As we considered the massive Bunnock structure in Macklin (remember the large white object in an earlier report?), we decided it was simply too good to be true. So we poked around on the Internet. Here's what we found: The photo shows the Bunnock, a sculpture some forty feet tall, surrounded by signs Remember the bunnock?

1) there's no such word in the OED, Webster's collegiate dictionary, or the Encyclopedia Britannica, at least the online versions.

2) Only Macklin, Canada, seems to know about bunnocks.

3) The legislative representative from Macklin made a presentation about the Bunnock game, a couple of years ago, to the Canadian Assembly -- on 1 April. Makes one wonder...

At any rate, it seems to be a creative and provocative way to publicize this small town.

We have now visited the major cities of central Canada. Saskatoon and Regina remind us of Bakersfield, California, in size and appearance - centers The large red-painted building has two floors, a windmill in back, and is surrounded by gardens The Berry Barn for agricultural business, workaday cities with pleasant parks and friendly people. Regina, the capital of Saskatchewan, has recently spent over a million dollars to stabilize and modernize the provincial capital building, a most imposing structure (34 different kinds of marble were used in its public areas). The legislature meets for about six months each year - we wished we had seen one of the sessions, which starts every day with the sergeant-at-arms carrying the ceremonial mace and leading the Speaker into the legislative chamber.

In the greater Saskatoon area, a lunchtime visit to The Berry Barn is highly recommended. Not only is the food good but the menu does include saskatoon berries, there is a lovely flower garden to wander about in, and visitors can examine the many berry bushes (and pick the berries in season). The large drill hall has a polished floor; the trainees, attired in summer uniforms, in various sizes and shapes, are performing a dress right command. RCMP trainees drill It's a major tourist attraction for the town; as we were leaving a busload from South Carolina was just pulling in.

Several days of thunderstorms and showers have produced puddles and pools and dramatic clouds, but the drought is still officially present. As temporary Canadians, we are irritated that U.S. news coverage of the drought through the central states stops exactly at the U.S.-Canadian border. And despite the rivalry between the provinces, Canadian farmers are helping each other; the hay trucks continue to trundle westward.

Regina is the home of the academy for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. A Canadian from anywhere in the country must come here to be trained. We visited the museum, which emphasizes the early days of this remarkable part-police, part-military force, and then we watched the daily Sergeant-Major's drill. The students (many of them female) marched in formation, were inspected, and marched out, accompanied by an earnest military band (long on drums).