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Friday, September 30, 2011

History in Stone

The City of Victoria has a very short history, being founded only 168 years ago. Most of us become aware of it through our carefully preserved oldest buildings such as Helmcken House or Craigflower Manor or by means of archival photos or documents from the early days of the city. But if we want to get closer to the people who made the history, the best place to visit is Ross Bay Cemetery because many of those whose names adorn our streets and places now rest there. Above is a photo of the grave of Lieutenant Peter Leech who gave his name to Leech River and Leechtown, about 60 kilometers from Victoria. Lt. Leech was a member of an expedition for the exploration of Vancouver Island that discovered gold in 1864. The Fraser Canyon Gold Rush (1858) had such a dramatic effect on the mainland of the province that the discovery of gold near Victoria tends to be overshadowed. Leechtown and nearby Boulder City had a population of about 4,000 before the gold ran out in 1865. There is a good short biography of Lt. Leech HERE. He died here in Victoria in 1899.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Chevy Winner

Every year a local weekly news and entertainment paper, Monday Magazine, runs a photo contest. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to win a second prize in the Black & White category.. This year my photo of a friend's restored Chevrolet Pick-up took second prize in the Photoshop category. The photo was processed using Photomatix HDR software. If you're in Victoria, pick up a copy of this week's Monday Magazine (or click the link) to see this and other contest winners.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Homing In

When I came out of the local swimming pool the other day I found parked beside my modest plastic fendered scooter a motorcycle of such stunning and immaculate shininess I had to get my camera out. And when I had gorged on the chrome and polished steel I looked up just as this tiny insect was zeroing in on the bright pink blossoms cascading from a hanging container above my head. Photography can be wonderfully satisfying. All these photos were taken with one of my favorite lenses, the Takumar SMC f2.8 105mm, originally made for Pentax film cameras. I have to focus and set the aperture manually but it's worth it for such crisp contrasty photos.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Autumn Blossoms

Yes, autumn's definitely here but here's another shot from my recent trip to the Abkhazi Garden where the blooms will continue until the first frost is on the ground.

Monday, September 26, 2011


On a morning that started out looking grey and windy we were treated to a few beautiful moments when the sun managed to break through. Typical fall weather. This is another shot of the Lochside Regional Trail, this time from Island View Road, looking south across the fields. - Fern

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Victoria has been enjoying an incredibly beautiful September and that means blackberries galore! On a trip out to Saanich, on the Lochside Regional Trail we found a bounty of beauties. - Fern

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Humayun's Tomb

For this "Somewhere Saturday" here's another of the sights to see in Delhi, Humayun's Tomb. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth a visit if you are in India. I took this photo during my trip there in March of this year. Below is the text of a plaque at the entrance to the tomb.

Humayun's Tomb
1565-72 A.D.
Hamida Banu Begum, his grieving widow, built Emperor Humayun's mausoleum. Precursor to the Taj Mahal, it stands on a platform of 12,000 square meters and reaches a height of 47 meters. The earliest example of Persian influence in Indian architecture, the tomb has within it over 100 graves, earning it the name, 'Dormitory of the Mughals'. Built of rubble masonry, the structure is the first to use red sandstone and white marble in such great quantities. The small canopies on the terrace were originally covered in glazed blue tiles and the brass finial over the white marble dome is itself 6 meters high.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Belmont Building

Here's a building most of us pass without a second glance although it is nearly a century old. The Belmont Building was the first reinforced concrete structure erected in Victoria and though 8 stories might not seem like much now, it is worth remembering that the 17 story World Building (the Sun Building) in Vancouver, erected the same year was then the tallest building in the British Empire. The Belmont Building is located at the corner of Government and Humboldt Streets overlooking the Inner Harbor Causeway. The architectural drawing effect applied to this photo is from a GIMP plugin called G'mic.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gone to Seed...

