Category Archives: Herschel

Ten Abandonded Places

My friend Michelle, who lives in Hong Kong often posts photos of abandoned places she comes upon in the city. Another Facebook friend Jim from Pennyslvania, takes photos of abandoned buildings. Jim and Michelle inspired me to look back through my photos searching for abandoned places  I have photographed.

I was visiting Herschel Saskatachewan doing research for a novel when I photographed this abandoned barn

I was visiting Herschel Saskatachewan doing research for a novel in the fall of 2012 when I photographed this abandoned barn

This is only one of hundreds of unfinished and abandoned homes we saw in Jamaica

This is only one of many unfinished and abandoned homes I photographed in Jamaica in January of 2014

We were on a trip to Savannah Georgia when I photographed this abandoned house

On a trip to Savannah Georgia in 2006 I photographed this abandoned house

I chaperoned a student trip to Cambodia in 2011 and photographed this abandoned temple in Angkor Wat

I chaperoned a student trip to Cambodia in 2011 and photographed this abandoned temple in Angkor Wat

Of course the buildings in Pompei Italy were abandoned for good reason as I discovered on a 2010 trip to Italy

Of course the buildings in Pompei Italy were abandoned for good reason as I discovered on a 2010 trip to Italy

While biking in Yangshou China in 2005 I photographed this abandoned house

While biking in Yangshou China in 2005 I photographed this abandoned house

We drove by this abandoned windmill in 2011 in Ukraine. It was built by Mennonites.

We drove by this abandoned windmill in 2011 in Ukraine. It was built by Mennonites.

In 2013 we visited the abandoned cliff dwellings of the Salado people built in the 1300s in the Tonto Forest in Arizona

In 2013 we visited the abandoned cliff dwellings of the Salado people built in the 1300s in the Tonto Forest area of Arizona

In November of 2010 when we visited Bangkok I photographed this abandoned graveyard overgrown with weeds

In November of 2010 we visited Bangkok and I photographed this abandoned graveyard overgrown with weeds

 

Other 10 Posts

Ten Things I’ll Remember About the Ballet Going Home Star

Ten Favorite Things About Arizona So Far

Ten Remembrance Day Images

Ten Things About Tulum

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Filed under Arizona, Herschel, Italy, Mexico, Nature, Reflections, Thailand, Ukraine

A House Built From Grain Elevators

Herschel Saskatchewan was once home to three grain elevators. When the elevators were about to be demolished Herschel resident Dave Neufeld stepped in and arranged to buy the lumber for a nominal fee. 

RETREAT HOUSE.jpg.opt368x276o0,0s368x276He and his wife Sue used the salvaged lumber to build a Retreat House where they host families, conferences and groups of hunters each year. retreat house herschel saskatchewanThe house is beautiful. kitchen area retreat house herschelThe kitchen area has handmade cabinets and is sunny and warm. 

house built from grain elevator woodAll that gorgeous wood from the elevators has been reused and recycled.

herschel retreat cottageElevator salvage was used for studs, sheeting, joints, rafters, floors, ceilings, walls and mouldings.herschel retreat cottage The house has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. This is just one nook in the spacious loft. porch retreat house herschelThere’s a huge sunny porch for eating. hot tub herschelThis building in the back yard houses a hot tub. wood fashioned by grainDavid has made several interesting items using wood that has been shaped and formed by the movement of the grain in the elevators. This is a cross and he’s also made a clock. clock made out of grain elevator wood A sign on the mantle at the retreat centre said it was built because of the need to……
*reuse and recyle
*rescue elevator lumber which was destined to be burned
*show local citizens you don’t have to take all your money out of the community when you retire because there are ways to invest in your community
*provide accomodation for visitors
*establish a quiet centre for retreat
* bring people into the community during a time when many are leaving

Other posts about our visit to Herschel Saskatchewan

What Am I Doing On A Birthing Stone?

Dave’s Vision Quest

How a Great Plains Grizzly ended up in Scotland

What’s a Buffalo Jump?

