« 이전계속 »
These ranges of conical hills correspond with terraces on the west side of the mountain.
Dauphin Lake, lying at the base of the Riding Mountain, is about 750 feet above sea level. It is twenty-one miles long, and twelve miles in breadth. It receives several streams which rise in the Duck and Riding Mountains and discharges its surplus waters into Lake Winnipegoosis by Mossy River, a stream about 125 feet wide and averaging from five to seven feet in depth. This la ke is altogether surrounded by marshes which are separated from one another by narrow ridges of dry ground.
Northeast of Dauphin Lake is Duck Mountain, a high range of table land similar in every respect to that of the Riding Mountain described above. To the west this range is cut off from the Porcupine Mountain by Swan River which flows in a wide valley between the two ranges. On the west the Assiniboine cuts it off from the great prairie so that it is almost isolated by these two rivers. The “Mountain,” as you proceed from west to east, consists of a series of broken or gently swelling hills very slightly elevated above the plain. These hills are covered with brush, brulé, or forest and are extremely difficult to travel through owing to the tangled pea and other vines which constantly retard the footsteps. As the hills are penetrated the forest becomes denser, and before the eastern escarpment is reached, Poplar, Aspen, and Spruce of large size are very common. Standing on the edge of the escarpment, Lake Winnipegoosis lies at your feet. From this point, over 1,000 feet above the Lake, the view is very fine. As a whole the hills may be considered as forest and the soil uncommonly fertile.
Lake Winnipeg receives the waters of numerous rivers, which drain in the aggregate an area of 400,000 square miles The Saskatchewan is its most important tributary. The Lake, at its southern extremity receives the Red
River, which, together with its important affluent, the Assiniboine, drains an area of extraordinary fertility and extent. In length Lake Winnipeg is about 300 miles, and in several places fifty miles broad. Lakes Manitoba and Winnipegoosis together are nearly as long, and the broadest part of the first named is not less than thirty miles across. Nearly the whole country between Lake Winnipeg and its western rivals is occupied by smaller lakes, so that between the Duck and Riding Mountains and the western shore of Lake Winnipeg, one half of the country is permanently covered with water. These lakes are shallow, being seldom over sixty, and often for long distances under ten feet in depth.
As to the second Prairie Steppe along the Boundary, or what is now South-Western Manitoba, Dr. Dawson says, at page 287 of his report, “The extreme western margin of the Red River prairie in the vicinity of the Pembina Mountain, is diversified by groves of oak, which stretch out from their base, and would, no doubt, be much more extensively wooded but for the constant recurrence of prairie fires. The front of the escarpment, and its summit, forming the edge of the Second Prairie Steppe, are in some places thickly wooded, and always show extensive patches of timber. The forest covered area increases north-westward. In the vicinity of the Line, the woods owe their preservation to the protection against fires afforded by the broken nature of the edge of the escarpment, by the great valley of the Pembina River, and its systems of tributary coulées, and to the frequent occurrence of patches of swamp. Poplar is probably the most abundant tree, though, even after ascending the escarpment, groves of oak are found. The wooded region has, however, in all localities suffered much from local fires; most of the trees at present living are small, while traces of a former heavy forest growth frequently appear.
“In some places pretty extensive prairie areas occur between Pembina Escarpment and Pembina River, and with the exception of a few localities, near the edge of the escarpment, where the Cretaceous Clays are near the surface, the soil is of excellent quality, and differs from that of the Red River Valley by the addition of a considerable proportion of sandy material. Swamps are here pretty thickly scattered, and some of them attain large dimensions in spring. Those parts of them which are permanently wet, however, bear luxuriant crops of natural hay-grass, and the general aspect of this region is favorable.