When we say something has "gone to seed" we usually mean that it has deteriorated but in nature, going to seed is the natural culmination of the flowering. Yesterday's post of the poppy seed pods reminded me of this and above is another plant whose seed production is fully as splendid as its flowers. This is one of the many varieties of Clematis.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blue Skies 2

Back in June I posted a photo of these poppy plants in glorious bloom. Victoria's been having some beautiful summery weather lately but there's no turning back the clock. The leaves are starting to turn and there's a chill in the air.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vic West Corn Roast

One of my favorite annual events, the Vic West Corn Roast and Spiral Cafe Anniversary, took place here on Saturday. It's the kind of event that gives me hope that our society has not totally lost its human values and that neighborhood and community are still important aspects of our lives. Below is a taste of what a great afternoon it was. Thanks to the organizers and volunteers who made it such a successful event.

Corn - of course!
Apple Pie - There is a pie-baking contest also and then everyone eats the pies. Mmmm.
Zucchini Races and Free Blue Ice Cream
Music - Vic West is rich in musicians and artists. Below are only a few of those who performed at this event. Correct me if I'm wrong, please, but below are Steven, the Children of Celebrities (and a video below the photos), and the bass guitarist of The Colts.
If you weren't able to make it this year watch this video to spend a few minutes in the neighborhood.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Site Specific Art 2

This is another great example of art created for a specific location. This hydro pole is at the corner of Dallas Road and Cook Street. - Fern

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Ode to Andy Goldsworthy

This is a fine example of site specific art created by my husband on a trip to Dallas Road for a picnic supper. It was inspired by one of our favorite artists, Andy Goldsworthy. - Fern

Saturday, September 17, 2011

World's Largest Truck

Don't bother imagining the world's largest truck. You're looking at it. This is the Titan 33-19 and it can carry a ton of stuff. Actually, 350 tonnes of stuff. It lives in Sparwood, British Columbia and used to work in the coal mine there. My thanks to the gentleman pictured above who kindly agreed to pose there to give scale to the photo. (According to Wikipedia this is no longer the world's largest truck - a slightly larger truck has been built, the Caterpillar 797).

For this "Somewhere Saturday" I have added a bonus video from my summer trip to Alberta, a short clip of driving through the Rocky Mountains.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I went to the Abkhazi Garden the other day because I needed some bright pure color. Here's a couple of purples from that visit.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Lingers

While autumn colors are beginning to tint the landscape, some days this week have been warmer than many summer days and a trip to Abkhazi Garden yesterday showed many flowers still in bloom and many bees taking advantage of this.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Victoria is a lovely city. There are lots of tree-lined streets and well-kept homes. Little parks dot the neighborhoods and one is never far from the ocean or forested hills. And compared to many other cities in North America Victoria does not have much strip mall such as pictured above. These business oriented zones full of used car lots, fast food restaurants, inexpensive motels and malls encircled by vast blacktopped parking lots sometimes seem like something left over from the era of Willy Loman, a part of the city still struggling to get out of the '50s.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Emily Carr Statue

Local artist Emily Carr was honoured in 2010 with this statue on the corner of Government Street by the Empress Hotel. Emily Carr was born in Victoria in 1871, lived here most of her life and died here in 1945. She was an accomplished writer as well as a painter. Wikipedia has a good article about her work and life.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Chemainus River

This lovely spot is north of Victoria, outside of Chemainus, at Bald Eagle Campground. -Fern Long

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Going Home

I've been a few places in the world but wherever I go, I am always happy to come home. And each time I marvel anew at the beauty of the west coast. This stretch of ocean is now called the Salish Sea, just off of Tsawwassen as you leave the ferry terminal on your way towards the Gulf Islands. - Fern

Saturday, September 10, 2011

World's Largest Dinosaur

For Somewhere Saturday this week we are returning to the neighboring province of Alberta to visit the dinosaur capital of the world, Drumheller. Just outside the town is the Royal Tyrrell Museum, housing a huge number of reconstructed dinosaur skeletons that have been unearthed nearby. It's a fascinating place to visit. The Tyrannosaurus rex replica pictured above towers 86 feet (about 26 meters) above the Drumheller Visitor Information Centre. It is about 4.5 times as large as a real T-rex. There is a viewing platform in the mouth.

