Friday, January 4, 2019

Ottawa Viewpoints On A Cold Winter Day

I went out for a walk on Christmas Day. The walk did me some good, as I was in a fairly dark mood over the holidays. It was a bright, cold day, and I came up to Nepean Point, a high spot overlooking the Ottawa River. This view towards Parliament Hill shows the ice on the river at the entrance into the Rideau Canal.

A shift to the left looks towards Major's Hill Park, the Connaught Building, and the Chateau Laurier in the background, with the National Gallery over at the left. Nepean Point is based on the grounds of the National Gallery.

Looking back to the west gives us this view of the Ottawa River in the midst of freeze-up. There's more ice on the river now, though upstream the water will remain open all winter as a result of the influence of the Chaudiere Falls. If you look closely, you might make out a viewing platform below with people on it. That is near the beginning of the Alexandra Bridge.

This view looks north as the Alexandra crosses the river into Gatineau.

And this view looks east, taking in the Macdonald-Cartier Bridge.

The shadow above is the statue that stands up here. The French explorer Samuel de Champlain first came up the Ottawa River in 1613. A tribute to him has been here for decades.

I left the Point and came down around to the front of the National Gallery. One of the outdoor sculptures on the grounds is this bronze one. Maman is by Louise Bourgeois, who seems to have a thing for spiders on a big scale. This is one of seven versions of Maman, the others being in London, Bilbao, Tokyo, Qatar, South Korea, and Arkansas. In the first two shots, Notre Dame across the street provides a backdrop (with a woman in the first shot to show scale). In the last shot, the Gallery is the backdrop. I'll be taking you inside the Gallery in a few days, as last evening, a few hours before this post went live, I spent time inside taking in the art.


  1. Always a good idea to let the sun lighten up your mind.
    Very beautiful shots, too - even though I do not like the cold.

  2. I have encountered two of Louise Bourgeois's spiders - their impact on the eye is immediate and once seen never forgotten.
    I hope that the blue skies and sunshine lifted your spirits.

  3. What a wonderful winter shots, William. I hope the walk made your Christmas Day more barebable.
    I love that giant spider. You've shown it before, I think, but this is never boring.

  4. Sometimes it seems that Ottawa IS winter! That fact gets reinforced when I talk to my daughter. It will be minus four here and minus eighteen there! A dusting of snow here, 12 cm there! Her husband is still clearing the driveway three weeks after we have plants coming up! I once read that after Moscow, Ottawa is the coldest national capital in the world.

  5. Great images, William, and yes, it looks really cold...

  6. The Champlain statue looks more animated than such statues are. It is quite beautiful. A good walk can refresh the soul, especially in winter.

  7. ...the blue sky makes the landscape look a bit warmer!

  8. Walking is good for the spirits. If I ever get my foot fixed ...

  9. @Iris: I love the cold.

    @Rosemary: when the spider was first placed here, there were people writing into the paper saying they couldn't go into the main entrance anymore because they were scared of spiders.

    @Jan: yes, I do show it from time to time.

    @David: it's either Moscow or the capital of Mongolia, I can't remember which of the two.

    @Karl: and cold is a good thing.

    @Maywyn: it's a good statue.

    @Tom: ironically, it does, though in winter it's generally the opposite!

    @Marie: it is indeed.

    @Anvilcloud: hopefully!

  10. That is a huge spider! Those blue skies sure look good, William. A walk always makes me feel better, too. :-)

  11. Oh William, I'm not a cold fan but that does look beautiful. That reflection of the sky on the water is really beautiful. I'm sure by now it has iced over but it really is a fabulous image and your timing was great. Sometimes being outside like that gets us out of ourselves, doesn't it? I hope the walk helped.

  12. Beautiful place. The spider is scary!

  13. Nothing like a walk on a bright winders day to brighten your spirits

  14. That was a perfect day for a hike!

  15. i enjoy the bridge shot and the shadow shot too ... fun time. happy weekend!! ( ;

  16. The spider shots with Notre Dame are great, William!

  17. Great sun and snow and buildings and sculpture and river...but my strange thought is that whenever (assuming they haven't yet) space aliens appear on earth, perhaps they will have 8 legs and be thrilled to see the spiders as signs of welcome!

  18. @DJan: I always like seeing the spider.

    @Jeanie: yes, a lot of the ice has closed in on the river. I've got views of the river taken two days before this in a coming post, and even two days had made a difference. A few more days did even more.

    @Nancy: the not so itsy bitsy spider.

    @Bill: quite true!

    @Marleen: yes it was.

    @Beth: thank you.

    @RedPat: I think so too.

    @Barbara: that could be!

  19. Wonderful shots! All I can think about is why giant spiders? Must be a story there.

  20. I'm not a fan of spiders so that particular sculpture always creeps me out a bit. But, I love the explorer statue.

  21. Hello William!
    Happy new year to you and your family!
    Wonderful pictures! Like the spider shots and the view from the bridge!
    Have a lovely weekend!

  22. Wow! Where's Spiderman when you really need him?

  23. Wonderful photos,, William. That huge spider is weird to see. :)

  24. Well, I'm glad you took that walk, for it lifted your mood, provided us with some wonderful photos to look at, and I, for one, came to realize how lucky I was not to live in a city with giant spiders!

  25. @Jenn: apparently the artist has positive attitudes towards spiders, for a number of reasons.

    @Sharon: I enjoy seeing Maman.

    @Dimi: thank you!

    @Catalyst: this is too big a spider for Peter Parker to deal with!

    @Bill: I've gotten quite used to the spider.

    @Lowell: this one is quite a popular photo op.

  26. Excellent shots, William!

    But spiders and snow still make me cringe....

  27. I'm so pleased you went out for a walk and enjoyed it.
    I especially liked seeing all of your photographs here.

    All the best Jan

  28. Brrr ~ but beautiful photography!

    Happy New Year,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  29. I find a good walk usually brightens my mood. And these views would certainly help, too. Even if there's a monster spider involved.

  30. That spider! Nope. No. Nada. Nyet!

  31. That walk would lift my mood too (in spite of my being such a wimp about cold weather). And the art at the end of the walk would be a wonderful goal. An end goal is important if I am trying to talk husband into walking with me .... I don’t mind walking just for the sake of it.. He needs a reason! That spider is spectacular.

  32. Wonderful scemes in sunny day!But the spider still looks scary.

  33. @Norma: but snow is good!

    @Eve: isn't she cute?

    @Jan: thank you.

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Kay: the itsy bitsy spider...

    @Sandi: I have gotten quite used to her.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Sallie: I enjoy a walk.

    @Klara: its size could be an issue too!