Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Cabinet Of Curiousities

The campus library at Carleton has been going through a lot of changes. Two years of renovations have added on extra space and changed things around. There's a display case by the main entrance, which can pose some challenges for shooting pics through glass, particularly with the way the area is lit. For several months, a number of preserved animals were on display here. These are from the collection of Michael Runtz, a naturalist.


Runtz is the kind of professor every student wishes they can get to take a class with. His courses consist of his exceptional photography with his commentary about the animals in question. He makes things interesting and engaging, and he's a good storyteller.


A lot of his work takes him into Algonquin Provincial Park to the west of Ottawa. Aside from his academic work here, he's often to be found giving talks in the Park during the summer, and engaging in wolf howls. If you're interested in his work, his guide books and photobooks can easily be found at Amazon.



39 comments:

  1. You remind me of a pleasant Summer's week spent on a wonderful lake near Renfrew Ont....Such great country


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral

    =^..^=

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  2. A man engaging in wolf howls would certainly capture my attention...

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  3. It's too bad good teachers aren't paid what they're worth.

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  4. Reminds me of the Natural History Museum I visited yesterday, especially the fox.

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  5. Sounds like my kind of person . especially engaging in wolf howls , I used to do that up on the farm and the forks of the credit all in Caledon with the wolves and Coyotes . Lovely post and photos . Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

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  6. Cloudia: Renfrew and its surroundings are a beautiful part of my province. I know the area well.

    Ciel: it is a public program well established in Algonquin. On a wolf howl night you can get over a thousand people turning up for one.

    MB: he is a terrific professor.

    Stuart: quite so.

    Revrunner: I have to get into our nature museum sometime.

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  7. If I only lived closer to Ottawa!

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  8. You've not lived until you've wolf howled!
    Jane x

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  9. sounds like an interesting sort. :)

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  10. Sounds like a good class. And we don't have enough good teachers and professors....

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  11. Good story teller are always fascinating!

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  12. @Country Gal: the sound of wolves is magic.

    @EG: you'll have to get out this way sometime.

    @Jane and Chris: absolutely!

    @Luis: thanks!

    @Tex: he is!

    @Norma: we don't.

    @Tanya: Professor Runtz is good at that job!

    @Karl: they are indeed.

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  13. Lucky students! Good story tellers are the best teachers.

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  14. I bet the Provincial Park is home to many, many birds and animals to observe.

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  15. Learning is definitely much easier and enjoyable if you have an interesting professor, I'm guessing there will be no nodding off in his classes:)

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  16. Great display. I'm not sure why the wolf howls intrigue people, but then I was never sure why the cattleman's yell would intrigue people, but it does. People kayaking on the river would try to respond in kind to my husband's yell when he let loose with that primitive scream. Most were poor imitators. We had a dog that would howl like a wolf. I did love to listen to him.

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  17. You went on a safe duck hunting outing in Ottawa. :)

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  18. This is a wonderful display and you did a good job of photographing in a difficult situation .

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  19. @Jose: Quite so!

    @Sharon: Algonquin is one of my favourite places in the world. I haven't been there in awhile though.

    @Grace: certainly not. I do remember a constitutional law course, however, which involved a lot of nodding off.

    @Mari: to me it's the call of the wild.

    @Eve: quite safe indeed!

    @Judy: thanks!

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  20. His lectures must be wonderful!

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  21. Looks like he has a lot of amazing books and photography. I really like the cover with the fox in the snow.

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  22. I love to listen to good story tellers. Since the wolf seems to come back to the Netherlands, I hope to hear the wolf howl sometime.

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  23. Your photographs came out really well. Mr Runtz sounds like a very interesting person.

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  24. Nice display. I worked for a time at a nature center that used taxidermied animals as teaching tools that children could touch. Poor things got pretty beaten up.

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  25. I was afraid and curious at the same time to click this post title. I wasn't sure what would be here.

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  26. He sounds like an interesting person to listen to.

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  27. He sounds fascinating, William, and what a lovely cabinet display!

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  28. @Bibi: I thought there'd be comments like that!

    @Cheryl: I think so.

    @RedPat: they are.

    @Krisztina: he's gifted with the camera.

    @Jan: if you're ever here in August, go to the Park. They have the howls that month for the public.

    @Lauren: thanks!

    @Kay: I remember the Museum in Toronto had similar teaching aids.

    @Whisk: sometimes the titles come from strange places.

    @Marleen: very interesting indeed!

    @Linda: thanks!

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  29. Sounds like a professor who really enjoys his work. His students can't help but get excited learning from him. You did well with your photos too--I know just how difficult it is to get photos through display glass.

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  30. Sounds like a class I would enjoy! Great collection of critters :)

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  31. Interesting assortment of animals. I would love to hear some of those wolf howls in the Park!

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  32. It is interesting to see these "curiosities." The Old State House in Hartford also has a collection of similar curiosities. I wonder why public institutions like this display "curiosities."

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  33. Considering the lighting was so bright I think you did great taking photos of these displays. Michael Runtz sounds like a very interesting person, thank you for introducing him to me. I'm off to Amazon to look at his books.

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  34. As much as I don't like seeing them stuffed, interesting seeing what they look like.

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