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.