Monday, May 16, 2022

At The Lake

 Commissioners Park at Dow's Lake is the largest site for the Tulip Festival, and some days after my post from yesterday I came through to see the tulips, most of which hadn't opened up yet. But there was colour to be found. I started at the south end of the park, where the Rideau Canal widens into the lake, and where several houses are probably the backdrop for thousands of photos this time of year, every year.

On the west side of the footpath here are several beds which are always the first to bloom. Such has been the case this year.

I continued along. This bed along a low stone wall had some tulips already coming out, others yet to come. The plantings are staggered deliberately so that tulips will generally bloom on a staggered schedule, as opposed to everything at once.

Further along, one of the largest standalone beds had a lot of green, but not blooming tulips yet.

Some colour was starting to show in this bed on the north side of the park.

As well as this one.

I finish at the west end of the park, where the tulips were coming along. Companion muscari, a small purple flower, is often found beside tulips, as is the case here. 

Tomorrow we start looking at a visit some days later, when more of the tulips were showing themselves.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Green Tulips

 A good number of you have been awaiting the tulips, and so today we begin another extended series. The Canadian Tulip Festival is underway here in Ottawa and Gatineau, looking more like itself after the last two years in which the tulips were on display as you'd expect, but no associated programming,

I was in Major's Hill Park one day in the first days of May and took this photograph of Colonel John By, the British military engineer who oversaw the building of the Rideau Canal and is considered the founder of the city. Around the statue and beyond it, tulips were popping up out of the soil, but not yet showing their colours.

This view from the end of the row behind the Colonel shows Parliament Hill out beyond.

Some smaller beds in large planters in the park also had tulips poking up and growing.

There are some larger beds at the north end of the park, where workers were busy clearing out the beds of any stray leaves from over the winter. Notre Dame lurks in the background beyond some of the beds.

While the National Gallery stands beyond another. Some tulips were just starting to show some colour. I headed that way.

Then I headed over to the other beds.

Departing the park, I passed by the Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital, where tulips were showing themselves.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Spring Garden

Once a season I document the Landscapes of Canada Gardens at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Situated on the west side of the property, it features plants, grasses, shrubs, flowers, and trees from four distinct ecosystems in the country. A few days back I came by early one morning and documented. I started in the Boreal Forest area, where a number of trees and bushes and other plants can be found.

The path starts to transition to Prairie Grassland, where grasses are just starting to wake up in the spring. The path is a crescent that goes through the gardens, and up to a year or two ago portions of this area were roped off to discourage people from passing through the Grasslands portion. This hasn't stopped the purely lazy local walker who seems obliged to cut a path right through instead of taking the paved pathway. Blame the self-entitled locals- I do, having had watched one of them walk their dog right through an area that's supposed to be left alone while I was here. It's something I've tried to avoid photographing in the last year when I've done this series, but you can see the worn path on this shot.

Across from the paved path are a multitude of rocks, large and small, with shrubs and grasses growing among them. These plants constitute those of the next ecosystem, Arctic Tundra, and they've adapted well to the Ottawa climate.

Looming over the path itself is a work of art, a steel iceberg by the Canadian inventor and artist Bill Lishman.

Here it's seen from the sidewalk to the west.

The path carries on towards the Museum itself, with the last ecosystem to the left of the path.

Mammoth Steppe features plants and other vegetation that existed at the time of the mammoths.

A family of three mammoths in statue form, that pre-date the Gardens, stands alongside the path.

One last shot of the Museum, with the Queens Lantern. A model of the Moon hangs inside.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Spring Colours

One day around the middle of April I was approaching the grounds of the Peacekeeping Monument and noticed small flowers popping up on the lawn. I took time to photograph them. 

This view from the other side of the lawn looks under a portion of the monument and includes Parliament Hill and Major's Hill Park in the background.

A short walk away was the Elisabeth Bruyere Hospital, and in the gardens outside, new shoots were coming up.

A little while later that day, passing by Confederation Park, this caught my eye.

Late in the month, I passed by Central Park in the Glebe and photographed the scilla among the rocks on a slope. These tiny flowers can always be found here in abundance in the second half of April.

This last one was taken a couple of days later in the same location.