Following a winter of greater than normal snowfall here in Saskatchewan, residents have been scrambling in April to control the runoff. Here are three snapshots that I took yesterday (18 April 2011) from Regina’s Pasqua Street bridge, looking upstream at Wascana Creek and the flooded paths and greenspaces of Les Sherman Park:
I posted a few snapshots of Condie Nature Refuge, located a short distance outside the Queen City, in October of last year. Here’s what it was like out there earlier today:
And that, dear readers, is winter in southern Saskatchewan in a nutshell.
That thermometer may be old — it came with the house when we bought it — but it’s accurate. I took the picture through our kitchen window, which looks out into the back yard. Needless to say, I plan to stay indoors today.
Yesterday, my wife, our son, and I drove out to the Condie Nature Refuge a few miles north-west of Regina, Saskatchewan. The area around Regina is famous for its flat farmland and vast open views of the horizon, but tucked here and there on the prairie are little pockets of unplowed land with a different sort of interest. What follows are some snapshots I took as we strolled together along the paths of the self-guided nature walk; the sequence begins with a view from the road, looking from the north-east towards the south-west, and includes several views of the vestiges of a tiny oxbow lake along with photographs of the beaver lodge, pond, and dam.
I’m sure you have similar areas of understated (or perhaps even spectacular) natural beauty near where you live, if only you will search them out.
Before and after, here in the Queen City…
I heard on the radio that the Queen City received 17 cm of snow during the night. That’s the bad news. The good news is, it’s already melting away.
This morning, early, we drove out to the town of Lumsden, Saskatchewan, to take in some of the events associated with their “Great Pumpkin and Scarecrow Festival.” We had pancakes, with strawberries and whipped cream, and all the pork sausages we wanted — three was my limit — at the open-air “Pancake Breakfast”; we examined the well-intentioned but relentlessly unremarkable entries in the “Eclectic Chair Auction” and the pumpkin carving contest; we browsed through the “Farmers’ Market,” which was devoid of fresh vegetables but had plenty of ornamental gourds, dried flowers and herbs, preserves, and honey; and we bought tickets to ride on one of the “People Movers,” two low flatbed trailers, with bales down the middle to sit on, which the organizers had hired to cart spectators around town to view the award winners and also-rans in the scarecrow contest. While touring around, I chewed on wheat straw, for old time’s sake, and when I wasn’t warming my hands in my pockets, I took a few pictures. Here are two:
We had intended to stay for the “Pumpkin Catapult” event — though as our son rightly pointed out, the “catapults” were actually trebuchets — but after the scarecrow tour, we decided we had neither the patience nor the endurance to mill around for three and a half additional hours in the bone-chilling wind just to watch a procession of unlucky pumpkins soar jauntily across the sky only to smash to smithereens on the Lions Park lawn. So we got in the car — what a relief to be warm again — and headed home.
And yet, believe it or not, it was fun while it lasted…