Was a lone goose lost or actually an early bird with an inside track on spring? If you think you heard geese honking this week, you probably did. Tuesday, a goose on the wing was heading north near Crandall.
If the bird was looking for open water, it was heading the wrong way. Snow has outstayed its welcome north of Highway 1 where most fields are still snow-covered, rivers and creeks frozen over.
For the angling community south of Highway 16, March 15 was the last day to pull your fishing huts off the ice.
According to Environment Canada’s Elkhorn weather station, February recorded wild readings between the lowest low of -35 and a high of 5.5. Snowfall in February was 198% of normal (1981-2010) and February ended with 38 cm of snow on the ground at Elkhorn.
Between March 1 and March 12, the Elkhorn station recorded a low of -26.5 (March 3) and a high of 3 on March 12.
Critters living outdoors have endured a bitter winter.
Deer have wintered in Virden scrounging off certain yard plantings. An evening walk in Hamiota finds white tail deer popping in and out of yards, shyly avoiding close contact. Numbers of deer have been found dead in towns.
Along Highway 21, a huge herd has been sighted, and similarly along Highway 1 near Oak Lake. Motorists beware.
Coyotes, on the other hand, have been unusually quiet. Perhaps their numbers are down.
In the Saskatchewan Souris River Valley, a large predator was enjoying a deer kill, as reported in DiscoverEstevan.com on March 14. Just south of Estevan, in Woodlawn Regional Park along the Souris River the park keeper was alerted to the possibility of a cougar there. He installed a camera and caught footage of the big cat feasting on a deer carcass that it had hidden there previously.
Winter froze in with many sloughs and ponds bone dry. What has become of the muskrats, beaver and other pond creatures that depended upon the water holes? As snow melts the water will be there, but will the animals?
Today and into next week, look for above normal temperatures and enjoy the sounds of spring on the wing. Keep your eyes on the skies.