Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eau Lente à Montréal, Québec (Slow Water in Montreal, Quebec)

(Note that I used Google Translator for the title, if it looks wrong, let me know and I'll fix it).

I've been spending quite a bit of time in Quebec lately.  Last weekend I was in Montreal for the Jazz Fest, but of course I was looking around at urban water features as well.


Like Pittsburgh (and many other cities), Montreal's very form is defined by water.  While Pittsburgh is at a confluence of important rivers, Montreal is on an island in the Saint Lawrence River.  As such, rather than converging in a few places, water flowing ot of the city would flow in many directions, all of which lead to the river.

Parc u Mont-Royal (Mount Royal park) is a large park in the middle of Montreal.  This park surrounds a prominent mountain, and in some ways is similar to Riverview Park in Pittsburgh and Griffith Park in LA.  Most of the park is forested with mix of native and introduced and invasive species.  Because the park is on a mountain, there aren't any major watercourses, at least where I visited (there is a pond to the south, but I didn't make it there).  There is a great view from the top of the mountain, as seen in the image above as well as this panorama:  

It's been rainy, like it has been in Vermont, so there is lots of water around.  Most of the water is channeled through a series of aboveground channels.  While I am partial to somewhat more 'natural' or artistic channels than these, they were still interesting and at times aesthetically valuable as well.  I also like the fact that water is at the surface where people can see and hear it, rather than hidden underground.




This channel is more natural looking:


There is a little spring along one of the trails that is gushing with water.  I remember seeing it last year as well, during a much drier time period.  IMG_2884.JPG

The little spring reminds me a bit of the grotto in Panther Hollow of Schenley Park in Pittsburgh.  This one probably also gets neat ice formations in the winter.  The little spring spills into a pool of muddy water that would be a great site for a little restoration/wetland construction project.  Right now it is muddy and rather unpleasant.

I came across this neat runoff art downtown:



and also some cottonwood/poplar seeds sticking in a wet puddle, just like I saw in Burlington.


Although we were spared being rained on during the Jazz Festival, there were storms around at other times.  Here's a view of a storm to the northeast of town, as viewed from the harbor area:


And, here are two thunderstorms forming over New York State, as seen from northern Vermont.


It looks like more rain is on the way to Vermont and southern Quebec this evening.

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