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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Weather

We've been having a lot of weather lately and a lot of skies like the one above. Sometimes it'll be overcast then the sun will break through then it will rain then the sky will clear again and the sun will come out. It'll be autumn cold one day then summery and warm the next. I'm not complaining - it could be earthquakes and tornadoes and though the rain is hard on cameras, it's good for the forests.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Leafy Orcas

Surfing the crest of a grassy aquamarine wave, these two Orcas, mother and calf, are swimming on the corner of Government and Humboldt Streets by the Empress Hotel.

Monday, September 18, 2017

West Bay Walkway 4

The West Bay walkway is a great place to view the cruise ships moored at Ogden Point.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thing of the Past

This isn't Victoria but it's emblematic of this whole area; the neighborhood cornerstore. We all bought our first candy at these local shops but demographics change and the big chain stores become ever popular they are slowly disappearing. - Fern

Saturday, September 16, 2017

West Bay Walkway 3

This small balancing rock sculpture has been erected recently and, though I generally prefer my nature unmodified, I quite like it. It looks like a good wind would blow it over but that delicacy is part of its charm.

Friday, September 15, 2017

West Bay Walkway 2

Here's the view from Rainbow Park looking west towards the West Bay Marina at the westernmost end of the Inner Harbour.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

West Bay Walkway

I've been neglecting one of my favorite spots this last few months so I returned to the West Bay Walkway for a stroll this afternoon. It offers such great views that I enjoyed revisiting it again immensely. Here we see the Coho car ferry leaving the harbor on its afternoon trip to Port Angeles, Washington.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Blues Bash

Throughout the summer the Inner Harbour hosts a steady stream of festival events. The ladies above are watching a group performing as part of the Vancouver Island Blues Bash. You can see the group they were watching a little more clearly through my telephoto lens in the photo below.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Causeway

Although the curvature caused by the fish-eye lens is quite pronounced in this photo I like this view of the Empress Hotel from the small square at the northern end of the causeway.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Inner Harbour Causeway

Once school's back in the tourist season dies down a bit though the cruise ships continue to keep the Inner Harbour busy until mid October. Here, through a 17mm fish-eye lens, is what the Causeway looked like last week.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Under and Over

The Galloping Goose Trail has several bridges that cross over busy roads on it's way across thru Victoria and southern Vancouver Island. There's something about about a trail like this that makes you want to follow it doesn't it? - Fern

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Antique Eye Candy

There are a number of stained glass windows here and there throughout Craigdarroch Castle - one in the smoking room features Sir Walter Raleigh smoking a pipe - but I find the one pictured above to be the most attractive. A hundred years ago when there were no big-screen tvs or brilliant HD monitors, something as bright and colorful as this window must have been very satisfying.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Tile in the Tower

In a comment on yesterday's post JoJo mentioned the tile floor in the tiny round topmost room of the castle, providing the perfect excuse for me to post a photo of said floor. I think the emblems are Scottish - that's a general theme in the castle - but my knowledge of heraldry is scant to say the least. (Thank you JoJo!)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The High Life

At the very top of the Craigdarroch Castle staircase is a small circular tower with one of the best views of the city to be had. You can get some idea of the height by looking at my little black scooter parked far below.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Smoky

Looking towards the entrance to the Inner Harbour, this is what Victoria looks like today. Lots of forest fires in BC - according to a Global News report, the smoke that is turning Victoria orange is likely from the Pemberton area (Near Whistler Mountain).

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Nice Bike Rack

The art of the Native Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast is world famous and of course we have lots of it around here but I thought this was an especially nice modern example of it on a bike rack at Fisherman's Wharf. I don't know who did the Orca design but it is very attractive.

Monday, September 4, 2017

More Teak than a Thai Forest

Here's a couple of quick glimpses of what's available down in the Inner Harbour this Labour Day Weekend. It's the Victoria Classic Boat Festival.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Light and Shadow

I recently has a chance to go to an open house held in a print studio above the shops in Chinatown, and it was so exciting to be up above Fisgard Street and see some of the old architecture. I totally lost my mind tho and forgot to take any pictures in the actual studio and only pulled out the camera as I was leaving but I did get this shot of the backroom with the light flooding in the windows which I quite like. I also liked that that chair was pulled up in front of a door that led into thin air - maybe if you lost playing mah jong that was the exit? - Fern Long

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Craigdarroch Castle IV

The amount of beautiful wood paneling through the castle is quite overwhelming. But is all perfectly fitted and looking splendid, even after more than a hundred years. Apparently all the woodwork was made in a factory in Chicago and then shipped out here and assembled. There are some fascinating details (see below)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Craigdarroch Castle III

One of the things that makes a visit to Craigdarroch Castle a pleasure is the way so many of the rooms have been furnished with period items and real attention to detail. Viewing these rooms is like a peek into the family life of an upper class family a hundred years ago. Above is the dining room table set for breakfast. Note the baby's high chair down at the far end. I am mystified by the odd-shaped item on the table that is pictured to the left. Does anyone know what that thing is? Below is another table laden with snacks and munchies up in the billiard room on the top floor.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Craigdarroch Castle II

Above is a more oblique view of Craigdarroch Castle than that published a few days ago. Below are portraits from inside the castle of its builder, the Honourable Robert Dunsmuir, and his wife Joan. Robert died before the castle was completed but his wife and ten children lived there for many years. Robert Dunsmuir came to Vancouver Island from Scotland in 1851 as an indentured miner for $5 a week. Thirty-eight years later he died the richest man in the colony, worth an estimated $15 million (valued at about $400 million today). His is an interesting story and Wikipedia has a short biography you can read by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Fawn

While driving along Beach Drive on my way back from Willows Beach I had to stop when I saw two Blacktail fawns browsing with their mother on lush grasses of the Victoria Golf Club. Victoria has just the right number of deer. You see them fairly often but rarely enough so that it is always a special occasion.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Summer's Here...Again!

