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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chase the Bear

I am always interested in new groups coming to busk in Victoria so I was happy to see these musicians playing at the bottom of Government Street yesterday. But in this case I was amazed at the raw talent they displayed. And I was not alone - many spectators were equally struck at the music these young perfomrers provided. The group is called, "Chase the Bear" and consists of Troy Gilmore (vocals), Jordan Phillips, and Braeden Royer. Dusty Townsend (cello) of "Fish in a Birdcage" was jamming with them. (Please excuse the quality of the video below. I had gone out to shoot landscapes earlier and neglected to bring my proper video recording equipment with me. The video is from my phone. Consequently the sound is muffled by wind and traffic noise for the first 30 or 40 seconds.)

Braeden Royer
Jordan Phillips
Troy Gilmore

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ukelele Player

Each year I focus mainly on the street performers who perform on the Inner Harbour Causeway but there are many equally talented performers who offer their talents in other parts of the downtown area, especially Government Street. That is where a few days ago I chanced upon this lovely young woman making some interesting music with her ukelele.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fish in a Birdcage

Fish in a Birdcage has been featured here in other years with other members but the one consistent member is Dusty Townsend, usually playing cello as on the right in the photo above. When I saw him earlier this week he was playing in the company of Esther-Ruth Teel, on the Celtic Harp. It's an odd combination of instruments but it works amazingly well, the deep, rumblings of the cello perfectly counterpointing the softer pluckings of the harp.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Harling Point

This is the view from Harling point looking in a westerly direction. This is not the view I went there to photograph. The subject I wanted to picture is that huge whitish boulder down on the shore on the right. However, I realized when I got there that for the photograph I had in mind, I needed the tide to be in and it was low tide. I'll go back in about ten days or two weeks.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Hats off to my most excellent Dad and his fabulous blog. It's a daily treat to see the world through his lenses. - Fern

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Summer of Love...

When I saw this trio of young buskers I was suddenly thrown back to the "summer of love" - 1967 - and it made me realize that ideas and movements that were ignited then never really died but that fragments of that time still float around and seeds that were planted then continue to bear fruit. I hope these kids made it home safely.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Chinese Cemetery

I went to Harling Point today to work a little more on landscape photography. The point is also the site of the Chinese cemetery which has been closed for many years though it is still maintained. Pictured above is the altar where memorial ceremonies take place. The cemetery site was chosen according to careful interpretation of Feng Shui principles and it does seem to be a special place.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Landscape Photography Fail

I don't take anywhere near as many photos as I did a few years ago. Then I would routinely come home with 2 or 3 hundred shots. Now I think I work a little harder to get it right before I click the shutter. However, I still have some shots that just don't do it for me. I thought it might be interesting for you to see a shot that doesn't do it for me. There's two things that don't work in this photo - one is the sky - there are some lovely wispy clouds but they are all focused/aimed at the horizon, not the lighthouse. Secondly, the main leading lines that do focus on the lighthouse are the road lines on the ground. The only trouble with these is that the road is not a very interesting object in itself - it's a little cracked and junky looking. I'd prefer a dirt track with some grass and dandelions, etc. I'll be interested in any comments on this photo, especially in comparison with yesterday's photo (taken the same afternoon).

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Landscape Photography

I decided to take a break from the causeway and its summer bustle and rode out to the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. While the above photo doesn't look a lot different from my usual photos of this landmark, it was an attempt to put into practice some hints and tips on landscape photography I've lately been picking up (mostly from YouTube tutorials). Well, at least I've got the horizon fairly level in this shot.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Carla Olive

Causeway musicians continue to amaze me with their talent and professionalism and singer/songwriter Carla Olive (pictured above) is no exception. We really are privileged here in Victoria to have such polished performances available to us. Carla is a new face on the causeway this year and a great addition to the roster of artists who perform on the Inner Harbour Causeway.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Blake Andison

I've been spending a bit more time down on the Causeway lately in order to catch up with all this year's buskers. Some are new and others are returning. Above is Blake Andison who has been performing on the causeway for 4 or 5 years now. Blake performs rock n' roll classics in a very polished, professional style. If you happen to catch one of his performances, stop and listen for a while. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Look Up, Way Up

Victoria is famous for it's gardens but these tulips in Bastion Square really are the biggest around! - Fern

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Vic West Skateboard Competition

Today was the annual Vic West Skateboard Competition and as usual I was impressed by the kids who competed. They work so hard to learn the skills and it takes so much determination and dedication to crash and get up again and again until you've mastered it. (And lots of scrapes and bruises)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Oak Bay Tea Party

When you have a tea party of course you have to have tea cups.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Secret of Bumper Car Driving

Hammering big nails may be a matter of wrist action or where you hold the hammer (see yesterday's post) but it is clear that the secret to bumper car driving is to hold your tongue just exactly right.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hammered!

