On Victoria Day, I went about extensively through Ottawa and Gatineau on one final day for photographing tulips. The shots in this post represent the last of those stops (though I'll have more posts ahead before I'm done with this series). I went to New Edinburgh, the neighbourhood on the east shore of the Rideau River where it meets its end, and came to Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada's Governor General. I photographed this flowerbed outside the main gates. The property, which has nearly eighty acres of land, doesn't have tulip beds formally (at least in the public grounds), but one can find them in spots like this. I expect to be up in the area this weekend- Doors Open includes the South African High Commission, for instance, and there are other nearby spots on my to-visit list.
I passed by these lovely blue flowers as I walked the grounds. The Governor General is largely a ceremonial role, representing the Queen, but it's worthwhile to have a head of state who stays out of politics. The property, which dates back to before Confederation, has housed the Governor Generals since 1867, and was originally home to Thomas McKay, the man who founded what was the village of New Edinburgh.
I remembered that there were trilliums on the property last year at this time, and sure enough, they were back.
This totem pole is on the grounds. The Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation of the Pacific Coast gave this to Governor General Lord Alexander in 1946, and its features incorporate elements of their culture. I have featured it before, and in fact a previous shot I took of it ended up on the cover for an issue of the magazine Canada's History last year. It has a place of prominence here on the grounds.
I couldn't leave the grounds without taking a shot of the manor itself. This time of year, the high season for tours is underway.
Many of the trees on the grounds are the result of ceremonial plantings by visiting dignitaries for over a century. I can't recall if this particular one was one of those, but a sound from above caught my ear. A woodpecker was hard at work up in the tree, and while most of him blends into the bark in this shot, that splash of his red head gives him away.
From Rideau Hall, I walked back to the parkland surrounding the Rideau River and Green Island, where the river splits into two branches and meets the Ottawa River. These tree blossoms, with the Ottawa River and the Gatineau shore, caught my eye.
There are tulip beds here in the park.
And there are two waterfalls. The Rideau River takes its name from the French word for curtain, and meets a beautiful end as the Rideau Falls. This is the east branch, photographed from the observation platform.
Here we see it from the outlook on Green Island itself.
And here we have the west branch, photographed from the platform by the National Research Council.