West Hawk Lake is located is located in Whiteshell Provincial Park. At 115 metres (377 ft), it is the deepest lake in Manitoba. The central portion of the lake is formed by the West Hawk crater, caused by a meteor impact into an ancient rock bed composed of mostly granite. Interest in West Hawk Lake was initiated because of its great depth in comparison to surrounding lakes in the area (Falcon Lake 21m and Caddy Lake 5.8m) and because of its circular shape. A gravity survey showed an anomaly indicating the rock beneath the lake had been severely fractured, as in other known meteorite craters.
In 1965 Canadian astronomers Halliday and Griffen supervised the drilling of a test hole at the centre of the lake. The hole reached a depth of 727m below the lake level. The bottom of the lake was found at 108m and soft sediment encountered to a depth of 151m. Boulders were then encountered for the next 3.3m which made drilling difficult.
The transition from sediments to fragmented rock occurs at the 202m mark. Study of the fragments near the 457m mark show micro fractures in the quartz crystals, similar to that of the Barringer crater in Arizona and other impact craters.
Early in 1966 Halliday and Griffen returned to West Hawk Lake and supervised the drilling of three more holes. From this date the best estimate for the original rim diameter of the crater is 2.4km. This indicates that severe erosion has moved the present shoreline about 600m beyond the peak of the original rim which may well have stood 100m above the present lake level.
Reasonable estimates suggest the crater was formed by a meteorite 150m in diameter impacting the Earth at 16km/sec (58000km/hr or 36000miles/hr).
This meteorite was about the size of two football field's (150m) and it blew a hole almost 2km in diameter. A 32 story building such as the Richardson Building could be placed in the centre of the lake and it would barely break the lake's surface. Similarly, the top of the Golden Boy's torch on top of Manitoba's Legislative Building would be 34m (109ft.) below the lake's surface.
Solar Eclipse - May 20, 2012
Shoe Art on Wellington Crecent
The Spirit Tree - Woody Mhitik
This elm tree, originally over 75 feet in height with a massive canopy, was to be cut down in 2004 due to Dutch Elm Disease. Its protection and transformation was initiated by Walter Mirosh and Robert Leclair from Les Gens de Bois Woodcarving Club, in support of Save Our Seine's community initiative to protect the Bois-des-Esprits forest, "Woods Where the Spirits Dwell".
After the top portion of the elm was removed, its bark was stripped, and the carving of the Spirit Tree began in April, 2004. The tree was transformed into two spirits, one looking up into the canopy of this magnificent forest and the other looking down into the ancient oxbow. The Seine River forest is alive with sounds of nature in spring, but a magical moment took place when the eyes of the Spirit Tree were being carved. As each eye was opened by the sculptors, the surrounding forest became completely silent, until the outline of the eye was complete.
Carved into the beards of the two figures are the letters SOS, acknowledging the work of Save Our Seine in protecting and enhancing the Seine River and surrounding forest.
At a ceremony on May 28, 2006, the carvers, Save Our Seine, and members of Winnipeg's Aboriginal community commemorated the completion of the Spirit Tree and officially named the wood spirit, "Woody" and its Ojibway name, "Mhitik".
The Halfway Trees (Half way between Winnipeg and Brandon)
One of the Halfway Trees is located about 14km west of Portage La Prairie along the Trans Canada Highway, on the north side, midway between Winnipeg and Brandon (49 58.512N 98 33.418W). The tree,
a common willlow, has long been recognized as an important landmark by inter-city travellers. This tree is the sole survivor of a willow planting which
bordered a small drainage swale. The creation of the north lane of the Trans Canada Highway caused the removal of the other trees. This tree was the
largest of the group and so it was spared. A steel guard rail protects the tree from potential vehicular damage.
The other Halfway Tree is located about 23km west of Portage La Prairie along the Trans Canada Highway, on the south side (49 58.511N 98 40.726W). It's a popular landmark on the highway and can be seen from a few miles away. The tree, a cottonwood, was planted in 1880 by George Forest, a local farmer. When the Trans Canada was being twinned the tree was slated to be taken down. Local people were able to stop its removal and it still remains standing. Suprisingly there is no protective barrier around the tree like the other Halfway Tree.
