WE have, thank God, weathered
the winter very fairly hitherto, and this week we have had lovely
sunshine—such a treat after the fearful cold of the past month; the deep
snow made it worse by increasing the difficulty of looking after the stock.
If all the people coming out
this year knew what this winter has been like, they would turn back to the
homeland if they could, I think.
I have been taking advantage
of this fine spell to get up a good lot of wood, for I expect this is only a
lull in the storm, and bad weather will come on before long.
My wife and the boy have only
been able to go out of the house four times since last November; it is weary
work for them being shut in for so long.
I hear that Saskatoon is all
right for fuel now, but at one time it was in a bad way. At some places down
the line they held up the trains to get fuel and stores, and at one place
the settlers threatened to smash up the cars for firewood. We, at any rate,
were a little better off on the prairie.
Wolves have been very
plentiful this winter, but so far I have not succeeded in killing one. I had
a shot at one, but it was nearly four hundred yards off. I missed it, but
gave it a big scare. Luckily they are very cowardly creatures, and are
easily frightened away.
Game has been very scarce; I
have scarcely shot any, although I always carry a gun or rifle. I hope to
get a few grouse later on as the weather gets milder.
I am very glad now that I
have had no wheat to team into market; our neighbours who had some loads
have had a most trying time.
Our nearest bush for cutting
wood is four miles away, and I can assure you that in winter we find it
quite far enough to travel.
The prairie is quite bare of
trees. This, of course, is a great advantage to settlers, as there is no
clearing to do before beginning to break the land; but in winter the absence
of trees allows the wind to sweep down upon us in its full fury, and in
summer we feel acutely the want of shade, so I have planted a few trees, but
at present they are only about 2 feet high, hardly high enough to be able to
smoke one's pipe under but it is interesting to watch their growth.