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Life, love and language


Last weekend we drove back to Saskatoon.  Now that the canola and alfalfa have been harvested most of the fields are lying fallow, brown, yellow and beige.  I’ve been wanting to get a photo of an old grain elevator for some time and have only seen these on the prairies in Saskatchewan.   Apparently there was a time when these tall, stately structures dominated the prairies.  In the 1930’s there were nearly 6000 of them. They must have been quite a sight, painted in bright colours,  and standing in fields of golden corn.  Today, most have been replaced by more prosaic concrete structures and only about 80 wooden elevators are still operating.  The one I photographed stands alongside an abandoned railway line and, traditionally, bears the name of the town it used to serve.

Old wooden grain elevator

On Saturday we took a drive to the Wanuskewin Heritage Park, just outside of Saskatoon.  Wanuskewin, in the Cree language, means being at peace with oneself.  We were fortunate enough to be able to watch Josh Wabash, from the Waywayseecappo First Nation peoples in Manitoba.  Josh has been dancing since he was 3 and he demonstrated his talent in full, colourful regalia and then explained the dances to the audience.  His motto: I dance for those who can’t, and I will keep sharing my talents with those who are willing to experience it.

The First Nation dancer at Wanuskewin

Besides the dancer, we also visited the Mistatim exhibition, in honour of the horse.

One of a number of stories of horse battles painted on hide

Wanuskewin has much more to offer, including a number of interpretive trails which we were unable to sample, due to time restraints, but we will be back to visit again some day.

Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day so we drove out to Blackstrap lake, which none of us had seen yet.  Blackstrap is a large, manmade lake, fed via an earthern aquaduct from Lake Diefenbaker.  Only about 1/2 hour out of Saskatoon it is a perfect recreational area, offering boating, sailing, fishing and, in winter, cross country skiing.

Cale, ready to go paddling on the lake

Mount Blackstrap, also man-made, was constructed in 1971 for the Canada Winter Games.  Asher remarked, on seeing it, that only someone who has never been out of Saskatchewan would ever consider it a mountain!

The discovery of a self-serve yoghurt shop – Pure – with many flavours of yoghurt and any number of toppings to try – you load up your container and pay by the gram – was the cherry on the top of another enjoyable visit to our neighbouring province.

September 30, 2011 - Posted by | Living in Canada, Travels | , , , , , , ,

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