Drobot have checked out the ice, and say there is at least four inches, maybe more. Bill caught a little jack; George says he didnít fish, just checked the ice thickness, but we suspect he is concealing the fact that he got skunked. I asked Vaughn Binkley if there were any weak spots on the lake caused by springs or currents, but he says no. Four inches is supposed to be safe for walking on, maybe even for snowmobiling, but nobody is rushing it.




Vivian Broberg says someone has been fishing at Barrier Lake and caught some nice walleye. The ice there is about the same thickness. I believe Marine froze over a bit later than Greenwater; it also has some springs that make some spots dangerous.




I walked the short nature trail today. Two people had been around the long trail, but nobody had been on the connector making the short loop. There were a few deer tracks, a coyote track straight down the middle with hardly a diversion, and a strange, short trail that must have been made by a grouse landing. The first couple of feet it looked as if the snow had been swept by a ten-bristled broom, then that narrowed down to a deeper rut, finally ending in some grouse footprints heading off into the bush.




We have been putting out seeds for the birds for quite awhile; for weeks we got red-breasted nuthatches, blue jays and chickadees but no evening grosbeaks. Finally, they found the breadline, and now we get lots. A pine grosbeak and his mate were here once, and pretty little redpolls are regular visitors.




Connie Schmidt tells me their dog, Max, has gone missing. Max is a German shepherd, not a big one, and he usually stays close to home, which is about four miles south of the Park. Heís not a pup, either ó must be four or five years old. He is over-friendly, though, and could have jumped into someoneís car. They feel he has been around long enough not to fall for the coaxing of the coyotes and wolves, and he doesnít chase cars, so is unlikely to have been hit on the highway. If you spot one where there wasnít one before, give Schmidts a call.




Talk at coffee the other day was about all the dried-up sloughs and lakes, and how the beavers would fare. About the only water with any depth is one of the lakes, and they are pretty solidly frozen now. I wondered if the beavers could get through the ice from above. Frank said they could, but they had to work in pairs ó one to stand on its head with its teeth against the ice, and the other to crank it around. Such a simple solution, and it didnít even occur to me!




On Oak Street in Porcupine Plain, a block east of the Community Hall, there is a big mountain ash just loaded with berries. There must have been a thousand waxwings there, mostly in the trees nearby, flying back and forth to the mountain ash. They likely stripped it before moving on. We have seen flocks of them out here; they seem to like the old, dried-up saskatoons and chokecherries. The hawthorn bushes down by the Marina are devoid of fruit, too. Do the waxwings like hawthorns?
  Doreen & Jerry Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423