“On crossing the Pembina River the eastern margin of the great treeless plain is entered. No woods now appear, except those forming narrow belts along the valleys of the streams, and soon even the smaller bushes become rare. The shrubs met with are generally stunted, from the absence of shelter against wind, and the frequent passage of prairie fires. The little thickets consist, according to situation, of dwarfish snow-berry (Symphoricarpus occidentalis), Spiræa, roses and willows, fringing the small swamps and pools. The metallic-leaved silver-berry (Elægnus argentea), comparatively rare in the Red River Valley, now begins to occur in abundance on the drier areas. In the last week of May, 1874, the common flowering plants on this eastern part of the First Prairie Steppe, were: Viola cucullata, V. pedata, Ranunculus rhomboideus, Anemone patens, then going to seed, and the whole prairie covered with its brownish woolly heads; Geum triflorum, found most abundantly near the edge of the escarpment, less common westward; Astragalus caryocarpus, becoming rapidly more abundant westward, Antennaria plantaginifolia, Lithospermum canescens, first blossoms.
“The undulating character of the prairie between Pembina Escarpment and Turtle Mountain, and the occasional occurrence of stony and gravelly hillocks, has received mention in the chapters on the drift. With reference to the soil, west of Pembina River, nearly the same remarks apply as to that east of it. It is fertile, though not so deep or inexhaustible as that of the Red River Valley, and rests on a gravelly, drift sub-soil. Swampy bottoms bearing a good growth of hay-grass abound, but their area is quite small as compared with that of the dry ground. Toward the end of the summer, most of these swamps dry up completely, and extensive regions are then without other water supply than that clerived from the streams and rivers, which lie in deep valleys, and are often far apart. I do not think, however, that difficulty would be found in obtaining water by wells sunk in any of the lower parts of the prairie. The rainfall of this region is probably slightly less than that of the Red River Valley, but appears to be sufficient for agricultural purposes. It seems probable that at a period not very remote, a great part of this district was covered with forest trees. The humidity of the soil and climate is sufficient for their growth, and in some places little hummocks, resembling those formed in a forest, and known as “ cradle hills,” were observed. On approaching Turtle Mountain, the tendency of this part of the prairie to reclothe itself, is shown by the recurrence of thickets of seedling poplars on the sheltered sides of the undulations, wherever the fires have not passed for a few years. Between Pembina River and Turtle Mountain, and especially toward the latter place, the deep narrow paths, or ruts, made by the buffalo when travelling, are still quite apparent, though the animal has not been known so far east for many years. They have here a remarkably uniform northwest and northeast direction.
“The water of the swamps and ponds of this part of the prairie is generally sweet, but one distinctly saline lake was seen. It had not the thick fringe of grasses and sedges of the other ponds, and here, for the first time, the Salicornea was met with in some abundance. There were also many dead shell's of Limnæa and Planorbis
but whether these molluscs lived in the saline water, or were washed thither from some neighboring swamp, I was unable to determine."
The Red River rises in Otter Tail Lake in the State of Minnesota, in lat. 46° 24', and at first flows to the southwest, but in lat. 46° 9' it turns to the north and shortly after enters on the great prairie, through which it cuts its tortuous course, without a break, to its entrance into Lake Winnipeg in lat. 50° 20'. To get a proper idea of the Red River in Manitoba it is merely necessary to imagine a stream from 300 to 600 feet wide, with a moderate current, which has in the course of ages excavated a winding trench or canal to the depth of from thirty to forty feet, in a tenacious clay, through a nearly level country, for a distance exceeding one hundred miles. As the river winds through the plain it forms peninsulas of varying size, and these are generally covered with heavy forest. This remark applies only to that portion of the river from twenty miles south of Winnipeg to Emerson.
As the primitive features of the Red River prairie are fast disappearing, and towns and villages springing up in every part, the following extract from the pen of Prof. Hind will be read with interest, as it is a typical description of what can be seen, in part, on the great prairies beyond the settlements at the present time. The scene is laid close to Winnipeg. “Here stretching away, until lost in the western horizon, the belts of wood on the Assiniboine rise above the general level, while from the Assiniboine towards the north again is an uninterrupted expanse of long waving prairie grass dotted with herds of cattle, and in the fall of the year with immense stacks of hay. This is the ordinary aspect of the country, comprising that portion of Red River settlement which lies between Mill