Saturday, June 2, 2018

Paying A Visit To New Edinburgh

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.


  1. So many beautiful flowers. I like the blue trilliums as a nice addition to the tulips; love that totem pole and the photos of the waterfalls are just gorgeous!

  2. I adore the totem pole! We rarely see them here because the original residents did not have them in Virginia.

  3. Tulips and totems! Love them both, and the waterfalls aren't bad either!

  4. Love the beautiful and colourful flowers! I love waterfalls, seldom get to see them here!

  5. I love the totem, maybe it's because we don't have them here or only in a museum.

  6. Interesting and informative post, William.
    Love the totem pole, and the tulips, obviously !

  7. ...the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation totem is a wonderful find.

  8. I like the totem pole, the blue flowers and the tulpen, of cours! :)
    Have a nice weekend!

  9. Hello, looks like a nice place to visit. I love the flowers and waterfalls. Nice sighting of the Pileated Woodpecker. ENjoy your day and weekend!

  10. The water appears to be flowing smoothly. With so many water insecure places in the world, I'm always happy to see water flowing.


  11. There is so much to photograph in Ottawa. You are fortunate to have such a setting William.

  12. I wish that I could grow Trilliums, but unfortunately my soil is not suitable.

  13. @Lowell: thank you.

    @Linda: they are common among the people of the west coast.

    @Pat: the waterfalls always appeal to me.

    @Nancy: Ontario has a lot of waterfalls.

    @Gattina: I know some ended up in museums abroad.

    @Karl: thank you!

    @Tom: I was looking at that one again just yesterday.

    @Ella: thank you.

    @Eileen: it is quite a thing to watch a woodpecker at work.

    @Janis: it is soothing.

    @Marie: I am!

    @Rosemary: this area has the right climate for trilliums.

  14. What a fine totem pole that is, and those falls are simply astounding. Great shots, William. :-)

  15. Rideau Hall provides a variety of very photographic opportunities.

  16. A nice variety of photos, William. I like the totempole! Can't pronounce the name you mention though :)

  17. I enjoyed our visit today! "it's worthwhile to have a head of state who stays out of politics" Indeed! Studies who constitutional monarchies are richer and more stable forms of gov't! We in the US however are fighting an UN-constitutional tyrant at the moment....

  18. love that you sighted a woodpecker they are always busy around here. gorgeous blooms!! ( ;

  19. I remember some of these views from last years blog. Again, you live in a beautiful place.
    Congratulations on the photo cover I have always been interested in Totems .
    I have had a few of my photos posted.

    cheers, parsnip

  20. I love that first pic of the Rideau Falls. It does look like a curtain!

  21. @Francisco: thanks!

    @DJan: thank you.

    @Maywyn: thanks!

    @Red: yes, and it was busy today, though I didn't go on the grounds itself.

    @Jan: they certainly are. I had a look at them just a little while ago during one of my Doors Open stops.

    @Marleen: I'd have problems pronouncing it myself.

    @Sharon: so do I.

    @Cloudia: we did the smart thing!

    @Beth: this one was quite a sight.

    @Parsnip: thank you.

    @RedPat: it's a lovely waterfall.

  22. I like that shot right after the one of the woodpecker.

  23. I can't decide which I like best--the tulips or the falls.

  24. Excellent tour. Sorry to hear it is the final day, but blooms never last forever.

  25. We really got around in this post! Even a totem pole and waterfalls. Nice. (I keep looking for trilium around here but haven't succeeded so far.)

  26. Loved the tulips.
    Loved the Totem Pole.
    Really enjoyed the photographs of the waterfalls too.

    Great post.

    All the best Jan

  27. I was once in old Edinburgh ... a long time ago.

  28. Tulips, yes, but the trillium is beautiful and so are the waterfalls. Really love the remarkable totem pole.

  29. @Catalyst: thanks!

    @Norma: they're both good.

    @Mari: tulips are short lived, but they are a delight.

    @Kay: trilliums also seem to be short lived.

    @Jan: thank you!

    @Klara: I'd love to see Edinburgh.

    @Jeanie: thanks!