Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Stories Of The Far North

The Muskoxen are a group of topiaries representing the Northwest Territories, set amid a colourful bed of flowers and grasses. These mighty animals of the high Arctic are of the same general family that include mountain goats and bighorn sheep, but bigger. As a topiary form, they're larger than life, and quite shaggy.

Across the pathway is The Prospector. This represents the Yukon, and is a nod to the story of the Klondike gold rush that sparked in 1896 and sent those seeking fortune and glory into the territory, as well as into Alaska. Canadian authorities at the time required prospectors to bring in enough supplies to survive a year in the wilderness on their own. That could translate into a ton of gear. Of the countless hordes that came in from all over the world, it has been estimated that only four thousand of them hit paydirt. This topiary features a water system that circulates over the pan repeatedly.

Beside the Prospector is a glimpse of a topiary I'll show you in a couple of days.

I took more shots of the muskoxen from this side.

Nunavut, the most recently incorporated of Canada's provinces and territories, is represented by this topiary, The Drum Dancer, also seen in the above shot. Drum dancing is a cultural activity for the Inuit, used not only as music but to tell stories of all that has come before- family histories, knowledge of the land, and spirituality. 

I conclude for today with this view of where we've already been. Tomorrow's topiaries are decidedly different.


  1. That is so impressive must be even more so walking around it

  2. Very beautiful outstanding work done here.

    cheers, parsnip and badger

  3. I'm impressed by all those wonderful topiaries, the prospector is truly amazing.

  4. ...the frozen north doesn't look so frozen here!

  5. Those are amazing!....and would would require a lot trimming I suppose.

  6. The muskoxen are incroyable! All are fabulous ✨

  7. Hello, they are amazing. The Muskoxen are awesome! Happy Tuesday, enjoy your day!

  8. @Lady Fi: they are well taken care of.

    @Bill: I certainly thought so.

    @Parsnip: thank you!

    @MB: so do I.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Jan: definitely.

    @Tom: no it does not.

    @Janey: a lot of trimming, and a good deal of watering.

    @Grace: I agree!

    @Eileen: thank you.

  9. Just wonderful! I sure do enjoy these unique glimpses into the past. I love the musk oxen. :-)

  10. I love the way Canada remembers the people indigenous peoples and those yak-like topiaries would look so real in low light.


  11. I hate to be critical, but I don't think these guys have ever seen a muskox. I stood beside them in a pen when they had been captured.They're not that big and surprisingly calm animals.

  12. Gorgeous sculptures! I love the face expression of the drum dancer :-)

  13. I love how they got that shaggy effect on the muskoxen.

  14. These ones are fabulous! I really like that prospector!

  15. Lovely photos. The musk oxen look so real.

  16. The muskoxen are pretty impressive.

  17. @DJan: I've enjoyed showing them thus far. Much more to come.

    @Janis: they are quite something to see up close.

    @Red: I haven't seen them in anything but a zoo.

    @Tamago: so do I.

    @Sharon: they're quite shaggy at this point in the year.

    @RedPat: I do as well.

    @Maywyn: thank you!

    @Bill: I think so.

  18. And "paydirt" probably varied greatly in value.

  19. Wow! Love this post and photos ~ what a place and what creativity!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  20. Wow more great photos. I can't even pick a favorite - they all are.

  21. I guess it's like combining sculpture and gardening into one hobby.

  22. @Revrunner: I imagine for a good number of that four thousand, paydirt meant a decent profit. Men were lucky to break even in gold rushes, but many more never got back the amount of money they put into the effort.

    @Carol: thank you!

    @Happyone: I enjoyed each.

    @Eve: it very much is that.

    @Mari: thanks!

  23. Those muskoxen are incredible. Talented people!

  24. i wanna look for gold. way cool. so amazing!! do they ever win any awards? awesome! ( ;

  25. I haven't seen any of these features that isn't superb. It's such a well done exhibit.

  26. These are truly amazing, William.

  27. Amazing and beautiful topiaries. I would be taking lots and lots of photos.

  28. So many wonderful topiaries, the prospector is just amazing.

    All the best Jan

  29. @Marie: very much so.

    @Beth: it's not competitive.

    @Kay: it definitely is.

    @Catalyst: they are!

    @Nancy: I did!

    @Mike: definitely.

    @Norma: they are.

    @Catarina: I agree.

    @Denise: yes it is.

    @Jan: definitely!