About 50 paces away from where I took the beach photo I posted yesterday I came across the sight above. It is, of course, the preparation for the famed Oak Bay Tea Party Ladies' Nail-Driving Competition. Below are some of the contestants, hammering.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Willows Beach

The carnival ride photo I posted yesterday is located in Willows Park where the rest of the Oak Bay Tea Party events also take place. We'll have some more photos of the Tea Party events this week. Today's photo is Willows Beach, probably Victoria's most popular ocean beach. When the busy bustling midway became a little overpowering it was nice to take a stroll along the beach.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Midway

What could be better than to be flung around at high speed in a shiny green plastic chariot on a sunny afternoon in June?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Shadow Art

Sometimes the amount of brilliant sunshine and greenery can be overwhelming (in a good way of course) but all the same I feel the need to look elsewhere for inspiration. In this case, the strong shadows are what caught my eye. - Fern

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Oak Bay Tea Party Parade

Oak Bay, though part of what is called Greater Victoria, is actually a small city and the annual Oak Bay Tea Party Parade perfectly captures this small-town atmosphere. Above, while waiting for the parade to begin children romped and chased bubbles and neighbors exchanged news. Below is one aspect of modern parades - lots of parade participants throw candy to the children. Great idea! It certainly makes parade-watching more interesting for the kids.
Below is a bit of a montage that may suggest what this year's parade was like.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Country Dave Ryerson

Well, I didn't get to see the yachts when I was down at the Inner Harbour (see yesterday's post) but I did get to sit down and listen to one of my favourite causeway performers, Country Dave Ryerson. Country Dave has been entertaining visitors and locals for many years now and I never tire of listening to him.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Nonplussed

Usually when I go down the Inner Harbour it looks like the photo above. But when I went down late last week to photograph all the boats that had come for a special event what met my eyes was the scene below.
The Special event, of course, was the international yacht race called the Swiftsure. For some reason I had got my dates mixed up and thought the race didn't begin until the following day. All the boats I came down to photograph were out at the race.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The O'Brien Family

Sunday evening I chanced to hear this group performing as part of the Night Market on Ship Point. This is the O'Brien Family, a very accomplished group that were a pleasure to listen to. Below is a video of one of their performances a few years ago to give you some idea of their sound.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Esquimalt Lagoon

The Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site is directly adjacent to the Esquimalt Lagoon Nature Sanctuary. The above photo was taken from Fort Rodd Hill looking towards the lagoon. The stream in the foreground is the tidal flow into and out of the lagoon.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Postcard

I'm not a very adventurous photographer - usually what I strive to achieve is picturesque rather than striking or unique and this shot is a good example of what satisfies me.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Salt Spring Island

We had a mini holiday over on Salt Spring Island, staying at a cabin on St. Mary's Lake. It's one of my favorite places to go being just a short ferry ride away and yet feeling like another world. - Fern

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Garry Oak Learning Meadow

A few years ago Fort Rodd Hill was little more than a preserved coastal defense site. But in the last few years new features have been added that make it more interesting, educational and relevant. One of my favorite new features is the Garry Oak Learning Meadow, a garden area stocked with a wide variety of plants that are a part of the Garry Oak Ecosystem. Above we are looking at the entrance to the meadow through its attractive new gate. The learning meadow is well worth a visit quite aside from the other attractions of the park and there is usually a helpful Parks Canada person there to describe how and why the meadow was developed.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fisgard Lighthouse

Under blue skies and bright sunshine I went out today to Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site. I was pleased to discover that in celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday this year, all National Historic Sites have waived their admission fees. The entrance fee to Fort Rodd Hill has always been quite modest but the feeling that I could come back again, often, subtly changed the tenor of my visit, so that I was able to concentrate on one part of the site and reserve the rest for further visits. Above is a slightly different view of the Fisgard Lighthouse viewed from Fort Rodd Hill.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Carriage Trade

Despite sporadic protests from animal rights activists these horse and carriage tours of the city remain popular with tourists. Certainly one good effect they have is traffic-calming since they move at quite a leisurely pace. Their home base here is right beside the Legislative Assembly Buildings and they add a pleasantly pastoral air to the area while they wait for clients.