Tag Archives: summer

2012 Flood Update

Reid Dickie

A much different spring this year than last! Generally the Canadian prairies experienced a mild winter with very little snow in most areas. What snow there was is all gone; we had a thunderstorm on the last day of winter and the trees are already budding like mad. Unless we get a big blizzard, which is still quite possible between now and May, there won’t be flood threats this year. Lake Manitoba is still high and property owners around its rim are struggling to understand and access the government’s compensation package after last year’s debacle.

I plan to make my first recon trip out of the city this coming weekend which will include a visit to Spruce Woods Provincial Park to see how the little park overwintered. I’ll report on that on the weekend. As well, I’ll update the latest information on the summer outlook for Spruce Woods and the other parks flooded out last spring.

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Filed under Day Tripping, Flood, Natural Places, Parks

Edwards Creek

Reid Dickie

I grew up in a small town but every summer of my youth I spent at least two weeks on the farm of my Aunt Ina and Uncle Derk. Located about four miles from the northern face of Riding Mountain, their farm had a magnificent view of the mountain and surrounding plains.

Edwards Creek ran along the edge of their property. Aunt Ina and I spent endless summer afternoons sitting next to the little stream, watching the birds and critters that came to drink, marvelling at the darting minnows and feeling right at home. Ina and Derk are long dead, their farmhouse, though now abandoned, stands white stucco with a red roof against its overgrown willow windbreak and Edwards Creek still bubbles along. I spent some time wading in Edwards Creek this summer and brought back a short video report. Join me in the cool refreshing water.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=zRTyv6ogJJc

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Filed under Family, Life and Life Only, Natural Places

Eternal Romance

Reid Dickie
“I was a key that could use a little turning.”
 – Soul Asylum
Water and wind and their eternal romance with rock, etched into the weary flesh of stone, glowing eloquent beaches appear and disappear in a flash. On the prairies, in blissful perfection, their story never stops.  Here we are humbled yet throbbing, ecstatic.
There were moments on the Missouri Coteau this summer under a sky that opens up toward you and away from you at the same time when I could feel the mule deer mating just for the fun of it and prairie dogs chasing dragonflies just for the fun of it and evolution happening just for the fun of it! The eternal romance, The Imperative, echoes of Spirit bounding and rebounding everywhere!
Last Friday evening I sat under ancient silent cottonwoods and watched the red September sun sink below the Trans Canada Highway just north of Carberry, MB. I was staying at the Robin’s Nest Motel and Cafe (for the price, I recommend it). It is dry now and harvest time so the sunset was tempered with a fine yellow haze that lingered on the horizon all day. Swirls of sylphs dreamt above the setting sun. Silhouettes of dog walkers moved against the yellow horizon, crickets chimed the eternal temperature, the motel buzzed and the TCH hummed along. The dust turned the dusk to pink deepening to red, wisps of pale yellow meandered across the haze. The night cooled from near 30 degrees C.
 
Under the friendly cottonwoods I thought of what I had gained over the past two days of travel in southwestern Manitoba: my energy level was very high due to lots of sunshine and discovery, on which I thrive. I was learning, yearning and leaning – everything a man could need!
I was doing what I had yearned to do: to travel, see new things, meet new people, get ideas, feel at home wherever I go, bring Spirit out in myself, set the example, be the change!
The next day I returned to the city but detoured to Beaudry Park just west of Headingley for a couple of hours in the shade. It was a hot, hot day and the trees were alive with voices. In the distance I kept hearing trains. I had wanted to videotape a fast train. I love the noise, horizontal movement and the earth moving up and down with the weight of the speeding train. When I left the park I explored toward the sound. I crossed the Canadian National Railway mainline on a gravel road and shot a video of a fast freight that came by about 20 minutes later heading west. If you don’t have to be anywhere in a hurry and you’d like to watch a long fast freight train go by close up with great sound, click this into your life. Shot Saturday, September 10, 2011 at the CNR mainline crossing south of Beaudry Park on Manitoba PR 424. Train freaks will get a chubby, guaranteed! Watch for the engineer waving.
 
On the prairies in late summer – around now – there is a moment when the heat holds its breath and the cold sneaks in, a glimpse of our inevitable future, making the skin on our brown bodies tighten. Today that moment, the hinge, arrived. The north wind chills us today, reminds us today.

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Filed under Ancient Wisdom, Carberry, Hope, Linda, Natural Places, shaman, Spirit, Wisdom

Yurting at Spruce Woods Park

Reid Dickie 

Watch my 3:17 video tour of Yurt #4.

