Monday, July 20, 2009
"Saskatchewan - Hard to Spell - Easy to Draw"
I wish I had thought of that saying, but as soon as you've been here you get it. I was hoping to be less wordy, but I'll try to include a few images with my wordiness this time. (Just a few, since the term "highspeed" internet, seems to have a different meaning in the prairies.)
Saskatchewan Traffic Jam:
We spent 3 days living on the rodeo grounds at Shaunavon, SK during their "Boomtown Days." We were without running water, but were with wild horses, cowboys, dust, trailers, bulls and more dust. The water gave me a bellyache, but at least during the rodeo itself, they had both kinds of beer: Bud and Bud Light. Each day without a shower, my skin and hair would be covered by another layer of find amber dust, to which I'd add another layer of sunscreen.
The people have been welcoming everywhere. Even the cowboys in their shy way. They have no trouble walking up to a bull and pushing it around, but they needed company and a beer (at 9:00 am "to wash down the coffee") to get the nerve to come up to us and politely ask us to move to a more appropriate location on the rodeo grounds. [Read: you're in the way.]
We went to a pancake breakfast and I'm looking forward to sending a postcard to one of my alternative healthcare providers that I'm living on white flour, refined sugar and meat. (It's hard to be vegetarian when you're living on the rodeo grounds.)
We visited Old Man on His Back, the Nature Conservancy short grass prairie preserve set up by Sharon and Peter Butala. The caretaker at the visitors centre was practically part of the Butala family and has an adjacent farm that is currently growing organic feed grain. Her husband custom farmed the Butala property for 25 years before the Nature Conservancy purchased it, and for several years after as well as they discovered how to replant the indigenous grasses.
Dark Green Ocean ("Oatsean"?):
We and woke up this morning in Grasslands National Park. The wind has been wonderfully incessant. The oat fields really do look like dark green oceans.
(please excuse the poor video quality from my pocket camera, and the poor videography from being battered by the wind)
Saskatchewan Butterfly Collection:
And I must add, yesterday we went through a small community called "Climax". As you enter the town there is a sign saying, "Welcome to Climax" and as you leave (I'm not making this up) it says, "Please come again."