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Friday, February 28, 2014

Best of February - Shoal Point at Dawn (February 2013)

Sunrise and sunset are great times for photographers. Unfortunately they also tend to be cold times so I miss out on a lot of good photos. However, occasionally I do get out early and am almost always rewarded by photos such as the one above. This was taken looking towards Shoal Point from the Songhees Walkway below Rainbow Park.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Best of February - Olympic Mountains (February 2012)

Victoria doesn't have mountains looming right over the city like Vancouver does but the Olympic Mountains across the strait do provide a dramatic backdrop when the air is clear. Here they look a little larger than we see them with the naked eye because of the photo was taken using a telephoto lens.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Best of February - Fleming Beach Breakwater (February 2012)

I know this photo has been taken a thousand times by a thousand different photographers but this is my version and it remains one of my all-time favorites. It's a young couple walking on the breakwater at Fleming Beach at sunset.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Best of February - Songhees Walkway (February 2011)

While February usually brings some crocuses and daffodils, it remains a winter month with brisk winds and lots of rain. However, it also provides dramatic lighting and clear air such as seen in this photo of the city from the Songhees Walkway near Rainbow Park.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Best of February - Snow (February 2011)

While spring is right around the corner in February, Victoria often gets snow in that month as seen in this archival photo taken from my front window in February 2011.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Best of February - Security (February 2010)

During the Chinese New Year celebrations in February 2010 I noticed this child's firm grip on his father's finger while watching the festivities - Dragon Dancing and other strange and noisy activities. It was then and remains for me a potent image of the relationship between parents and children.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Best of February - Chinese New Year (February 2010)

In February 2010 the Chinatown Gate was decorated with new red lanterns and provided this photo. I was always fond of this photo and have especially good memories of it because it was first prize winner in a contest that gave me a free holiday in Seattle, USA, from Clipper Vacations. The photo was later used in one of their promotional brochures.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Best of February - Dallas Road Beach (February 2009)

This is the kind of beach I call an "anklebreaker" - not great for a relaxing walk but excellent for rock collecting.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Best of February - Causeway and Legislative Assembly Buildings (Feb 2009)

Here's another favorite from our first February. We've been getting a lot of dramatic skies this year as well.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Best of February - "Dance to the Music" (February 2009)

Victoria Daily Photo has been online without a break since March 2008. In the blogosphere that is an eternity. Of course it seems like it's gone by pretty fast as I've posted well over 2,000 photos and taken 50 times that number at least. On Saturday Fern and I and a few other family members will fly to Maui for a few weeks in the sun. Since the day we return will be the last day of the 6th year of Victoria Daily Photo I thought it would be an appropriate time for a bit of retrospective. Consequently I've been looking through the archives (for past Februarys and Marches) to see which photos stand the test of time. Today's photo, taken in the Greater Victoria Public Library's foyer, has long been one of my favorite photos. Hope you enjoy the next few weeks selections. Aloha!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Esquimalt Lagoon

Last week I posted a photo of Hatley Castle with some Canada Geese in the foreground. Turning around and facing the opposite direction yielded this view of Esquimalt Lagoon. On the seaward side the lagoon is bounded by a long narrow tongue of land, really just two narrow strips of beach on each side of the road. The few stunted trees that grow there are just enough to give this spare landscape some definition.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Painting With Light

While quite different from yesterday's post of the soft moonlight, this is another interesting way that light can have such a dramatic effect on a scene. The intensity of the street light makes these branches appear so sinister! - Fern

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Dark and Stormy Night

The rain was pouring down and the wind was roaring in the trees last night when I headed out for a walk. I was lucky enough for the thicker clouds to blow away just long enough to capture the full moon making an appearance through the bare branches of a tree. - Fern

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Chinatown Sidewalk Grocers

I was down to our Chinatown on Thursday for lunch at Venus Sophia - Tearoom and Vegetarian Eatery. See the sign in the top left of the photo above. Lunch there was, as usual, absolutely delicious. It's a great place to eat if you're in the neighborhood. Even on a gray winter day the colorful produce spilling out onto Chinatown's sidewalks gives a summery atmosphere to the street.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Grazing in the Grass

I went out to Esquimalt Lagoon recently to take photos of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) for an artist acquaintance. For much of the winter there is a large flock of these birds that graze on the vast spread of lawn between Hatley Castle and Esquimalt Lagoon. Hatley Castle has been featured here many times.

Until I became a birdwatcher I was not aware that Canada Geese are primarily grazers. Grass and other foliage form the major part of their diet. The geese in the above photo are grazing very much like cattle or horses.