The Longest Street in the World
"Portage Avenue, said to be the longest street in the world, is a tract of over 3000 kilometres from Winnipeg to Edmonton, Alberta. The greatest of Canada's historic trails, the Portage Trail is today known as the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway."
Leary Brick Works
The Leary Brickyard is a small brick factory tucked into the banks of the South Boyne River in the Pembina Hills, just west of Roseisle. It was built and operated from around 1900 to 1917, and again from 1948 to 1952, by three generations of the Leary family. The necessary combination of clay, sand, water and wood for fuel were all located here, as well as a railway siding to move the finished product, an attractive orange-hued construction brick. Remaining from the glory days are a towering brick chimney and massive beehive kiln for firing the brick, a tall drying shed and an engine room where 12,000 bricks a day could be pressed. While the Leary family still lives nearby, their brickyard did not prosper, leaving vacant an intriguing site that is both beautiful and evocative of the pioneer era.
These border markers are found on the Canada/U.S.A. border. They appear every mile along the whole border. The first and second photo is marker #776 and is found at 49 00 00.8N 98 27 04.0W on highway #201 just east of Mowbray. The third photo is marker #775 and is found at 49 00 00.7N 98 28 22.4W. The markers are made of concrete and are hollow with a cedar insert. They are about four feet tall with four feet stuck into the ground. They separate the world's longest undefended border.
The Thunderbird Nest was constructed to attract the Thunderbird as a guardian spirit. A trail leads to five beautiful hand-painted signs describing the legend and a rock formation of the nest depressed in the ground. The Ojibway (Anishinabe) people still perform ceremonies at the site. The legendary Thunderbird is often described as a super eagle, capable of transforming into a man, and able to cause lightning by the flashing of its eyes. It has been thought by the Aboriginals to be the guardian of mankind against his mortal enemy, the horned serpent of the underworld.
Manitoba at the Narrows
There are several accounts of the origin and meaning of the name Manitoba. The most common story claims the word originated with the Cree words manitou (Great Spirit) and wapow (narrows) or, in Ojibwe, Manitou-bau or baw. The "strait or narrows of the Spirit" referred to the narrows of Lake Manitoba. Here, a strong north or south wind can send the waves crashing against the limestone shingles on the shores of the lake and Manitou Island. The Aboriginals believed the eerie sound made by the wind and waves was the voice or drumbeat of the Manitou or Great Spirit. Another suggested origin is the Assiniboin words mine (water) and toba (Prairies), or "Lake of the Prairies."
First Homestead in Western Canada
Following the new system of survey adopted in 1871 the Canadian Government inaugurated its homestead policy which in due time attracted settlers from all parts of the world. On the North-East quarter of Section 35 Township 12 Range 7 West of the First or Principal Meridian (NE 35-12-7W), was the homestead of John Sutherland Sanderson whose application was filed on 2nd July, 1872 and numbered "1".
Clay Banks Bison Jump
The Clay Banks Bison Jump, a site about 2,500 years old site, was used by Sonata and Besant First Nations as a hunting tool. Hunters would stampede American Bison over these cliffs into a corral, later carving up the animal carcasses below for use as food, tools, and clothing.
MS Lord Selkirk II
The MS Lord Selkirk II was constructed in 1968 and served as a cruise ship on Lake Winnipeg for ten years. After changing ownership a few times and sailing the Red River as a river boat it was eventually stored at the Selkirk slough in 1990 and left abandoned. It is scheduled to be scrapped in 2010.
Principal (First) Meridian
A meridian is an imaginary line on the Earth's surface from the North Pole to the South Pole that connects all locations with a given longitude. A principal meridian is the principal north-south line used for survey control in a large region. The Dominion Land Survey of Western Canada took its origin at the First (or Principal) Meridian, located at 97°27'28.41" west of Greenwich, just west of Winnipeg, Manitoba. From this point west they surveyed Western Canada. Six other meridians were designated at four-degree intervals westward, with the seventh located in British Columbia; the second and fourth meridians form the general eastern border and the western border of Saskatchewan.
The Prairie Crocus, which by Royal Assent on March 16, 1906 was made Manitoba's provincial flower, may be the most photographed wildflower in the province.
Arden, Manitoba - the self-proclaimed Crocus Capital of Manitoba - has thousands of natural crocuses bloom each April on a vibrant native Prairie grassland site just north of town. It is a sight to behold and well worth a visit.
