Thursday, June 1, 2017

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Nature

The first day of each month is a theme day for members of City Daily Photo. This month, that theme is Nature. You can find out how other photographers are dealing with the theme here.

My selection for the day is from Richelieu Park in the Vanier Quarter, taken back in April on Good Friday, when I was in the area photographing a couple of cemeteries. This property was once home to a Catholic order, the Society of Missionaries of Africa, known informally as the White Fathers. It was sold to the city of Vanier (later amalgamated as part of Ottawa) in 1977. Today the grounds serve as park land, with a community center, a local history museum called the Vanier Museopark, and a branch of the Ottawa Public Library on its 17.5 acres of property. It borders the nearby Beechwood Cemetery, which I featured in a series of posts in May. A good portion of the park, around the high ground, remains what it was already in the days of the White Fathers- a maple sugar bush.

This building is now home to the Vanier branch of the Ottawa library. It dates to the 1950s, but feels older. It housed the Soeurs Antonines de Marie, a sister order of the White Fathers. The sugar bush is off to the left.

Maple syrup tapping still happens here in the bush each spring, centered around this sugar shack, and done in the traditional way. The building offers maple syrup meals such as pancakes during the season, and off season is used for things like youth day camps. A careful eye might pick out a bucket hanging on at least one of these trees for the tapping process. These woodlands are a haven to wildlife in the heart of the city, and the sharp shadows of the trees against the early spring forest floor caught my eye, and made me think this spot was ideal for this particular theme day. I'll be using some other shots I took here for another theme day later in the year- the boulders and rocks that can be seen in these shots were typical of the grounds. This was the first time I visited this place, and it turned out to be a delight. I'll have to come back some time when the museum is open.


  1. What a wonderful park to have in the city! I hope you'll photograph it when the trees have leaves - and I'll bet it's gorgeous in the fall.

  2. The trees are still bare and they look so bare. I can imagine the beauty of the trees when they are fully covered with leaves. Have a beautiful day!

  3. No leaves yet when you took these photos. It was a nice sunny day though!

  4. ...Maple syrup time is sweet.

  5. I am thankful for maple syrup tapping!
    GDP/ Year 8 on CDP

  6. We only eat the real stuff, locally tapped from a friend.

    Best. Thing. Ever.

  7. Hello, maple syrup right from the trees sounds yummy. Lovely views of the park. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  8. @Kay: I expect it will.

    @Nancy: they should be leafed out by now.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Marleen: it was.

    @Tom: it is.

    @Janis: me too.

    @Whisk: it's so much better.

    @Eileen: thank you!

  9. Some of these photos remind me of my childhood when we used to go for long walks in the "woods".

  10. Always so good to have parks in the cities. I see the bucket!

  11. hiking is my fave!! i love getting outdoors and just enjoying the quiet. looks serene. ( ;

  12. There were some wise people on city council when they ought this property and kept it.

  13. That's an impressive looking library branch! And mample sugaring may just about be ended here in New England. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see any demos this year.

  14. I haven't even heard about maple tapping for years. Love those trees/woods. Lovely area!

  15. @Sharon: I grew up with a forest at the back side of half of the property, so I was always used to going out into the woods.

    @MB: I spotted two in the one shot. I expect there are others visible. At this point most of the tapping had been done, and someone was there working on bringing down the infrastructure for the tapping, but I did notice several of the buckets still hanging.

    @Beth: this place was quite peaceful.

    @Red: it was a good idea to save this.

    @Beatrice: quite formal for a library!

    @Lowell: it's very common up in this part of the continent.

    @Cloudia: indeed!

    @Linda: thanks!

  16. Reminds me of Vermont, friends of mine used to tap in to the maple trees for that great Vermont maple syrup. Nice photos for theme day William.

  17. Lovely shots and a great header too.

  18. I've never seen a sugar maple where I live - it's too warm for them. I've only seen them in books -- and now here in your post.

  19. It was a good year for maple syrup! Hurray!

  20. @Stuart: thanks!

    @Bill: Vermont has some good maple producing areas!

    @Lady Fi: thank you!

    @Barbara: here they are quite common.

    @Norma: as do ours.

    @RedPat: it was!

  21. The library looks like a late 1930's or up to 1942 building. Not much building was down until after WWII.

  22. So nice to find a woodlot inside the city!

  23. Our trees are so green, yours still look bare ... but a great selection of photographs William, thank you.

    Happy June By The Way!

    All the best Jan

  24. There is another short period of time: sugaring off!

  25. @Mari: and yet that library isn't as old as it looks! That's what surprised me.

    @Furry Gnome: it definitely is.

    @Jim: thanks!

    @Linda: me too.

    @Jan: our leaves tend to come out in late April and through May. This place will be quite different now.

    @Jennifer: it doesn't last long!

  26. The park must look amazing during Autumn. Nice collection of pictures.

  27. Perfect for the theme William, I can see why the tall trees and​ their shadows appealed, they make fabulous images!