For those of you who may have other associations with "Grazing in the Grass", below is a link to the famous musical composition, one of my favorites, written and performed by Hugh Masakela.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Listening for Worms

As visitor Mike noted a few days ago we seem to have a lot of Robins this year - large flocks. I spent some time watching some of these birds the other day and was able to capture a bit of their hunting technique. Robins like to eat insects and worms. We all know this having seen that classic cartoon subject of the bird (usually a Robin) pulling a worm out of the ground. Robin is the "early bird" that gets the worm. What may not be so widely known is that Robins use more than their eyes to locate their prey. They also find worms by listening for the sounds they make as they move underground. If you watch Robins closely you will see them take two or three hops then cock their heads to one side for a few seconds and then to the other side for a few seconds. If they hear something they will dig it up with their beaks, otherwise they take another few hops and repeat the process, listening first to one side then to the other. It must take very sharp hearing and intense concentration to hear such tiny sounds.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Victoria's newest Condo tower, "Promontory" in the Bayview Place Development, (far left) dominates the skyline - when viewed from anywhere west of the city. This skyline shot was taken from the West Bay Walkway near Sailor's Cove. Sure would be nice to get some photos from up top of this new building.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Harbinger of Spring

When I was a small boy on the Canadian Prairies I grew to know the American Robin as the harbinger of spring since the winters were far too long and cold for them to live there during that season. Once a robin was seen spring was on the way. I still have that association although now, since I live in Victoria, I see Robins all year round, even when it is as cold as it has been this last week or so. The one pictured above was quite fearlessly hunting for his breakfast in the grass along the edge of the West Bay Walkway.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Earlier this week my daughter and I headed down to the local park at dusk to take some pictures. I find this kind of photography particularly challenging and I hold those that do it well in high regard. Of the several dozen we took I choose this one because while there isn't a whole lot of information about the subject, there is still a story here and it becomes the viewer's job to imagine what is going on. More intriguing that way I hope. - Fern

Sunday, February 9, 2014

How Cold Is It You Ask?

Very! This is a rarity here in the tropics of Southern Vancouver Island. The frigid temperatures have frozen our lovely fountain in front the Legislature Assembly Buildings and while I was there (briefly, lets be clear) there were lots of folks out having a look and taking pictures. - Fern

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Northern Shovelers

Here's another sign of how cold it has been in Victoria recently. Usually these Northern Shoveler Ducks are not seen on the shores of the Inner Harbour. Normally they like to hang out where they can root around in shallow fresh-water ponds such as are found at Rithet's Bog or Panama Flats. However I suspect these ponds are mostly frozen over now and that explains the presence of these Shovelers along the West Bay Walkway on Thursday.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Yes, ice on the surface at Sailor's Cove. I suspect that the water near the shoreline is very near to fresh because of runoff, but ice here still indicates how cold it has been in Victoria for the last week or so. And today, when I look out the window I see we are getting some of that white stuff too. I can't complain - we are still getting off easy compared to the rest of the continent. (And the photographer in me is happy at the thought of some snow pics).

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Birdwatching may seem like an incomprehensible activity to many people and I suspect there are as many reasons why people become birdwatchers as there are different kinds of birds. But for me the main reason for the activity is that birds are often strikingly beautiful and close observation is regularly repaid by glimpses of grace and elegance equivalent to our most treasured works of art. Above is a Northern Pintail Duck preening himself. Since his convoluted posture may make it difficult to comprehend him I have included on the left a photo of the same duck at rest. These photos were taken at Esquimalt Lagoon in late January.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Victoria's current sub-freezing temperatures (just now it's -2C) don't appear to affect these little Snowdrops (Galanthus), photographed a few minutes ago in our back yard. There are lots of other early-blooming plants poking up now too and I expect that next week - when the weather is supposed to warm up again - we'll see the beginning of spring's blossoms - especially the crocuses and daffodils.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cuthbert Holmes Park

This is one of our favorite little parks that we like to take a walk through and seeing this canoe with it's little flash of color made me hopeful that spring is around the corner. - Fern

Monday, February 3, 2014

Victoria Flea Market

Every Sunday you can head down to the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre to find all kinds of treasures, from tools to teacups and everything in between. - Fern

Sunday, February 2, 2014

American Coot

Rithet's Bog in Saanich (Greater Victoria) continues to provide some interesting bird life during this cold season. The pond where this photo was taken was occupied by about 50 Mallard Ducks and this single American Coot. He was very busy foraging among the small plants poking up from the ooze.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Harlequin Ducks

Just as I finished taking Thursday's photo of the Trial Island lighthouse a small flock of Harlequin Ducks came zooming in and landed on rocks of the foreshore at Clover Point. In flight they are quite dramatic - those little white spots on their heads flashing like headlights. Above is a male and female pair, the male as usual being the more brightly colored.