Friday, September 9, 2011


It has been some time since I have renewed the header photo for Victoria Daily Photo and since I am currently enamored with cartoon style processing I decided that for a new look to I would use this photo of Victoria's Inner Harbor. The title of this post has a double significance also in that the large white building in this photo has just undergone an extensive cleaning and repainting and, empty now, will soon house another tenant, since its longtime resident, the Royal London Wax Museum, is no longer there. This building was originally built as the Canadian Pacific Railway Steamship Terminal in 1924. It was designed by Francis Rattenbury and Percy James. The large building in the background of this photo is the Hotel Grand Pacific.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Extreme Victoria: The Running of the Goats

Those of you who think Victoria is a stuffy, staid provincial city should know that life here can be wild and wooly if you know where to go. Here's a glimpse of a perilous adventure I had recently, risking my person and equipment to bring you this rare footage of the dangerous traditional goat stampede in Victoria's notorious Beacon Hill Park. Fasten your seatbelts folks, this is EXTREME VICTORIA!

The Running of the Goats takes place every day during the summer at the Beacon Hill Park Children's Zoo. Check their website for times and seasonal hours.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Metro Semeniuk

One of the more unusual instruments played by buskers belongs to Metro Semeniuk. It's the hammered dulcimer and it produces wonderful bell-like tones when he plays it. The photo above is a snapshot from the video that I shot on Fisherman's Wharf here in Victoria a few weeks ago. Metro divides his time between Fisherman's Wharf and the Inner Harbor.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Picker (Landen Shaw)

Here's summer coming to an end and I feel like I missed a lot of it this year. I regret not visiting the Inner Harbour quite so often since I have missed some new artists and performers as well as not getting quite enough of my old favorites. Above is a young fellow whose guitar picking is worth listening to. I've captured a bit of it on the video below but I didn't have my good quality microphone with me so the sound doesn't do justice to his playing. This is the Inner Harbour's youngest busker, Landen Shaw, age 12. Click HERE to read a local news article about him.

This is the first of a series of posts that will include videos. Visitors will please be patient with me while I learn how to edit video with some new software - Pinnacle Studio 15. Tomorrow we'll have a video of our local dulcimer player, Metro Semeniuk, and I have two more videos lined up for later in the week.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Polite Society

This sign is posted along the pathway at Dallas Road. I just love the polite tone of it. Whomever composed it was brought up right, their mother should be proud! - Fern

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Road Trippin'

Labour Day weekend often signifies the last chance for people to enjoy summer by getting out of town and hitting the highway. This was taken on our way home from a lovely trip to Portland, Oregon on Highway 101 in Washington State. - Fern

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Somewhere Saturday - India

Among the many splendors of India, something that I find stimulating is the constant juxtaposition of the old and new. Here we have a statue representing Nandi, a deity thousands of years old, resting comfortably beneath a modern overpass. You can read more about Nandi by clicking HERE. This photo was taken in Delhi in March 2011.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Swallowed Anchor 2

A couple of years ago I posted a photo of this quaint house opposite the West Bay Marina. I took another photo of it yesterday when I was going for breakfast at the Queen Mary Restaurant at the Marina. The house is looking rather more decrepit now and anyone who wants to see it should make a visit to the West Bay Marina soon. It is slated for demolition. HERE is a good article about the history and future of this unusual old house. The name of the house, The Swallowed Anchor, is nautical lingo. To "swallow the anchor" means to retire from a life of sailing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Morning Fog

Fog rolled in from the Strait of Juan de Fuca this morning and obscured Shoal Point and James Bay. This photo was taken about an hour ago from the viewpoint in front of the Swallows Landing condominiums above the West Bay Walkway.