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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.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fox Sparrow

If you're not a bird-watcher you're probably surprised that there are so many kinds of sparrow and that they are so distinctive if you look at them a little closely. Here's another, a Fox Sparrow photographed near Esquimalt Lagoon.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Song Sparrow

Here is one of natures great singers, an aptly named Song Sparrow. Here is a little of what Wikipedia has to say about their song:
The songs are very crisp, clear, and precise, making them easily distinguishable by human ears. A particular song is determined not only by pitch and rhythm but also by the timbre of the trills. Although one bird will know many songs—as many as 20 different tunes with as many as 1000 improvised variations on the basic theme, unlike thrushes, the song sparrow usually repeats the same song many times before switching to a different song.
This photo was taken in April 2010 in the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Here's another of Victoria's sparrows, a Golden-crowned Sparrow. This one was photographed at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary in 2014.

Monday, March 13, 2017

White-crowned Sparrow

When I read about the weather being experienced by our friends in the eastern part of the continent I resolve not to complain about our current weather. I thought it might be interesting to non-bird-watching visitors to see some of our other sparrows. I posted a photo of a Savannah Sparrow on Saturday. Pictured above is a White-crowned Sparrow photographed singing his heart out at Esquimalt Lagoon a few years ago.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Brief Reprieve from Winter


We were on this beach this time last Sunday morning drinking coffee and enjoying warm tropical breezes. Needless to say it was lovely but over way too soon. Then coming back to snow (!) in March was a dreadful shock. - Fern

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Savannah Sparrow

Sparrows are probably our most common local bird. There's lots of different kinds of sparrows and they have a large urban presence. While not flashy, they have their modest charms and this Savannah Sparrow, taking a rest from the wind on the West Bay Walkway one day caught my eye and resulted in a photo that remains one of my all-time favorite bird photos.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Anniversary

Today, March 10, is Victoria Daily Photo's ninth anniversary. I wanted to post a new photo today to mark the occasion and, since it was a sunny day and rather warmer than it has been lately, I took myself up to one of my favorite springtime haunts, Highrock Park in Esquimalt. I was hoping to see some Satinflowers, one of the very earliest of indigenous spring flowers here. I know several places in Highrock Park where they bloom, usually around this time of the year. I have photos of them taken as early as March 5 in previous years but today, I didn't see any, and not even any sprouts or buds. Our spring this year is definitely later than usual. Even without flowers Highrock Park is a delight. The bit of pathway pictured above is how I usually enter the park.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Snakes

One of the nice things about wandering around in the bush here on Vancouver Island is that there are no poisonous snakes. There are only 4 kinds of snake on the island and three of them are Garter Snakes - like the one pictured above, a Western Terrestrial Garter Snake, a name nearly as long as he is. The fourth kind of snake we have here is quite rare - I've never seen one. It's called a Sharp=tailed Snake and has a very limited range. I lived in Africa for many years, on the hot and humid west coast. In my first years there I was living in a rain forest village and any time I went for a walk in the forest I had always to be on the lookout for snakes because there were many that were deadly poisonous and quite aggressive - cobras and mambas, etc. The harmless little fellow above was photographed near Esquimalt Lagoon in April 2010.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Birds

One of the things I want to do more of once the weather warms up is bird photography. Red-winged Blackbirds are one of my favorite birds because of how their rich and melodious songs fill the air in spring. The male Red-winged Blackbird pictured above was photographed at Rithet's Bog in March 2014.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

From Saxe Point

I'm still cruising the archives - it's just too cold to be creative outdoors these days. Here's a photo of a favorite subject, the Fisgard Lighthouse. What gives it its special interest for me is that it is a view of the lighthouse from an unusual angle. The photo was taken from Saxe Point Park. The lighthouse looks rather closer than it actually is because of the 300mm telephoto lens I was using. Fisgard Lighthouse is a favorite subject for me because it always looks good, from any point of view. This photo was taken in April 2012.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Way Back When.... 4

A few more from 2009.

Top Row from the left: Saxe Point Park, Gorge Park, Victoria Public Library. Bottom Row: Causeway, Gonzales Observatory, Royal Roads forest.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Way Back When.... 3

Here's some faves from 2009.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Rapt Attention 2

To continue yesterday's theme, it's not just musicians that fascinate the young. Here's a performer whose musical mime casts a spell on everyone who stops to watch, Pierre St. Pierre. (Above, May 2015) (Below, July 2016)

Friday, March 3, 2017

Rapt Attention

If you come to Victoria Daily Photo very much you will know that I like to photograph street performers. I post a lot of photos of buskers and while digging through the archives I realized I have a particular subset of photos of small children watching street performers. At the time I posted the above photo (August 2016) I wrote, "Nothing speaks so strongly about the power of live performance and the value of performers who bring their music to the streets as the kind of rapt attention they get from small children." The performer above is Karly Summers. Below is another example with one man band Dave Harris (April 2016).

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Way Back When.... 2

Here are some more favorites from the first year of Victoria Daily Photo.

Johnson Street Bridge, Victoria, BC, Canada
Inner Harbor, Parliament Buildings, Legislative Assembly, Victoria, BC, Canada

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Way Back When....

Below are a selection of my favorite images from the from the first year of Victoria Daily Photo (2008-2009). Lately I've been enjoying working in black and white but when I look at these photos from 8 or 9 years ago I realize how much I like rich, saturated colors. Click on any of these to see them full size.

Dave Harris, one man band, Inner Harbour Causeway, Victoria, BC, Canada
Inner Harbour at night with Legislative Assembly Buildings, Victoria, BC, CanadaChrist Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC, Canada