Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alas, Poor Yorick! I Knew Him, Horatio!

I couldn't help it with that title. It's the first thing I thought of when I saw our friend in the first shot. Some shots from various front gardens and porch steps in Ottawa all set for All Hallow's Eve. The last two shots are from the storefront window at Wallack's, an art shop downtown.

Happy Hallowe'en!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bridge Over Quiet Waters

The Bank Street Bridge by day and night over the Rideau Canal, taken from the west. I'm glad I took these shots before the waters were lowered for the winter.

To give you a sense of how much the water is lowered for the season, this is a more recent shot, taken early in the morning from the base of the bridge. It's as low as the water is lowered; it'll be raised a bit to allow for winter skating. The church you see up at the left is Southminster United Church.

Just a few metres from where these shots were taken, a small sign has been posted for several years by the bike path, giving directions to major sites. And the Netherlands... which is quite a distance away! It was placed there during the Tulip Festival in 2009, hence the Dutch connection.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Brave And The Bold

On the north lawn at Ottawa City Hall stands a memorial for local firefighters, erected in recent years. Two firefighters, one carrying a rescued child, the other manning a hose, are locked in a position of readiness.

Around them, the walls on one side list donors who helped make the memorial possible. On the other side, there are panels of fallen firefighters through the history of the city, both those killed in the line of duty or who died of illnesses directly linked to the job. There's room for more, because it's a profession that demands a steep price from those who join it.

This is actually one of two firefighter monuments in the city. The other is down near the Canadian War Museum, and that one is also new. It's the national memorial. 

One day I was donating blood in the main atrium in City Hall, and I looked out the windows onto a courtyard on the east side. There before me was a sculpture of a lion sitting out in the courtyard, alongside a steel beam sculpture before it (no, I've never figured out why the two are together). The lion is hollow, light on one side and dark on the other, so it's two different kinds of steel making up a single lion. I took to thinking of it as the Ghost And The Darkness.

Those of you who have seen the Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas film will know what I'm talking about. Those who haven't, go watch it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Flame And The Tower

Earlier this month, late on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I went up to Parliament Hill, where a number of visitors were around the Centennial Flame. It was unveiled in our centennial year, 1967, by Prime Minister Lester Pearson (in my opinion, the best leader we ever had). The shields of the provinces and most of the territories- Nunavut was organized in 1999, so it's absent- encircle the flame, and water pours down the slopes into a fountain. On a cold day, the heat is quite welcome.

This was actually the first time I've photographed fire. Oddly, it's tricky!

Beyond the Flame is the walkway up to the main entrance of the Centre Block, and the Peace Tower. This is the second version of the Centre Block; the first was destroyed by fire in 1916, with only the Library of Parliament behind it saved.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

An Autumn Day's Stroll

The Arboretum is a stretch of parkland in Ottawa, between Dow's Lake and the Rideau Canal on the east side, and the Experimental Farm on the west side. It's filled with a rich variety of trees, and offers high ground with a splendid view. It's a wonderful place for walking through the seasons, but particularly in the fall. The Arboretum is often used by wedding parties for photography on weekends, and come winter, some of the slopes on the high ground are ideal for toboggans and sleds.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Falling Leaves

Over to the right, you'll notice the City Daily Photo icon. Click on that, and it takes you right to the site, where photographers around the world have their blogs posted. I added it on here; I've been in touch with the person in charge, and while there are a few things going on with the site at the moment, have been told to get back in touch around the end of the month if I'm not formally listed in the site. Anyway, CDP starts out the month with a theme for the day. This November 1st, the theme is Heights. This theme was easy to choose, and I've already taken my pics. 

Back to it then. Today and tomorrow I'll wrap up the fall blogs; after that, autumn colours will no doubt be turning up in the odd pics, but the peak of the season is passing. When I took this in Old Ottawa South a few days ago, the red leaves of these maples on a quiet street had reached full colours, and had started falling.