On the Back of a Turtle

Dinosaurs in Saskatchewan

Discovering A Grandfather Rock

History Told in Pictures

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Filed under Canada, Herschel, History, Nature, Retirement, Travel

Discovering a Grandfather Rock

petroglyphs monolith herschelMy vocabulary certainly expanded when we stopped to examine a stone filled with ancient writings at an Interpretive Centre in Herschel Saskatchewan. Here’s some of the terminology I discovered as I explored the history of these messages from the past. 

petroglyphs herschelPetroglyphs– comes from the Greek words petro-“stone”, and glyphein- “to carve”. Petroglyphs are pictogram-like images created by carving on the surface of a stone. The petroglyphs on this rock in Herschel are thought to have been carved with an antler. 

BP time- BP time is ‘before present’ time. It is a term used by archeologists and geologists who employ carbon dating to figure out how old something is. The petroglyphs on this rock were probably carved 9000 or 10,000 years BP. 

Grandfather Rocks-Grandfather Rocks  serve as reminders of the longevity of aboriginal peoples’ relationships to the environment and the past. All rocks have a “memory” of the earth’s past, so it is very important to First Nations people to honor that memory and the knowledge of the times that humans do not know.  The grandfather rock in Herschel is on high ground overlooking Eagle Creek. The area around the rock is considered to be a place of power. 

dave neufeld herschel talking stoneMonolith– the rock in Herschel is referred to as a monolith. A monolith is a stone that was put in position by people as a monument or for religious reasons.

Archeologists excavating around the rock

Archeologists excavating around the rock

The monolith in Herschel was first excavated in 1990. David Neufeld our guide from Ancient Echoes told us the monolith is thought to have spiritual significance since various prayer artifacts were uncovered around its base.

monolith HerschelSiouan speakers- the stylistic form of the language on the Herschel stone is associated with Siouan speakers. Siouan is a major family of languages that used to be spoken in the Great Plains area of North America.

Cupules- are circular man-made hollows on the surface of a rock.  The rock in Herschel has dozens of cupules carved into the flat panel facing east and there are many more on the part of the rock that is buried beneath the ground. 

Esoteric– the stone in Herschel expresses the esoteric aspects of the bison hunt- those aspects of the hunt only understood by the members of a particular First Nations group

herschel monolithRibstones– are rocks with motifs that represent an animal’s  rib cage. Erin Dayle Schneider in her research paper notes that on the Herschel rock the rib-like divisions are easy to spot and are obviously the rib cage of the bison. 

Ringing Rocks– some rocks have a percussive quality and when struck sound like a bell or drum. Carefully aimed and repeated blows with a hammer- like implement may have created the cupules on the Herschel rock. Liz Byran in her book Stone by Stone suggests the stone monolith in Herschel may be a ringing rock that provided musical accompaniment for scared ceremonies. Apparently hammering right into the cupules could create the sound of thundering bison hoofs

guide at ancient echoesAs our guide helped us understand the petroglyphs on the rock in Herschel I added a whole new set of words and concepts to my vocabulary. 

Other posts about Ancient Echoes……

Saskatchewan Grizzly Ends Up in Scotland

What Am I Doing On A Birthing Stone

Dave’s Vision Quest

On the Back of A Turtle

Dinosaurs in Saskatchewan

What’s a Buffalo Jump?

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Filed under Canada, Herschel, History, Nature, Writing

What’s a Buffalo Jump?

Dave looks at a buffalo jump

Dave looks at a buffalo jump

On our visit to Ancient Echoes an interpretive centre in Herschel Saskatchewan we saw a buffalo jump.

Buffalo Jump in Herschel

Buffalo jump in Herschel

A buffalo jump is a high cliff that the Plains Indians who once lived on the Canadian prairies used to hunt buffalo. The bison were herded over a cliff and their legs broke. Immobilized in the ravine at the bottom of the cliff they were killed by hunters waiting there. It is believed this kind of hunting began over 12,000 years ago and was practiced till the 1500’s. 

Artifact and bone discoveries near the Herschel buffalo jump site are evidence the bison were butchered and processed at a camp nearby. 

bison at Fort WhyteNone of the bison was wasted. Every part was used.  

Dave and our guide Dave Neufeld walk towards the buffalo jump

Dave and our Ancient Echoes guide Dave Neufeld walk towards the buffalo jump

Other posts about bison hunting…..
There Must Be 50 Ways To Use A Bison
Hunting a Bison is Hard
Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bison

Other posts about Ancient Echoes Interpretive Centre

A Saskatchewan Grizzly Lands Up in Scotland

Was North America Created on the Back of A Turtle?

