I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Monday, April 21, 2014
April in Ottawa
Ottawa, our nation’s capital, is usually a beautiful city.
Our tax dollars are used to ensure the city looks it’s best for visitors and
guests. However like some great beauties she is not the best after just waking
up from a sleep. It has been a hard cold winter, and in April the city is not
quite ready to receive visitors.
The Ottawa River
We have experienced winter in Ottawa, and the civic workers
who maintain the city have their hands full during the winter months just
keeping the snow off the streets, so the daily debris from Ottawa’s busy
inhabitants simply gets pushed around with the snow rather than picked up, and
as the snowbanks disappear in April, months of neglect start to appear. Not
only the public areas, but the little private patches of gardens and green in front
of the houses are littered with winter’s debris.
Yesterday was a warm sunny April day, and fresh air and
exercise was just what my stubborn cold needed, so I set off on a leisurely
stroll around Ottawa, down through Centertown, Chinatown and down to the Ottawa
river where I walked along the pedway below parliament to the Rideau which I
followed to Summerset and finally cutting through
Tire Garden needing weeding
Elgin & Bank to get back
to Ryan’s house. My walk showed me that Ottawa really is not at it’s best in
The Ottawa River was carrying the last of the melting river
ice from upstream, but the ducks and Canada geese were dodging not only ice,
but chunks of Styrofoam, logs, campfire remains and all other unsorted debris.
The Rideau Canal looked no better, drained to a minimum water lever (for Spring
cleaning?) with melting ice chunks still remaining, the skate changing houses
sitting at awkward angles at the edges, and showing the castoff from a busy
winter season of skating on the longest outdoor rink in Canada.
The River's Load
The normally pristine public walkways look the worse.
Stairways corners are filled with leaves and garbage, and the grass alongside
paths show the scars of snow plows and other Winter damage. I was surprised to
see the amount of animal damage along the river. Many trees and shrubs were
stripped of bark by hungry animals and one large tree was gnawed through and
toppled by what I suspect was the good old Canadian symbol, the beaver.The Rideau Canal walkways showed it’s use by
winter skaters and the number of wet, lonely and muddy single woolen socks,
mittens and hats was amazing.
Don’t worry, it’s only April, and on my walk I saw many
little private gardens raked and cleaned with Springs flowers already poking
through, and sawdust and piles of branches are evidence that the work crews
have started the annual Spring cleanup. I’m sure that by the time the Canadian
Tulip Festival in May rolls around, the city will be looking her usual best.