I spent Thursday and Friday of last week at Spruce Woods Park, staying in one of 13 yurts they rent out to not-quite-campers. It was a quiet stay. The park has been ravaged by the flooding Assiniboine River since break-up this spring and most of its amenities are inaccessible. There isn’t much to do except enjoy the outdoors and catch up on cloud watching.

Kiche Manitou campground is a shadow of its former self due to this year’s flooding. Only the upper campground and yurts are in use this summer with a makeshift camp office set up to process visitors. The lower campground has been under water for months. Just two other yurts were in use on Thursday and just five on Friday. It’s been a slow year, park staff told me. The detour map from the provincial parks website was easy to follow to the campground on good gravel roads. To cut down on noise, motorized vehicles are prohibited from getting close to the yurts. To haul your camping stuff from car to tent, the park provides good quality red metal wagons. Here’s a shot of my wagon.

Every yurt is electrified with a nice porch – mine faced northwest – fire pit, picnic table and chopping area.

The yurts sleep five and, although the days were very hot – both about 30 degrees C – the yurt has a domed ceiling that opens to allow hot air out. The place cooled quickly and adequately at dusk resulting in pleasant sleeps both nights.

I wasn’t completely alone for the two days. A little red squirrel adopted me and defended our territory against other squirrels, chipmunks and even a crow. I named it Tenacious. I think it was my constant supply of Spanish peanuts that ensured the critter’s loyalty. Here’s a shot of Tenacious.

Friday began with an intense thunderstorm at dawn. Heavy rains and a wild light show resulted but I stayed cozy and dry in the yurt. The rest of Friday was a perfect prairie summer day, hot and clearing. I caught up on my cloud watching and made this time-lapse video of the afternoon cloudscapes from my porch.

For the third year in a row, there is no entry fee for Manitoba provincial parks though camping fees still apply. In the case of the yurts, the charge is about $54 a night all in. Very economical for a family. If you are interested in a quiet getaway experience this summer, rent a yurt at Spruce Woods. Respite from the weary world, peaceful trees and easy accommodations await you. For information and bookings, the provincial parks website is http://www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/parks/

Today in Winnipeg the temperature is 34 degrees C or 93 degrees F, add in 63% humidity and it feels like 48 degrees C or 118 degrees F. Thunderstorms are predicted. Our precious prairie summers!!

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Filed under Accommodations, Critters, Flood, Natural Places, Parks, Spirit

Kiche Manitou Campground Update, June 2, 2011

Reid Dickie

I just received the following email from Manitoba Parks regarding the status of the lower campground and infrastructure at Kiche Manitou Campground in Spruce Woods Provincial Park.

Dear Camping Customer:

The campground closure for Kiche Manitou Lower Campground in Spruce
Woods Provincial Park has been extended to include the remainder of the 2011
camping season. 

Buildings and infrastructure have been submerged by flood waters for
nearly two months.  Now in early June, water levels have still not fully
receded.  Clean-up and re-building is expected to be substantial.  The upper
level campground that includes nightly campsites, yurts and group use will
continue to be in operation.

Customers with existing reservations in the lower campground may
cancel or make changes on-line at manitobaparks.com or contact our call centre
directly at 1-888-482-2267 or in Winnipeg at 948-3333.  

We truly regret the inconvenience that these closures may mean to
your holiday plans, but feel it is our responsibility to let you know as soon as
possible so that you might make alternative arrangements.  If we can be of any
assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us through our call centre or at
945-4344.

We appreciate your patience; and, as always we look forward to seeing
you in one of our provincial parks in 2011! 

Yours truly,

Manitoba Parks

Highway access to Spruce Woods Provincial Park is still closed as Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure tries to keep ahead of road closures and repairs. It will be at least two more weeks before the highway reopens. Park attractions like Spirit Sands, Punchbowl and hiking trails all remain closed and off-limits due to flooding.

For the latest information, check Manitoba highway closures and conditions on an interactive map here.

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Filed under Flood, Natural Places, Parks, Sacred Places

Linda’s Garden Photographs

Linda and I loved to garden together. We found it restorative and invigorating. Linda was always taking pictures of our flowers, plants and garden views. She had an amazing eye! I have just posted 39 photographs she took of various gardens in recent years on Flickr. Here are three samples and the right-hand sidebar has ten more. Click to enlarge.

The rest of Linda’s Garden Pictures are here.

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Filed under BEAUTY, Linda, Love