Elie Straw Bales
On the outskirts of Elie over 150,000 bales line the Trans-Canada Highway and have been there for over ten years. The bales were part of a stockpile that was left behind after Dow BioProducts shutdown their plant in the area. The bales were supposed to be used for making particle-board, but high fuel costs and poor exchange rates made the process infeasible. The fact that the bales were never removed from the site has long been a subject of controversy. Many times the bales have caught fire and some residents say they wish officials would just let them burn. In the fall of 2009 Dow has started to tear down the piles. Fifty percent of the bales will be used as part of a composting and mulching program, the other half will be targeted for biofuel applications.
The Centre of Canada is in Manitoba
In Manitoba petroleum products are derived from the oil produced in the south west part of the province. This is mainly in the Williston Basin where we find the Daly Oil Field and the Virden Oil Field, which produce 80% of the province's oil prodcution. Petroleum was discovered in the area in 1951. An oil well was drilled and capped here in 1956 and fifty years later there are 1100 active oil wells in this part of the province producing 20,000 barrels daily. All the oil produced in Manitoba is transported by interprovincial pipeline to oil refineries in the US Midwest and in Ontario.
Manitoba's Second Largest Tree
The Manitoba tree that is considered the second largest in the province stands in the southeast corner of Confederation Place in the town of Morden. It is a non-native species, commonly known as the Van Gertz cottonwood (a hybrid between native cottonwood and European black poplar). The tree was grown from a cutting that may have originated in Holland and was received in a letter from New York in about 1891 by James R. Bonny, Chief Clerk of the Morden Land Titles Office from 1890-1925. It is approximately 28 meters in height with a circumference of 626 centimeters.
The Dugald Train Disaster
The Dugald train disaster was a railway accident that took place on September 1, 1947 in Dugald, Manitoba, claiming the lives of 31 people. A westbound train, Passenger Extra 6001 West, a seasonal excursion service carrying vacationers from the Minaki region of Northwestern Ontario, had been given orders at Malachi, Ontario, 160 km east of Winnipeg to meet Canadian National Railways train No. 4, the eastbound Continental Limited at Vivian. These orders were subsequently changed, so that the meeting point was moved 26 km westward, for a meet at Dugald, 23 km east of Winnipeg. These second orders had been received at Elma.
Under the time table and train order rules then in use, Extra 6001 would have to take the siding at the east switch of Dugald. The conductor of the train reminded the engineer of the Dugald stop one or two miles beforehand, via the air signal line, and received the proper acknowledgement. However, Extra 6001, contrary to orders, failed to enter the siding at the east switch, which resulted in a head-on collision with the eastbound train number 4, the Continental Limited at 9:44 p.m. at approximately 48 km/h.
Extra 6001 was composed of U-1-a class locomotive 6001, two steel baggage cars, nine wooden gas-illuminated coaches, and two steel parlor cars. After the collision, the wooden carriages of the vacation train caught fire. Strict rationing of steel during World War II had led to the old wooden cars being kept in service until newer cars could be purchased. The collision set off a chain reaction that led to fires that gutted the wooden cars and set light to oil tanks near the tracks and burned down the local grain elevator. With the exception of the engineer and fireman of Extra 6001, who were killed in the initial collision, fatalities in this incident were caused by the fire. No fatalities occurred in the vacation train's two rear cars or on the Continental Limited.
An inquiry placed the blame on the crew of the vacationers' train for failing to follow orders. The inquiry also determined that the crew's error had been precipitated by their seeing a clear signal, which implied that the track ahead was clear, and that the Continental Limited's dimming of its headlamp while waiting in the station lessened its visibility to the oncoming vacation train. This led to both the acquisition of modern rail cars and the improvement of rules regarding operations on the line.
Seneca Root Rock
This seneca rock is located on the outskirts of Arden. The root of seneca snakeroot has been used for centuries by aboriginal peoples in North America as a treatment for various ailments. After its introduction into European medicine in the early 1700's, seneca became a highly sought after remedy for the treatment of respiratory problems. Presently, Manitoba supplies the vast majority of the global supply of wild seneca root. The recent resurgence of interest in natural remedies has increased the demand for seneca root, raising concerns that natural populations in Manitoba may be over-harvested as occurred in North America in the last century. Prior to gathering it was customary for medicine men to visit this rock and scrape their face with a jagged piece while asking the spirits for a favorable harvest.
