Friday, February 28, 2014

Red, Blue, And Perfection In Ice Carvings

I am finishing with the ice sculptures by night portion of Winterlude. There will still be more of the festivities to come though. To address a question from yesterday, these ice sculptures are broken up after the festivities. Left to melt by themselves, there would be a liability issue if anyone happened to get hurt by trying to climb up onto these things. So their only lasting record is in photography.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Surfing The Waves Of Bright Lights

Lights cast a sculpture into a way you wouldn't have otherwise seen it before, as is the case with these sculptures.

When I first photographed the games sculpture above, I didn't quite show all of it- below,  we see the Rubiks cube, a marble, and jacks, if I'm not mistaken.

I thought the horses and rider merited shots in different light.

A reminder to fellow photobloggers: the first of March will be a CDP theme day, on people in the street.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shimmering Sculptures And Light

A comment about yesterday's post reminded me of this mermaid song by the Newfoundland band Great Big Sea. If you ever get a chance to see them in concert, believe me, they're an amazing live act. Seeing these ice sculptures at night, lit up, is dramatically different from daytime.

The lighting also extends to the sculptures surrounding the Colonel By fountain.

As well as this Mexican sculpture I showed you some days ago.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mermaids In Vivid Colour

The lights that are used at night on the ice sculptures in Confederation Park change colours gradually, lingering perhaps thirty seconds before transitioning into the next hue. Here we have the two mermaid statues in different colours.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lighting The Sculptures

Here we have the World War One Centennial ice sculpture fully lit.

It's a stark contrast to yesterday's capture of the sculpture in daylight.

The couple, of course, is the focal point of the entire display.

Not that far off in the park, the campfire caught my eye that evening. Numerous people were sitting around it, and I wondered what might come up with a shot. The flame dominates the image.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Farewell To The Troops

A number of hotels and restaurants in the city are official sponsors in one way or another for Winterlude. The Chateau Laurier had this ice sculpture out at the front entrance through the festival. The front entrance has a southern exposure, so it gets more sunlight through the day. That has an effect on the transparency of the ice over time.

By contrast, the ice sculpture out front at the Lord Elgin Hotel is more transparent. This entrance is on the east side, so it gets a limited amount of direct sunlight exposure.

Close by at Confederation Park, this sculpture was erected after the first weekend, meant to allow for people to pose for photographs by stepping behind and putting their face at the gap.

This is the sculpture I showed you the other day being prepared. The large wall represents a train, taking soldiers off to the Great War. 

I wanted a closeup of this couple saying their farewells.

Stepping back, you see more detail in the train and the surrounding figures. 

Tomorrow I'll start showing you the ice sculptures by night.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Out By The Campfire

It isn't all ice sculptures here in Confederation Park during Winterlude. There was a theme this year of backwoods living in some of the displays. Typically each year there will be one or two of these campfires in the park, surrounded by Muskoka chairs. When the fire is lit, it's a nice spot to relax. Surrounding this were several hut constructs with interior displays.

This one featured a customized chair out front with skis as its back.

Walking through the hut brings the visitor this view.

Another hut was surrounded by a web of branches, not unlike an igloo form.

This last one featured an interior display focusing on the night sky.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Ice Carvers At Work

Back in Confederation Park today. This is the shelter that housed the first set of ice sculptures, complete with national flags of the various carvers, fluttering in the breeze.

This is another one of the outdoor ice sculptures, erected by a pair of Mexican ice carvers.

After the first weekend of Winterlude, on the west side of the park, several carvers were busy at work at a larger sculpture.

This is something that was being assembled to mark the centennial this year of the First World War.

I'll have the finished product posted in a blog on the weekend.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Skating The Canal

The Rideau Canal remains the heart of Winterlude, popular for skaters throughout the festival and beyond. Here at the base of the Bank Street Bridge, skaters on a Saturday are making good use of the ice.

Another day, with clear skies, brought me to the same location. This is one of the arches of the bridge. The sign post you see beneath it is one of the bus stops for the shuttle bus service that the city runs from site to site during Winterlude. 

Coming out to the east side of the bridge, we get a view of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons on the far side of the Canal, which I've shown you before.

Downtown, many more skaters are here near the end of the skateway, beneath the Mackenzie King bridge. Confederation Park is over there to the right.

This view from the top of the bridge gives you an idea of how busy the Canal can get on a weekend.

The same applies in the early evening.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Canadian Cuisine

I promise, this blog is not going to turn into a foodie blog.

I've shown you one of these huts on the Rideau Canal before. This is a permanent location for Beavertails in the Byward Market, across from the market building itself. The business was started, and is still run by, an Ottawa Valley family whose fried dough treat has caught on well here and has become an institution, particularly during Winterlude. The dough is shaped like a beavertail, fried up, and coated in various ways. There are franchises around the country, and temporary huts set up for festivals and other special occasions here in Ottawa and Gatineau. When President Obama first came on an official visit in February 2009, he picked up a Beavertail here, and the treat has been served at the Canadian embassy in Washington during the last couple of inauguration days (note to Marylanders and Virginians: keep that in mind for the next inauguration).

Here's one of them, with cinnamon and sugar.

Another Canadian staple for a cold winter day? It's a dish called poutine. It might look awful, but it tastes marvelous. There are variations in the recipe, but basically it consists of fries, covered with cheese curds and gravy. It's a filling lunch or dinner. I had this over at Dunn's, a restaurant also in the Market.