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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Broad Street

A little bit of blue sky makes my heart happy. - Fern

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Room With a View

There's an office building on the corner of Douglas St. and Johnson St. that has the best view from the bathroom on the 7th floor looking south. - Fern

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More Sea Blush

I wrote yesterday that, "the Sea Blush are painting the hillsides with broad splashes of pink..." but the Sea Blush photo I posted doesn't capture that well so here's another photo of the Sea Blush on the slopes of Highrock Park where you can see how they grow in beds where the glacial grooves in the rock have gathered a little soil. Highrock Park is basically just a huge rock with only the shallowest pockets of soil in these grooves. The green in the foreground of the above photo is moss that clings to the bare rock beneath. Over the next few weeks the pink of the Sea Blush will be replaced by the blue of Camas Lilies that grow in the same grooves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More Highrock

While the Sea Blush are painting the hillsides with broad splashes of pink, in the more wooded parts of Highrock Park these lovely bushes are covered with white blossoms. (I can't remember what these are called. Anyone?)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sea Blush

These pink Sea Blush have taken over the upper slopes of Highrock Park but the Camas Lilies are hot on their heels and by the end of the week most of those slopes will be clothed in their brilliant blue.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Favorite

I know they are weeds but I still love dandelions for their indomitable spirit and their sunny dispositions. - Fern

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Youngest Busker

This is the youngest busker I've seen this year but he was providing some interesting cello music last weekend on Wharf Street. He was quite intent on his music. People may wonder if it's safe for a boy as young as this to be out on the street performing. His City of Victoria licence is visible clipped onto his music stand. What people may not know is that to obtain a licence, any street performer under the age of 16 must be accompanied at all times by a parent. And indeed, just off camera to the right both this boy's parents were in watchful mode to ensure his comfort and safety.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spring in the Woods


The meadows of Fawn Lilies in Beacon Hill Park are lovely but those on the wooded slopes of Mount Douglas Park are even more special.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Mount Douglas Park

Another bright, sunny day today took me up to the summit of Mount Douglas where I enjoyed the above view looking in an easterly direction.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Bastion Square

While wandering around Bastion Square on the weekend I chanced upon this performance of a play about early Victoria called "A Queer Trial". I was on my way to a supper engagement so I only had a few minutes to spare but it looked like a very energetic performance and an enthusiastic audience. It reminded me that I should check on Bastion Square regularly as there are a lot special events like this over the spring and summer months.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf was busy over the long weekend too. That crowd on the right are watching the harbour seals, a popular attraction.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dining on the Causeway

As soon as the weather warms up al fresco dining spots blossom on the sidewalks of old town Victoria. Above is what Milestones Restaurant looked like this Easter weekend - probably the prime location in the city as they are right on the Inner Harbour Causeway.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Just Wait in the Truck, I'll be Right Back...

Someone has a twisted sense of humor and boy did this stop me in my tracks!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spring Music

Another sunny day today and much warmer brought loads of people out to stroll around the Inner Harbour Causeway. And there was lots to enjoy - refreshments, art and crafts and music. For perennial performer, one man band Dave Harris (above) it was his first outing this year and I enjoyed sitting in the sunshine once again and listening to his music. Later another veteran busker/musician, Country Dave Ryerson joined Dave for the photo below. The contributions these musicians make to the warm and welcoming atmosphere of the Causeway year after year cannot be too highly appreciated.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pierre St. Pierre

While passing the Causeway this afternoon I was happy to see that an old favorite has returned to our city. This is Pierre St. Pierre working his mysterious magic on a young tourist. The lad is, I'm sad to say, appropriately dressed for this cold spring.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Shooting Stars

Here's another local wildflower that was blooming in the same meadow as pictured yesterday. These are commonly called Shooting Stars, one of many species of Dodecatheon.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Beacon Hill Park

Famous local artist and author Emily Carr wrote about her love for Fawn Lilies and whenever I see these in Beacon Hill Park, I imagine that she must have been thinking of this particular meadow. Indeed, her house is only a few minutes walk from where I took this photo on Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cherry Blossoms

