Sunday, April 01, 2007

Lake Arcola 2007

Lake Arcola near the peak of spring runoff, March 27, 2007

After all the excitement about the snow this year, the runoff was a bit of a disappointment. I was not too surprised. I had been murmuring all winter that it really wasn't that much snow; the ditches were full, but a good deal of that snow had blown off the fields way back in November, and the snowfall for the rest of the winter was nothing spectacular. On top of that (or rather, underneath), the soil was very dry, so most of the melt water just sank straight down.

Lake Arcola put in a modest appearance, less than 2005 but higher than last year. I wonder if it would have been higher, had they not plowed out the drainage ditches before the thaw. I don't recall them doing that other years.


Tim Hodgens said...

Hi Laura,

Glad you made it through another winter.

I don't get it...are you saying that you call it a lake because it turns into a big sloppy / mud area and later in the season it's a farm?

We had a fast moving snow storm here in Massachusetts 2 weeks ago with a foor or three. Stayed that way for a week and then the temperatures rose and it just shrank and disappeared. Beautiful today.


arcolaura said...

That's my dry humour there, Tim. I call it a lake because it's the biggest water body I get to see around here. In 2005 it really was impressive. (Impressive to my eyes - uh, yeah, I can hear the comments about Laura's view of lakes and, uh, hills...) "Lake Arcola" is also an allusion to the glacial lake that used to cover the whole area nine miles wide from the hills to Moose Mountain Creek, and I don't know how far from east to west. That lake is the reason our landscape is pancake flat. Anyway, each spring I indulge in the quirky thought that the lake is still here, just much smaller and, well, intermittent.

In the rest of the season, it's not a farm, just a big open area that's too low and soft for building anything. The town crew mows it sometimes to keep the mosquitoes down or control the rodents or something.

Madcap said...

Saskatchewan humour is "dry" humour, alright!

It's looking not so wet around here, too, but the quackgrass is greening up nicely. We still have vestigial snowbanks, too, and in for another cold snap this week. Faux spring.

arcolaura said...


Yes, winter's not through with us here, yet, either. This evening after I dropped off Ruth at Cadets, I followed an impulse to turn off the highway and make a detour of a couple of miles to see how the creek is running. Joyriding! And I could have just waited for her in Carlyle, but no, I was tired and not feeling well, so I was going home to sleep and let Garth pick her up later. So it was a luxury trip already, and then the detour on top of that. Guilty pleasure. I slowed down on a hilltop to look around, but instead of the view, I noticed steam from under the hood.

Ohhhh noooo. This was a dumb idea.

No phone with me.

Definitely not a busy road.

Most definitely not a place where Garth would look for me, even if Ruth remembered me musing about going down to the creek; they wouldn't expect me to pick this particular road.

Nearest farm - well, that would be the one almost a mile away...I could walk to that one without too much trouble...

Maybe I could let it cool down and then drive it a bit?

If it even started again. Last time it overheated, it wouldn't restart, and when the mechanic got it going, there was exhaust coming out of the radiator. We had to get the head ground down before it would run again.

I should check the hoses.

Brrr, that wind is cold! I don't like the thought of walking, even here in April with the snow virtually gone.

And then Bill happened along, and I used his phone to call Garth. Bill took the cap off and verified that it was low on antifreeze, corrected my description of my location for Garth, and asked if I wanted a lift home. I decided to wait for Garth. "I guess, it's not too cold now," said Bill, and drove away.

I sat in the truck, and wondered how long Garth would be. After a while I started taking note of movement in my rear-view mirror as vehicles passed the turn-off on the highway, a mile and a half away. Again and again they beetled by without slowing down.

One or two actually turned off, but came only the half mile south and then turned east to somewhere else.

I pulled my hood over my head and tried to remember to keep my feet together for more warmth.

I distracted myself from the waiting, by trying to remember the lyrics to my most recent songs.

I got through two of them, and then some, before I saw Garth's headlights coming south.

It scared me, that I could get so chilled so fast. When they say "Stay with your vehicle," they mean it!

Tim Hodgens said...


Quite a story.

For what its worth, I carry a blanket, a scarf, a pair of gloves, etc., and a few high energy bars in my car. I also carry a few of those plastic "thingees" that you crunch with your hand and it generates heat for anywhere from an hour to 6 hours depending on their size.

They can keep your hands quite warm, but in a serious situation, you would probably put it under your shirt next to your abdomen, probably at or just below belt level (Hara area, if that means anything to you.) You might have to wrap it first in a handkerchief if it's too hot.)

They're inexpensive and once bought you can just leave them in your car or tool box for as long as you want. (At least I think they're ok for years.)

I also carry one of those wind up flashlights in my car. They're great because you generate the charge when it's needed and you don't have to worry about whether you've replaced the batteries recently.


arcolaura said...

Thanks Tim, good points. Where I run into trouble is in the implementation. I have a big high-quality first aid kit for the truck (though I think it's sitting in the garage because we needed more room in the cab one time), but not so much as a candle or a blanket. I figure I am doing well if I remember to put the shovel in when the snow flies.