Highest Mileage Highway Sign in Manitoba
Fanny Rivers worked among the poor of Paris in the nineteenth century before she arrived at the idea of resettling some of the city's most destitute people in the Canadian west.
Through her work she met the Countess of Albufera. The countess and her husband arranged to help finance the settlement of some of these poor people in Canada.
Although Rivers died before the establishment of Fannystelle in 1889, the countess helped found the town and had a large mansion built there.
She named the community Fannystelle, or Fanny's Star, after her friend. A memorial to Rivers, a Protestant, was erected in the Roman Catholic Cemetery in the community.
The Old Oak Tree
One of Manitoba's oldest trees is situated in Victoria Park in the town of Souris. It is a bur oak and is reputed to be at least 500 years old by local dignitaries and residents. Its gnarled appearance and somewhat decadent condition attest to its advanced age. An appropriate sign bearing the title "Old Oak Tree" has been erected in the park to indicate the specific location of the tree.
The Stockton Ferry is the last remaining river ferry in Manitoba. It carries vehicles across the Assiniboine River. The Rural Municipality of South Cypress opened this ferry on the Assiniboine River in 1887, a year after the Manitoba South Western Colonization Railway reached Glenboro. The ferry consisted of a wooden scow attached to a movable cable which was angled across the river, allowing the current to pull the scow across. From mid-April to mid-November it provided everyday transport for local residents and enabled grain to be hauled to the railway. An ice bridge replaced the ferry during the winter.
A focal point of community activity, the crossing was a place where neighbors met to exchange local news and where dances and parties were held during the summer. The Stockton ferry, one of 150 that once operated in Manitoba, exemplifies the importance of ferries and river travel to communities distant from bridges or railway branch lines.
Souris Agate Pits
An attraction in the town of Souris is the Souris Agate Pits which are located just north of town. It's an open pit with precious stones scattered throughout the sand and gravel. Rock collectors show up in the summer with their buckets and sift through the gravel looking for their treasures. Visit the Rock Shop in town for a digging permit ($10) and samples of the precious stones that you can find in the pit.
The Russell Arches
To create a new look to their town the Town of Russell put several initiatives into play. One of them was the unique idea of installing eight sets of wooden arches over the town's main street - the Russell Arches.
The wooden arches were originally part of the supporting structure of an arena in Dauphin and were rescued as the old arena was being demolished. They were just a few days away from being scrapped in the local landfill. As crews worked to disassemble the structure for transport, a Dauphin
resident discovered documentation that showed where 32 ply
nailed wooden laminate arches were originally made - by a former Russell business, the
Glu-Rite Rafters Company, owned by Carl Mantie. It was a homecoming for the arches.
Little Limestone Lake
Little Limestone Lake is a majestic turquoise body of water. It is a marl lake that visibly changes colour as the calcite in the water, dissolved from the limestone bedrock, chemically reacts to the heat of the sun. On hot days the water turns a rich milky blue, on other days it can be turquoise or green. It is considered by experts to be the largest and most outstanding example of a marl lake in the world.
Longest Place Name Highway Sign in Manitoba
Western Canada's Oldest Park
Coulter Park (Sourisford Park) is Western Canada's oldest park. Its located at
the confluence of the Antler and Souris rivers. In 1873 the Boundry Commission survey crew camped here while surveying the boundry
between Canada and the United States. They were protected by the U.S. Seventh Cavalry. In 1874 the North West Mounted Police camped
here several days on their journey west to Fort McLeod. In 1882 area settlers had the first picnic here and there has been a picnic
held every summer since then. The stone house across from the bridge was built in 1887 from field stone. The park is maintained by
district volunteers and donations by interested people and visitors.
Lunar Eclipse - February 20, 2008
On Wednesday night, February 20, 2008, the moon was completely immersed in the Earth's shadow, resulting in a total lunar eclipse.
As is the case with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility encompassed more than half of our planet. Nearly a billion people in the Western Hemisphere, more than 1.5 billion in Europe and Africa, and perhaps another half-billion in western Asia were able to watch as the brilliant mid-winter full moon becomes a shadow of its former self and morphs into a glowing coppery ball.
The moon was high in a dark evening sky as viewed from most of the United States and Canada while most people were still awake and about.