One more before the season's over. Our weather is still too cold and cloudy to seem like spring but blossoms like these make it seem a little warmer.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Old Town From Songhees Point

I went down to Songhees Point a few days ago to try out a new time-lapse photography capability. This is one of my favorite views of the old town and it is also a very busy part of the harbour. We are looking across the harbour towards Wharf Street. The time lapse worked well but is a little too fast so I need to do it again before I share it with you. In the meantime, here is a still photo I took at the same time.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Final Week of School


I go to art school and we are in the last push before the end of the year when EVERYTHING is due which means that if I've haven't been doing anything but homework. The only photographs I've taken are of artwork for my presentation. These three are part of a series of drawings titled, 'Witness Marks' and I've done 30 so far with the goal being to do 100 (!!) Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Special Tree

I've confessed to my favorite wildflower so, while I've not thought about it much, I suspect the Garry Oaks that are so distinctive a part of this place are my favorite trees. They are so wonderfully and irrationally gnarled. And, whenever I go to Highrock Park I always end up pausing when I see this particular oak. There's something about how it grips the rock it grows out of and how it is always silhouetted against the sky that makes me stop and appreciate it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Reprise

I had another photo planned for today but when I was going through the file I came across this photo of a Giant White Fawn Lily and, well you know they are my favorite spring flower, so lets enjoy another one while they are here. This photo was taken yesterday.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Giant White Fawn Lilies

Well, I love all the spring flowers but when it comes to wild local plants I think these Giant White Fawn Lilies are my favorites. They also come in pink but those are pretty rare around here. I photographed these today in Highrock Park.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Will

While on the Causeway on Monday I stopped to listen to Will. His repertoire was almost as old as I am so it was pretty comfortable listening.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Satisfaction

I find photos like this very satisfying. I don't have the ability to set them up but when they happen I am pleased. This pair of skateboarders were taking a break on the Inner Harbour Causeway yesterday afternoon.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Satinflower 2

So I went up to Highrock Park again today to check on how the local wildflowers are doing in this colder-than-normal spring. Usually there is a fairly predictable progression. Satinflowers first and about the time they are finished the Shooting Stars and Fawn Lilies start, then the Sea Pink and then Camas, etc. This year, however, I am seeing Satinflowers, Fawn Lilies and Sea Pink simultaneously. I took this photo of Satinflowers today and you can see the small pink Sea Pink (Sea Blush) flowers at the bottom of the photo. Satinflowers are usually long gone by the time the Sea Pink blooms.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

In The Big City

We've left the island for the weekend and headed to Vancouver. I always feel like such a small town girl here, craning my neck to look up at the tall, tall buildings. It was lovely to see some blue sky too, we complain about the weather in Victoria but I think Vancouver had even more. Bring on the sunshine! - Fern

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Ambassador Maggot

Another bright afternoon today so I went down to the causeway to see if any buskers had come out of hibernation. Here's the one I encountered, Ambassador Maggot, Gary Ferreira, who was grinding out some righteous rock n' roll this afternoon.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Wharf Street Scene

Like the daffodils in Beacon Hill Park, I photograph this scene almost every year at this time. I like the way the color of the Old Victoria Custom House seems to complement the blossoms of the flowering tree. Photographed yesterday.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Beacon Hill

Around this time of year I like to check on Beacon Hill because its slopes are usually covered with daffodils. We had a beautiful sunny afternoon today and the daffodils didn't disappoint.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Saxe Point Park

Some of you may know that I get around this city by motorcycle and the first part of this video shares a bit of what that's like. It shows some of the drive I took through Esquimalt this afternoon on the way to Saxe Point Park.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New Direction 2

We're getting a lot of mileage out of these Langford Street blossoms. It's a pity that these visuals only communicate half the experience. Even on a gloomy gray day like today the sweet scent is quite overpowering. There is no need to sniff the actual flowers, the street is full of the rich perfume. The video below is another attempt at moving around, maybe a little improvement over yesterday. I think this technique will work better when the moving through activities like a parade or a midway or the causeway. Thanks all for your patience while I try to wrap my old brain around new software.

