Continuing on with my favourite shots of 2018, today I'm concentrating on Gatineau and the larger area called the Outaouais- a French translation for the Ottawa River and this area along its shore in the province of Quebec. Winterlude has activities in Gatineau as well as in Ottawa in February, with Jacques Cartier Park on the shore of the Ottawa River being turned into a massive snowy playground. Snow sculptures are part of that.
In May, Tom and his wife came up to Ottawa to see the tulips, and I escorted them on tours of the area. That included an excursion into Gatineau Park, a large swath of nature beyond the city of Gatineau in the regional municipality of Les Collines-des-l'Outaouais. We stopped at this countryside church, St. Stephen's Catholic Church, in the village of Chelsea. The parish has roots that go back to 1840, with the current building dated to the 1880s.
Up in Gatineau Park itself, the Mackenzie King Estate is to be found. William Lyon Mackenzie King, one of our finest prime ministers, left this weekend retreat that had been his real home to the people of Canada in his will. This is a view of one of the houses, Moorside, taken in May.
The Gatineau River flows along the east edges of Gatineau Park towards its terminus with the Ottawa River, and here at the village of Wakefield, we find the Wakefield Covered Bridge crossing it. This view from the north gives a good view of the bridge, which was rebuilt in the 1990s after the first bridge was destroyed by fire. Today it is a pedestrian and bikes only bridge, and it is a beauty, spanning a length of 87.8 metres.
The Canadian Museum of History stands along the shore of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, another of our national museums, and I've visited several times over the year. Each visit always includes a look at the monumental abstract mural Morning Star, by the First Nations artist Alex Janvier, high over the Grand Hall. This photo includes people in the upper level, reinforcing how big the mural is. If I had to pick a favourite work of art in the National Capital Region, this would be it.
On another visit, I took in one of the temporary exhibits. Medieval Europe is soon to finish up its time here, and examines life in Europe from the end of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance. At the heart of the space are a series of screens that rotate between images of European architecture and period statues. This particular one, with visitors amid the architecture, stuck with me.
Jacques Cartier Park hosted the topiary event MosaiCanada for the second and final year, a fabulous collection of living, sculpted art. They included a mother and cub pair of foxes, much larger than life.
This one featured a shepherd, sheep dog, and sheep- the dog's expression was priceless.
One of the show stoppers was this massive tree containing a variety of birds.
And of course my favourite of all the topiaries, a First Nations inspired take on Mother Earth, surrounded by animals and looking quite peaceful.
An October visit back to the Gatineau Hills brought me back to the Mackenzie King Estate for the fall colours. King was something of an eccentric, taking bits and pieces of buildings that were demolished and incorporating them into his estate as follies. They included various pieces that make up what is today called the Abbey, which looks splendid among fall colours.
And I finish with this grand view. There are several lookout spots not far from the Estate. This one is the Champlain Lookout. Here the visitor can look out over the steep drop to the valley floor. The Ottawa River is there in the distance, winding its way upstream.