After a week or so of weather with an autumnal chill in the air we suddenly had a reversion to summer weather with temps in the high 20s. I figured it was a good time to take a last look at the beach in its summer dress. Above is what Willows Beach looked like yesterday.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Craigdarroch Castle

When I was posting some photos of the Italian Garden at Hatley Castle a week or so ago I mentioned that I intended to take a look at Victoria's other castle, Craigdarroch Castle. Both of these local castles were built by the same family, the Dunsmuirs. The coal baron father, Robert Dunsmuir, built the one pictured above in 1890. One of his sons, James Dunsmuir, built Hatley Castle in 1908. We'll have a closer look at Craigdarroch later in the week.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Atop Mount Maxwell

On a recent trip to Saltspring Island we took a detour and drove up to the look out which boasts a stunning view. Here we are looking southwest with the land on the left Saltspring Island and across the Strait of Georgia is North Cowichan on Vancouver Island. - Fern

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Free Hugs!

I couldn't let summer pass without posting a photo of two of my favorite causeway regulars, Mike and Marcia, who distribute free hugs to anyone who wants or needs one. They make a great contribution to the atmosphere around the Inner Harbour. If you want to find out a bit more about these two generous spirits, visit their blog by clicking HERE.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Chinatown

An afternoon's walk around Chinatown with the Helios 58mm lens.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Young Buskers

I caught this pair on Saturday. There's more kids busking this year than I can remember seeing before, though most don't do it regularly. These little girls don't look so much like buskers - they have the gravitas and dress that made their performance seem like a concert.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Glo Restaurant & Lounge

Glo Restaurant & Lounge outdoor seating is visible in the photo above on the upper right. I had lunch there today - absolutely delicious. Great vegetarian fare and my carnivorous companions both were happy with their non-vegetarian meals. I recommend it highly. Everything about this place is good - the location, the service and the food. It's built on the edge of the Selkirk Waters, near the Selkirk Trestle that crosses the Gorge. Across the water you can see the Railyards condominium development in Vic West.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jammin'

It always makes for an interesting musical evening when two of the Causeway's musicians get together for a jam. On the left above is Mather Hewison with one man band Dave Harris on the right. At one point Mather delivered Elvis Presley's version of "Donald, Where's Yer Troosers" and that should give you a hint of the eclectic musical spectrum they surveyed.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bobbo the Clown

I just spent an hour watching Bobbo the Clown make people laugh. He's a very funny performer with a non-stop stream of one-liners and surreal balloon creations. Kids, as you can see in the above picture, stand, watch, listen and laugh and when they finally walk away they are wearing big grins as well as funny balloon hats. Bobbo's been doing this for a long time and he does it very well. If you see him, don't just walk by. Trade a few quips and you too will walk away grinning.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chinatown

Walking down Fisgard Street on a summers evening, I glanced up and for a moment wondered if I'd been transported to New York City itself. - Fern

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Homecoming

There is a small open space overlooking Ship Point that is dedicated to the Navy and this statue, The Homecoming, is its centerpiece.It depicts that magical moment when the sailor comes home from the sea to the loving arms of his family. It's a statue that strikes a chord in most passersby, even those of us who have never been in the navy. We all know what it is like to be separated from those we love and the joy of reunion. The sculptor is Nathan Scott.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Hatley Castle

Before we leave Hatley Park National Historic Site here is a photo of the castle. I plan to have a look at Victoria's other castle, Craigdarroch, next week.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bokeh 2

Here's one more from the Italian Garden that shows the slightly "swirly" kind of bokeh that is characteristic of the Helios 58mm lens.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bokeh

I mentioned in a previous post the term "bokeh". For the non-photographers among visitors to this site, "bokeh" refers to the out-of-focus areas in a photograph, the blurry areas. I like nice crisp images but lately I've begun to appreciate the blurry parts of the photo as well. Different lenses produce different kinds of blur, some more pleasing than others. One of the reasons I like this Helios lens I've been using lately is because of the bokeh it produces. In today's photo I've thrown caution to the winds and used bokeh to more accurately express the experience of a hot summer afternoon in the Italian Garden at Hatley Castle, the way one is thrust into an overpowering profusion of shapes and colors. Wikipedia has a good article on bokeh HERE.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hatley Park Italian Garden Flowers 2

Here's a few more blossoms from the Hatley Castle National Historical Site Italian Garden. For those who are interested in the technical side of things, all yesterday's and today's flower shots were taken with the Russian Helios 58mm lens I mentioned a few days ago. It continues to impress me with its sharpness and interesting bokeh.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hatley Park Italian Garden Flowers

Being in the Italian Garden with a camera is a little like suddenly being transported to a French p√Ętisserie - such a wealth of delicious things.