Sunday, July 23, 2017


During my Canada Day visit, I stopped in at all but one of the galleries in the Museum of Nature- I knew the fossils gallery would be far too busy- but photographed in just two. The Earth Gallery covers rocks, minerals, crystals, and those forces that make the world work. There are extensive display cases here with examples of rocks, as well as before and after versions of what can be done with minerals or crystals. I have had an aunt of mine in here- she was completely taken with the place, and we were easily in here more than an hour.

There is an extensive area covering volcanoes and earthquakes around the world, complete with samples and interactive activities.

One of the interactive activities is a global map that can be shifted in setting or focused in on a given area. You can also shift the time, from a day to a month, to get a look at where notable seismic events have taken place in that period. This first screen is the previous week's worth of activity, while the second is the previous 24 hours. Each dot, in green or purple, designates an epicenter.

Here are more of those displayed minerals and crystals.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Arctic

Development of the Arctic Gallery has been done in collaboration and consultation with indigenous people of the Far North. This includes artifacts or clothing, writing in three languages (one of which is an Inuit language), and panels that reflect "our story" as opposed to the traditional objective way of phrasing things. I like the decor around the gallery, which is colourful and often features wildlife.

Human beings have learned to live in the Far North, first the First Nations, and then those white people who came into the North for one reason or another. Adaptation was always called upon for them, either in clothing or tools needed to live in such an unforgiving place.

On my way out, I paused to photograph a display case with these birds, and then those slabs of ice again. The Arctic Gallery left me impressed.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Arctic

The Arctic Gallery is a newly opened gallery on the top floor of the Museum of Nature. The visitor first comes across these slabs upon entry. Images are projected onto each. As to what they are? These are slabs of ice. The daily melt water is collected into drains and recycled back into freezing the ice, so the slabs are continually replenished.

Inside, the Gallery is filled with the story of the Arctic, its biosphere of life, and its relationship to those who have called it home for generations- the Inuit peoples. Below are some of the animals that can be expected to be found in Canada's far north, enduring long winters and relishing in short summers with very long days.

This was actually a work of art, Rookery, by an artist from Nunavut, Ben Kovic.

This is a fossil display of a camel. Bones have been found of these animals on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut- dating back 3.5 million years.

Another fossil- this is the skull of a mammoth. I have more from here tomorrow.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Castle

The Canadian Museum of Nature was a popular spot on Canada Day, and it was my second stop of the day. I approached from the west, where the glass lantern can be seen contrasting with the architecture of the rest of the building. At the moment, a jellyfish sculpture is hanging inside.

The architecture here is a marvel, inside and out. Galleries are organized by theme, with a new gallery on the fourth floor as well as a gallery for special exhibits. The galleries on lower floors are dedicated to rocks and minerals, water, birds, mammals, and fossils.

When visiting, I usually work my way from the top floor down. This view is from within the glass lantern, which was added in renovations that were completed in 2010 when Queen Elizabeth was here to re-dedicate the building. It replaces an original stone tower that was once here- the architect, David Ewart, ran into a problem with the soil beneath the tower that required the removal of the bulk of it.  Today the glass is a good contrast to the beauty of the rest of the building, offering good views out into the city. It has officially been named the Queens Lantern, honouring both Queen Elizabeth and her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria, for whom the museum was first built as a memorial.

This is a hint of what I'll be showing you tomorrow. It's that new gallery space I was mentioning. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fallen Of War

As I am in the midst of this series, have a look at my writer's blog today, where I have a post on the ongoing series of embassy events here called Ottawa Welcomes The World.

Here are more views within Lebreton Gallery at the Canadian War Museum. Some of the heavy vehicles allow for views inside, so you can see just how cramped they can be. I have been inside some of the current equipment at a military race weekend held here in the fall- these are still not built for comfort!

Heading up from the gallery back towards the main lobby, the walls have large war art paintings mounted for viewing. That also includes nose cone art, which tended to be quite popular during the Second World War.

There was another painting hanging in a spot that I noticed when I arrived. The Flag was painted in 1918 by John Byam Liston Shaw. It was first exhibited to Canadians in 1919, and resonated strongly with families who had lost sons, brothers, husbands, or fathers during the First World War. Grief is conveyed in different ways among the onlookers, while the fallen soldier, Red Ensign, and lion sculpture represent the country and empire for which so much blood was shed. Viewing this painting, I was quite impressed with its heartbreaking power and poignancy.