Monday, January 6, 2014

Another Snowy Day

A bit of open water on the Ottawa River

In case you've been hiding under a rock (In which case, you've likely frozen to death. Sorry. I'll miss you.), you've heard that Ontario has been hit by a serious cold snap, with temperatures in the negative double-digits (Celsius).

It's been so cold that you could see steam rising from the open water on the Ottawa River, steam that quickly edged every twig and leaf in a delicate lace of frost. It was spectacularly beautiful, but I did not have my camera with me to take pictures of that cold, cold world. I did have my camera with me when Steve and I went for a walk on Saturday afternoon, expressly to take some pictures of the mist rising from the water.

Unfortunately (fortunately?), the temperature had risen to a balmy -11 Celsius (11 Fahrenheit). It was still bloody cold to be out walking, but the mystical weather effect was not on display.

Nevertheless, I found some beautiful sights. We parked at the War Museum (almost typed it as Warm Museum! Subconscious slip!) and made our way as close to the Ottawa River as we could. Our parking meter gave us 48 minutes, which was plenty in this weather.

Out behind the museum, we saw this:


You see abandoned bicycles often, and it always mystifies me.

It was only three in the afternoon, but the sun was already low on the horizon, just dipping below the clouds.


There were a few sculptures along the path, of voyageurs, or coureurs de bois, (translates as "runners of the woods"), the early settlers who plied Canada's rivers and forests in the fur trade.


This one wears the more typical toque with a pompom:


The scenery really was beautiful, even without the mist on the water.


But the walking was a little treacherous as the trail had not been plowed. Other wanderers had been there before us, including a cross-country skier. (I think I will check Kijiji for some cross-country skis.) But it required careful stepping to prevent twisted ankles, so we kept our heads down a lot.


My destination was a bridge I have seen as I've driven by, but have never approached up close.


This is an old disused rail bridge -- not the bridge that I'd wanted to reach, which was too far for our 48-minute time limit.

This bridge actually connects Ottawa to Gatineau, on the Quebec side of the river, and the rail lines run right beside the building where Steve works. If a train still ran on it, it would shave 20 minutes off his commute.


However, instead of serving commuters, it serves graphic artists.


It was time to turn back.

Facing directly into the wind now, we really kept our heads down. I saw this, mostly.

Following in his footsteps.

We were both very grateful to get back to our warm living room (not a warm museum). I will try to get the other bridge on another day.

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos, you've really captured the pretty snow so well! I think we're the only ones in Canada that didn't get hit by the big deep freeze, we've had cool days lately but they are sunny and no snow whatsoever (and yeah, we've even been out golfing!!). Take care and stay warm!!

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    1. You must live on Vancouver Island. Envious!

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  2. Oh... I miss Ottawa. We are down in Waterloo these days (after a decade in Ottawa) and, I have to say, this winter makes me feel like I'm back home again. We are buried in snow!! Your photos are great; would love to be skiing along the river today :)

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  3. Thank you! We've been in Ottawa for all but 5 of the past 20 years, and love it, but the winters are very, very long! Hope you're coping with the latest squalls to hit southern Ontario!

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  4. That's the bridge that almost links to the O-train-- the "brilliant" city that decided NOT to run the light rail line over to hull, and thus not saving dozens of commuters time, parking and hassle!

    The photos are lovely -- and I had no idea there were sculptures down there

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    1. Indeed, that is the train. I didn't know there were sculptures there, either. They're hidden behind (river side) the museum.

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  5. Beautiful photos! We are having a huge storm as we speak here in Bayfield Ontario... it is a truly stunning Canadian winter. The snow is crisp and white and l find myself looking out the windows mesmerized by the beauty of this amazing country.

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    1. Thank you! I don't mind winter, so long as I don't have to drive in it!

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Bronwyn. It was so cold that I barely paused to take them.

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  7. Great photos! I love the canoe paddlers! Could you get a photo of them without the snow (when it melts)? I

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    1. Wendy, it would be a pleasure to do so! However, it may be a fair while before this area of the country can be seen without the white stuff.

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  8. Beautiful pictures! It's amazing all of the great photography that you can find just by taking a walk... I may just have to try.

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    1. Thank you. I came to a realization about a year ago that the reason I didn't take as many scenic pictures as I would like was because I needed to get out of the house first.

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