Dave’s Vision Quest

What Am I Doing On A Birthing Stone?

Dinosaurs in Saskatchewan

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Filed under Canada, Herschel, History, Nature

Dinosaurs in Saskatchewan

Did you know there is a dinasour named after the tiny village of Herschel Saskatchewan? Yes this isolated pocket on the Canadian prairie was a tidal pool during the Cretaceious period when a shallow inland sea covered most of what is now Saskatchewan. Bodies of marine life would be washed into the pool during storms and left behind when the tide retreated.

Checking out some of the fossils at Ancient Echoes

Checking out some of the fossils at Ancient Echoes

On our visit to the Ancient Echoes interpretive centre in Herschel we learned thousands of  bones from shell fish, clams and snails- some hundreds of millions of years old, have been found in Herschel’s Coal Mine Ravine as well as the teeth and the bones of a large marine predator called the Mosasaur.

In 1990, 1994, and 1997, paleontologists excavated the remains of three plesiosaurs. a plesisasour snoutIn 2005 Tamaki Sato discovered a new dinasour species in Herschel and called it Dolichorhynchops hershelensis. 

Plesiosaur Sculpture at Ancient Echoes

Plesiosaur Sculpture at Ancient Echoes

At the Ancient Echoes Interpretive Centre in Herschel Saskatchewan you can learn all about the life of the First Nations people who used to live in the area hundreds of years ago but you can also travel back in time millions of years and learn about the dinosaurs who once swam in this tiny prairie hamlet. 

Other posts about Ancient Echoes…….

Dave’s Vision Quest

A Birthing Stone

Was North America Created on the Back of A Turtle?

A Saskatchewan Great Plains Grizzly Lands Up in Scotland

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Was North America Created on the Back of a Turtle?

Taking our places around the turtle effigy

Taking our places around the turtle effigy

“MaryLou stand here at the head.  Dave you stand at the tail.” On our recent visit to Ancient Echoes an interpretive history centre in Herschel Saskatchewan we encircled a turtle effigy and heard an aboriginal creation story involving the turtle.  Our guide placed us at key spots around the turtle so we could easily see its shape outlined with stones.

Our guide David Neufeld tells us the Turtle Creation story

Guide David Neufeld tells us the Turtle Creation story

An effigy is a stylized animal created out of dirt or rocks. There were once some 20,000 effigies on the prairies.  Turtle effigies were common since Plains Indians associated the turtle with long life, protection and fertility. Amongst many indigenous people there is a belief that the Great Spirit created North America by placing earth on the back of a turtle. Our guide David Neufeld told us a detailed and colorful version of that creation myth. 

Because of that myth our continent is sometimes referred to as Turtle Island. Who knows? The turtle effigy we saw in a farmer’s field in Herschel may have been used hundreds of years ago as a teaching spot to share the creation legend of the turtle. Those people of a distant time may have heard the story just as we did. 

Other posts about our visit to Ancient Echoes……..

A Great Plains Grizzly Lands up in Scotland

What Am I Doing on A Birthing Stone? 

Dave’s Vision Quest

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What Am I Doing On A Birthing Stone?

birthing stone ancient echoes herschel saskatchewanI’m resting on a birthing stone that was used by women of the Plains Indian groups who erected their tipis around Herschel, Saskatchewan hundreds of years ago.  On a tour of Ancient Echoes, an interpretive centre in Herschel, our guide told us an aboriginal female elder who visited the site identified the stone as one women would have used while giving birth. birthing stone herschel saskatchewan

The stone allowed women in labor to basically be upright with their backs resting in the gentle curve of the rock. Ellen Pearson a University of North Carolina history professor writes that in most Indian nations women did not give birth lying down. She says a bed of leaves was amassed beneath the standing mother as a soft place for her infant to land.

prairie view herschel saskatchewanThe stone was a  comfortable resting place and the view it provided of the prairie was certainly very peaceful and lovely. I’d never heard of a birthing stone before. Perhaps it will be reinstated someday as helpful aid to women wanting to give birth in a natural way. 

Other posts about Ancient Echoes………

Dave’s Vision Quest

A Saskatchewan Great Plains Grizzly Lands Up in Scotland

Other posts about Plains Indians……….

There Must Be 50 Ways to Use A Bison

Killing A Bison Is Hard

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Filed under Canada, Family, Herschel, History