Thursday, January 31, 2019

Winter Wanderings In The Gardens

The Canadian Museum of Nature stands downtown a few blocks south of Parliament Hill. It has the look of a castle, and has been here for more than a century, first finding life as the Victoria Memorial Museum, and having a number of uses over time. These days the building houses a natural history collection. This view from the east side includes a life sized mother and baby dinosaur, covered in snow.

Much of the west side of the property is taken up with the Landscapes Of Canada Gardens, featuring plants from four ecosystems along a pathway. I like to document the Gardens in each season, even winter, when the plants are buried beneath the snow. This time my path started by the family of mammoths, sculptures that stand at the Mammoth Steppe. The plants here include ones that would have been present when the animals were at their height.

Up the path from me, on the right of the shot, a dog was up ahead, walking his human.

Signs along the way point out facts and have images of the four ecosystems. Here we have a glimpse of the iceberg sculpture, which features the Arctic Tundra section on its far side. The area on the left is Prairie Grasslands, with its long grasses and plants mostly beneath the snow this time of year.

This view from the sidewalk takes in the museum and the iceberg. Arctic plants have been transplanted into this section, amid rocky sections.

The iceberg, a steel sculpture done by Bill Lishman, actually crosses the path.

The signs for ecosystems continue, both in French and English.

Here we have a straight on look at the museum, beyond the Prairie Grasslands.

The last section is Boreal Forest. This ecosystem dominates a wide swath of Canada, and here we find trees, shrubs, and other plants along the path. The Gardens are a delight in each season, even now when they're covered in snow.


  1. ...Ottawa looks mighty cold, stay warm and safe!

  2. You have given something for everyone these past weeks in the blog (as always really) the seasonal contrast is very wide and unfamiliar to me, it must have on impact on our human nature, something of a disrupter or stimulator.

  3. Nice place even if the ecosystem is hidden in the snow ! I love the elephant statues ! Here it snowed yesterday, then melted and this morning everything is frozen ! Dangerous !

  4. Great shots of the gardens during winter. Nice to see the iceberg covered with snow now.

  5. Everything look very nice, but I hope that you stay warm and safe!

  6. Oh my goodness, that looks very cold.

  7. White in white and it looks cold...
    We get snow this night too.

  8. A fine building and I really like the dinosaur photo.

  9. Winter wanderings on a day one WANTS to wander can be fabulous. Great photos, William.


  10. oh my goodness ... hope you were wrapped up ... it looks so so cold. SO COLD!!!
    ( ;

  11. It has been maybe 10 years since I was there, but I quite liked this museum. I don't recall the outdoor section from that time.

  12. Hello, the gardens are asleep under the snow. I am sure it will be beautiful in spring. I like the statues, this museum would be one of my favorites. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day, have a great weekend ahead.

  13. It is an interesting place, and I do like the statues, even the iceberg is freezing. :-)

  14. My favorite is the iceberg sculpture that you can (and are intended to) walk under. What a great interaction with art.

  15. It sure shows winter in all of its facets!

  16. I love it! You make me glad with your photos.The trees, shrubs, and other plants along the path... I hope you can make the same photo later, in spring, summer and autumn :-)

  17. Is that a triceratops I see lurking in front of the castle?
    Now that is a question I won't likely ask often.

  18. Great statues of the mammoths and dinosaurs. They seem right at home surrounded by all that snow.
    Keep warm :)

  19. @Tom: quite cold!

    @Julia: this has been a snowy winter.

    @Gattina: here we are buried in snow.

    @Jan: the iceberg is cold to the touch.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Ella: the key to winter is dressing in layers.

    @Joan: quite cold!

    @Italiafinlandia: you're welcome.

    @Karl: we have more today.

    @Janey: it is a wonderful museum.

    @Marianne: indeed!

    @Stefan: thank you.

    @Janis: thanks!

    @Marie: definitely.

    @Beth: quite wrapped.

    @Anvilcloud: the Gardens concept is new, and the Museum has changed since your visit.

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @DJan: it was cold!

    @Barbara: it is quite a sculpture.

    @RedPat: it does.

    @Aritha: I will.

    @Sharon: close. The species is chasmosaurus irvinensis.

  20. Super big animals in the snow----maybe that is what caused their demise

  21. Great photos, I especially liked the first photo but enjoyed them all. Thanks William!

  22. You certainly illustrated that the area is far too cold and dreary for me. Tweeted.

  23. Great photos, William. Everything looks so different and pretty in the winter. Stay warm!

  24. @MB: perhaps. Not the dinosaurs, mind you!

    @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Mari: but cold is a good thing!

    @Bill: it's quite cold here today.

    @Happyone: I like seeing them each time I visit.

  25. I find gardens fascinating in winter -- spiny and like they belong in another world. The giant animals add to the mood.

  26. Another very nice collection of photographs, and it does look very cold.
    Here in the UK we have also had snow … Brrr

    Stay safe and warm.

    All the best Jan

  27. I've just begun reading a book - Atlas of a Lost World - about the peopling of North America when only huge, HUGE creatures were here. The author says the largest mammoths weighed up to ten tons! He says the animals were so big because of the cold weather of the Ice Age which caused them to pack on bones and fur to combat the temperatures. It looks like it will be a good read. Also I was just reading about how your premiere is in trouble for his ignorance of Francophones in Ontario. I must confess I did not know of the great number of French speakers there either. Je m'excuse.

  28. Much more snow than we usually get. I also like seeing the dinosaur and mammoth in the snow.

  29. Maybe our dinosaurs at House of Science are covered in snow, too - I so not care on this hot day, but I enjoyed your "cool" pics!

  30. @Jeanie: I agree!

    @Jan: we've had a lot of cold and snow lately.

    @Catalyst: oh, we have a large Francophone population. Our premier can't speak French. Of course, our premier is a grade ten drop out who spent his days back then as a drug dealer, and somehow swindled the provincial Tories to let him come in and become leader. As far as I'm concerned, the white trash, classless, thuggish idiot can rot in hell, the sooner the better. Maybe the same cancer that removed his crackhead mayor brother from the planet can do a return visit to the family. Is it obvious I don't like him? :)

    @Michelle: we get a lot of snow each winter, but January has set a record for the month here.

    @Iris: emphasis on cool!

  31. That's quite a building. And it's interesting to see the animals and sculpture in the snow.

  32. The Museum of Nature is a stunning piece of architecture William, I love seeing it. Interesting to see the sculptures in winter covered in snow like this ✨

  33. Wonderful sculptures in the gardens ~ love the animals, of course ~ ^_^

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

  34. Winter is the time, when gardens rest...