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Under the Dunbar bridge
This is a photo-collage of pictures I took on my walk yesterday. I had intended to visit the butterfly exhibit at the University but got there a bit late. I decided instead to walk toward the south-east corner of Carleton's campus. I'd never been to the edge of the university property on that side, and I wondered how it interfaced with the Dunbar bridge (which carries Bronson Avenue over the Rideau river). Turns out that that corner of campus is quite beautiful (although full of burdock) and if you keep walking past a disused ballfield and some concrete sculptures from years past you come to the shore of the Rideau right at the foot of the bridge. You can walk under the bridge into Brewer Park (although I didn't venture that far).

The bridge itself is quite attractive from below. I found the symmetrical pattern of the bridge piers (top image) to be very pleasing to the eye. But the bridge is not the only attraction at this site; there's a lot going on underneath the bridge itself. First, wetland areas (a sign called them embayments) have been created out from the shore to provide slow-moving eddies for fish and other wildlife. The embayments were full of cattails (middle right) and ducks swimming to and fro (middle left). Between the natural areas upstream and downstream of the bridge, the piers themselves have been designated as legal graffiti walls (centre), and are quite a sight to behold, with a lot of good murals. It was the confluence of river, concrete, wildlife and art -- all tied together by the bridge itself as a frame -- that inspired this collage.

After having been there for a while, and soaking up the the obvious focal point above, and the natural and urban space at eye level, I started seeing what was on the ground. Not a huge amount of garbage, I suppose, but enough to notice it. Interesting that the oil drum (bottom left) was viewed as a potential art object. I wonder if that is the reason that people didn't use it for trash.

There's a surprising amount to see and do, under the Dunbar bridge.

Posted: 2009-10-13.   Shot: .
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