This summer is wet, humid and cool. But on Tuesday, when we sketch outdoors the rain clears and gives us a few hours of sun and clear skies. We all have noticed the continuing high levels of river water throughout this summer. This spring we had abnormal high level of flood water from the Ottawa River which attributes into the St. Lawrence, at the westerly tip of Montreal Island. Here in Quebec, the St. Lawrence River is often referred to as the “Fleuve”. The french take pride in knowing the difference between a fleuve and a rivière- Ce n’est pas une rivière . C’est un fleuve. My take on this is the English vocabulary of river does not designate the grandness of the St. Lawrence.
At St-Anne-de-Bellevue the water level in June in certain parts was over the boardwalk and later in the summer over the ‘tie up’ area for boats in the locks.
At Coteau-du-Lac, the St. Lawrence River is flowing high and quickly, covering rocks and the feet and ankles of willows along the shoreline.
When we painted at the Parc des Rapides, in Lasalle we were restricted to the entrance area. The island and bird sanctuary has a large steel gate with a notice “closed due to high water levels”. The following excerpt is taken directly from Montreal.com and will give you inside to why we enjoy this park.
The Parc des Rapides is a 30-hectare waterside park, containing marsh, pools and walkways and stretching out into the St. Lawrence River.
Located in Lasalle, at the foot of 7th Avenue, the park gives unequalled views of the river rapids, with a view across to the Heron Island bird sanctuary. The park allows the walker to really get out on the river and observe the birds that are the main focus of the park: 225 species are said to have been observed here, and the flora is also diverse and interesting. Many avid bird watchers and nature photographers find this park an unequalled site of interest so close to the city.
The Parc des Rapides is part of the Lachine Rapids ecoterritory, which extends over the park, Heron Island, and parts of Nuns’ Island downstream.
If you want to see Great Blue Herons in the Montreal area, in an area accessible by public transit, this is one of the best places to go. It’s the largest heron species in North America and the birds look especially majestic when taking flight.
If you are interested in this area and the bird sanctuary this site is helpful. ( les ami du parc des rapides).