Monday, March 27, 2017

New Direction

I went for a brief walk along the West Song Walkway today to try out a little upgrade on my video equipment because I've decided over the last few months that I want to do a little more video. I'm also working with a new video editor because the last one has not kept up with the various Windows upgrades. So, today was a very experimental day. What I want to produce is video that is a little more immersive, that lets me take you along with me as I move around this city. I can't say that today's effort was very successful but it is a step in the direction I want to go so I am sharing the video below though it is decidedly a very rough cut. As for the picture above, it is a little flock of American Wigeons having a snooze near where I ended my walk.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Night Blooms

Victorians are all feeling a little put out by the weather as it's been so dreary that it still feels alot like winter. I decided to take some night shots as a way to celebrate the beauty of these plum trees might be the answer to the grey skies. - Fern

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Best Laid Plans....

I had something else planned for today. Unfortunately it was dependent on a warm sunny day, which didn't happen. So, today's post is something more suggestive of the weather we did have. Though we're seeing lots of blossoms now, spring weather has yet to catch up.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Guilty Pleasure

Here's another spring flower that blooms in Highrock Park in the early spring. They seem to thrive in the cold since they are even more numerous and vigourous this year than I've seen them in the past. They are not an indigenous species; probably escaped from someone's garden years ago and have naturalized themselves in a small patch of Highrock Park. I titled this post guilty pleasure because despite the fact that these Glory of the Snow plants are an invasive species, I look forward to seeing them every spring and photographed these yesterday. Below is an impressionistic treatment of these blue beauties.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Satin Flower and Osoberry

You may recall I went up to Highrock Park a week or so ago in search of the earliest of indigenous spring flowers here, the Satin Flower. There were none visible then nor at my next visit a few days ago. But today, there they were, nodding delicately in the breeze. Spring is so late this year that I expect the spring flowers will be treading on each other's heels rather than appearing in the fairly measured progression they follow in normal years. One truly balmy spring day will do it. Below is an impressionistic treatment of another of the earliest native spring blooms I saw today, the Osoberry or Indian Plum.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Langford Street

The bloom on Langford Street is just beginning. These blossoms are quite different from the hot pink blooms posted yesterday.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finally!

Well, though it is now officially springtime, winter has not quite loosened its grip. The blossoms, however, will not be put off. I photographed these today on Skinner Street in Vic West. The blossoming plums that line Langford Street look like they will burst into bloom tomorrow or the next day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A Rare Sighting

So what is 'rare' is this photo you ask? Is there a bird here somewhere? Nope. It's a shadow! That means sunshine and it did happen this week. I had hoped to have a nice shot of some spring blooms but this is about as close as it comes this spring. This week though I feel sure will be the beginning of some better weather. - Fern

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Dark-eyed Junco

Despite their name, Juncos are members of the sparrow family, though perhaps more distinctive than the other sparrows we have looked at lately.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

House Sparrow

We get a lot of House Sparrows to our backyard feeder.These are perched in our backyard plum tree waiting for their turn at the feeder. I suspect these are the most common sparrows around here and one of the most common birds in the city. I really enjoy them in the spring when they bring the fledglings to the feeder and give them lessons on how to crack sunflower seeds (and feed them so they don't starve for want of success.) That's a male House Sparrow in the center of the photo surrounded by females and/or juveniles.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Chipping Sparrow

I don't think any of the sparrows I pictured recently are particularly rare, but today's sparrow, a Chipping Sparrow, is a bird I've only seen once. That accounts for the rather fuzzy photo - he was hopping around in the undergrowth on the summit of Mount Douglas when I first saw him and realized I had never seen one like him before. I was able to quickly snap off a few shots before he disappeared and though all of them are a little fuzzy, they are not so blurry as to hide that lovely rusty chestnut cap that is his distinctive feature.