Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Terrain

I visited the Museum of Nature on Canada Day, which as you can imagine was insanely busy. Before going in, I walked along the west side of the property. When I last took you on a tour of the museum, I mentioned that there was a landscaping project underway on the west side. Last fall most of the work was done, and the area was fenced off, with some last details handled this spring before the area was opened. It's called the Landscapes Of Canada Gardens, and it presents around sixty species of plants and trees as you pass through.

The idea is to present various terrains of Canada with their plant life along the path. It starts with boreal forest- evergreens have been planted here, as you can see in the background, along with ground shrubs and bushes, all of which are marked. On a subsequent visit I even noticed different species of lichen on the dead tree in the center have been marked.


The path then leads into prairie grassland. In collaboration with a museum in the West, the Museum has planted a considerable amount of prairie grasses and flowers, a hint of what once covered a massive part of North America. At different times of the year, and even different times of the day, this section in particular will look quite different for the photographer.


The path next leads to tundra landscape, including small flowers and scrub bush that usually grow in the most inhospitable parts of the country, perhaps for a few weeks a year. I did not record the name of this particular flower among the rocky terrain.


There is also a large work of art here. This iceberg sculpture is visually fascinating, allowing the visitor to walk right through it. It is the work of the Canadian artist Bill Lishman. You might not know the name at first- he's the same fellow who built an ultra-light aircraft to teach geese and other birds to fly south, and his story was retold in the film Fly Away Home.


There is also a section here where the woolly mammoth sculptures have been moved from their original location, which was close to where the iceberg sculpture has been placed. Behind them have been planted shrubs and flowers that are still around today, but were also present in the era when the real mammoths walked the earth at the close of the last ice age. This area is referred to as the Mammoth Steppe.

30 comments:

  1. Today the story is funny and entertaining with iceberg sculture, buildings, scultures of animals and plants.

    Tomás.

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  2. Beautiful! And I love the mammoths!

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  3. Quite a lot to see there. Love the 3rd photo with the different color grasses. As for the geese. I think we need a reverse trip for fly away home. In Greensboro, we had about 5,000 Canada geese in 1998 and by 2009 over 100,000. I can't imagine how the population has multiplied now. They would look lovely in the wooly mammoth steppe!

    Janis
    GDP

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  4. Beautiful sculptures. Looking forward for more lovely photos from this museum.

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  5. Beautiful sculptures! I really like the mammoths.

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  6. @Tomas: thanks for stopping by.

    @Linda: I have always liked them.

    @Janis: we have plenty of geese as it is!

    @Nancy: I am featuring a look at the Bird Gallery over the coming days.

    @Marianne: I do too.

    @Bill: they're fun to walk up to.

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  7. Interesting post, William, I like the sculptrures and the mammoths.

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  8. Fly Away Home is one of my favorite movies! (I love Canada geese....)

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  9. What a cool place to spend an afternoon!

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  10. You can see all of Canada in one go! :)

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  11. @Furry Gnome: I certainly think it was well thought out.

    @Karl: thank you!

    @Norma: just not the mess they make!

    @Cloudia: it is. It's a wonderful museum.

    @Halcyon: well, aside perhaps from coastal tidal zones and rain forests!

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  12. These exhibits are well worthwhile and something I would spend time at if I visited.

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  13. That's a wonderful terrain in the middle of the city with a lot of interesting objects.

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  14. That is a very exciting and aggressive concept for the garden. I'm impressed at how they put it all together.

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  15. Finally something that is not all concrete and steel. I am impressed with all the flora--native too. I like the idea.
    MB

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  16. What an amazing concept and beautifully carried out...I do remember Bill Lishman and that wonderful movie that was so moving! Re the landscaping, though: where are all the palm trees? :))

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  17. really like that idea of the various plantings!

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  18. I like that garden! It will get better every year!

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  19. @Red: it was a wonderful idea. After the renovations there was some back and forth on what to do with the west side. While there is some parking close to the building, a lot of this land has been set aside for this.

    @Jan: a living museum exhibit is a good thing.

    @Sharon: it was well thought out, I think.

    @MB: and it turns out the tundra plants are doing well here. I imagine they'll get bigger over time than their counterparts in the far north.

    @Lowell: no palm trees in Canada, unless they're indoors!

    @Tex: my hat's off to the people who came up with the idea.

    @RedPat: I expect it will. I'll photograph this area from time to time.

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  20. Wow what a building and I love the iceberg sculptures and wooly mammoths!

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  21. I remember watching the PBS show about the migration.

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  22. Looks like that place is interesting inside and out.....and very royal looking.

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  23. The prairie grass can be quite sharp. At least it was on the quarter of an acre that Papa wasn't able to farm because of an road and a creek cutting the acre in half. Wild flowers grew there too and one year a small maze-like plant with golden kernels on a stem. Papa tried to get them to grow, but they did not. I remember the Fly Away Home. Cool.

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  24. Spectacular! It would seem a real challenge to keep a garden like this doing well - particularly some of those tundra plants. But the planning no doubt took that into account.
    I remember "Fly Away Home." Fascinating story.

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  25. i always wonder what folks are thinking when they make art. way cool. ( :

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  26. The gardens look amazing William, fascinating to think some plants today have been around for such a long time!

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  27. Spectacular for sure. The art. I love the Elephants.

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  28. This would be a fun visit. You are an excellent tour guide!

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