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.