These shots are taken along the Rideau Canal, coming through the Arboretum, which I'll expand on in the next blog. The shots were taken on the Thanksgiving weekend; at present, the water levels have been lowered for the winter season.

Another shot of the Canal, from the Mackenzie King Bridge, gives you a view of the Laurier Bridge to the south.

And this last one is up near the National Arts Centre (there in the background), a monument facing the War Memorial. This is Brigadier Andrew Gault, soldier, industrialist, and founder of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Regiment. The regiment was named for a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and despite the odd name, it has a long history and a fierce reputation. It dates back to the First World War, when Gault was a mere captain, and the regiment has served through the Second World War, Korea, Afghanistan, and NATO and UN Operations since, still active today. The shot was taken in the last few days, but the statue stands out well against the trees behind it. I'll have to take this shot again in the winter.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Changing Seasons And Imminent Departures

Along the streets of the Glebe, there are bright colours to be found amid the trees.

Over at Dow's Lake, birds might still be found. We do tend to see ducks stay over the winter- not all of the ones that are here during the summer, but some will spend the winter near places on the Rideau River that don't ice over. Canada Geese, on the other hand, such as the one on the left, will soon be on their way. Assuming they haven't already gone. This one might just be stopping in on the way from further north.

And they call them Canada Geese. First sign of cold weather, the cranky cowards are bolting south for the winter...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shades Of Red, Gold, And Brown

I like the way the maple leaves hang above those already on the ground, still a mix of gold and green. This is taken in Dundonald Park a week or two ago.

The Rideau Canal, taken from the Bank Street bridge earlier in the month. It's a very similar view from the header pic. This was on a wet afternoon, and the trees here were turning colours quickly.

On a more pleasant day, late in the afternoon in Old Ottawa South, the sun highlights this tree, a mix of red, green, and gold.

While at a nearby home, the ivy on the wall is showing its fall colours too.

Finally, over at Carleton University, this shot from the library captures the area around Hartwell Locks, where the trees are a mix of red, gold, and green. The area beyond the Locks, we'll get into soon in another blog. It's called the Arboretum.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Champlain On The Bridge

We've been here before. I was heading onto Plaza Bridge before Thanksgiving when my eyes fell on that bright autumn red of the tree below. I've shown this location before as well, from a different angle. The wall you see is that same area where back in September I showed you the Muskoka chairs, and the staircase with the paintings is directly below (the painting's gone now). The glass structure over on the other side of the Canal is the new Convention Centre. I'll take you in there sometime; it's a spectacular use of space. 

After taking this shot, I looked over onto the bridge, and couldn't resist taking another shot of the Chateau Laurier. Below the bridge, you can see the underlying arch I've shown you before at night. 

The sidewalk on this side of Plaza Bridge is quite wide, out in front of the Government Conference Centre. For the last few years, this space has been used in the summer for the placement of interpretive panels and  displays of history. In previous years, anniversaries of the Coast Guard or Navy were the theme, or the establishment of National Parks. This year, being the four hundredth anniversary of Champlain's coming up the Ottawa River, the theme has been on the explorer, with a series of panels displaying his story and what the places he passed through now look like. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I was back down in Dundonald Park before the weekend, where the leaves are quickly turning, many fallen on the grass. And throughout the park, around lamposts, benches, and railings, there were samples of yarnbombing to be found, sections of knitting closely fitted over these places. It makes for a very colourful addition, though one must wonder who was behind it...

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monuments In The Park: First Nations

The Aboriginal Veteran's Monument is the last of the military monuments in Confederation Park, and it has always impressed me. It stands on the western edge of the park, across from the Lord Elgin hotel, and is a mixture of First Nations people and their spiritual ties to the land. Atop the stone base, we can find the wolf, the elk, the bison, and the bear. First Nations warriors form the second layer in the sculpture, and the entire work is topped by a magnificent eagle. It speaks to the tradition of the warrior in our First Nations peoples, as well as a long history of Aboriginal veterans serving in the Canadian Forces, throughout both World Wars, Korea, and many other military operations. I prefer taking shots of it from all four sides.