The Greenwater Report for March 19, 2001

Greenwater Provincial Park - March 19, 2001 - By: Gerald Crawford
     

thaw
continues

March 18th, 2001: The weather has been mild ever since my last Report, a week ago. Yesterday it got well up above freezing, and large areas of roads and ditches are exposed. There have been a lot of snowmobiles running around, but suspect they are having to pick their trails with care. The Park trails north of the lake should be fine, since there is enough bush to shade the trails, but where the sun gets a good shot at it, it is melting fast. The snow cover on the roads is getting soft, and cars are breaking through. I hope the thaw continues for awhile, until the roads are bare and dry.

 

   

porcupine

Dale Lautner and I were driving down Elk Ridge Road, and he pointed out to me where a porcupine was busy feasting on a birch tree. It was quite a large tree, and the upper branches, in fact, most of them, were stripped bare. I suspect the porcupine had spent most of the winter in that tree. I canāt understand how they can nibble the bark off the slimmest branches, right out to the tips, without their weight breaking the branch. I guess they must be 90% quills and 10% body.

 

   

protected
by law

Were you aware that porcupines are protected by law? I think that goes back many years. (Or is it another folk legend? Iíll have to ask one of the COs) They can be awfully destructive sometimes, but because they are slow moving and easy to kill with a stick, they are a potential food supply for someone lost in the forest.

 

   

gray
owls

Some of the great gray owls are back, though not in the same numbers. We have been seeing two or three every time we go for the mail, and there is usually one perched along the road to Uskatik.

 

Goofball

Jenny has four cats; The oldest, Goofball, is a big, fat, lazy tabby, and has no tail, but he loves to be picked up and fussed over. Next oldest is Frankie, also big and fat, jet black, and will abide some petting but is basically pretty aloof. Her son, Bear, is huge and gunmetal gray. Quite a scrapper among cats, but very timid with people, especially men. The last one is Peanut, a scrawny little stray that was hanging around the Cove a year or so ago, half dead. Jenny took pity on her and took her home. She is not half the size of any of the others, but she loves pestering them. Jenny is away for a day or so, so I went over to feed the livestock. Frankie just eats dry cat food, but the other three have to have their canned stuff. I open a can and dip about a third into each of three little bowls, one each for Goofball, Bear and Peanut. Tonight, Goofball didnít seem interested, he just sat and looked out the window. Bear started eating at one of the bowls, and little Peanut sort of nosed at his head as if to say "Get out of my dish!" Bear ignored her, so she gave him a swat on the ear. He pulled away and looked at her kind of sideways; Peanut licked a bit at the food, but there must have been some silent communication, because she abandoned it and went to the bowl farthest away. Good move, too Bear might have stepped on her!
     
 

Gerald B. Crawford
Box 100, Chelan, SK S0E 0N0 (306) 278-3423
Check out my Webpage: http://www3.sk.sympatico.ca/crawg