As soon as we are on the downhill slope towards spring I begin to check out the Matson Lands, pictured above. It's a very small chunk of Garry Oak Wood ecosystem, no more than an acre, that overlooks the West Bay Walkway. What makes it special is that it faces south and climbs upwards at about a 30 degree angle so that it gets the most sun possible, even in the dead of winter. In addition, it is basically a large rock with a sprinkling of soil here and there so all that heat that it soaks up stays in the rock and provides a little warmth to the plant life and brings it life a little earlier in the year than in less favored locations. I took the above photo yesterday on a walk - you can see the Snowdrops (those small white flowers) in little clusters here and there. I did post a Snowdrop photo in December but they were in a garden setting and very much protected from the elements. The Snowdrops pictured above are wild.
Situated on the far west coast of Canada, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is the capital city of the Province of British Columbia. Its benign climate (the warmest winters in Canada) and placid lifestyle make it a favorite retirement location as well as a popular tourist destination. About 400,000 people live in Victoria and adjacent communities. Click the photos to see them larger!