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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saxe Point Reprise

Here's a favourite scene, photographed yesterday morning. Compare with below, taken a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Book - Free Review Copies

Above is the cover of my latest book, Long Legs Boy. It has just been published by Oolichan Books here in Canada and I have a limited number of copies to distribute free to readers who will undertake to write a brief review of the book and publish it on their blog or other website. All you have to do is to send me an e-mail with your name and postal address and the URL of the blog or website where you will publish your review. You can read the book blurb more easily by clicking on the above scan of the cover. The book is an easy read and at 220 pages the complaint of most readers so far has been that "it ends too soon" or that "it is too short".
E-mail me (Benjamin Madison) for your free review copy:

Long Legs Boy
is also available at bookstores here in Canada and locally in Victoria as well as internationally through online booksellers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Guard Rails

The Ogden Point Breakwater is getting a new look - guard rails. When they have finished installing these I suspect they will look very nice and encourage more people to walk out on the breakwater. Click the Ogden Point Breakwater label below to see how it looked without the rails.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sanderling (Calidris alba)

I joined causeway artist Dean Lewis for a walk along the Ogden Point Breakwater this morning and we were happy to spy these two little shorebirds having breakfast amongst the barnacles and limpets on the lower edges of the breakwater. I have identified these as Sanderling (Calidris alba) though I'm not 100% certain since there are many small sandpiper-like birds that are very similar. Any birders out there who can confirm or correct this identification are invited to make a comment. After we watched these birds a bit Dean and I took the hint and went and had breakfast ourselves at the nearby Ogden Point Cafe. Dean had the barnacles on toast and I satisfied myself with some fried kelp and a side of limpets.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Best Beach Fort EVER

On a drive along Dallas Road today we came upon this monumental structure built on the beach in front of Ross Bay Cemetery. I don't know how long it's been there or how long it will last but hats off to the builder of this incredible driftwood creation. - Fern

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hocus Pocus Mr. Crocus!

I didn't know if I could compete with all the beautiful spring flowers that Benjamin Madison has been posting the last couple of days and then voila! The sun came out ever so briefly but long enough to catch the reflection shining on the water. - Fern

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crocus Focus

Spring greetings from the Victoria Daily Crocus....

Friday, February 22, 2013

More Crocuses

These colours are wonderfully refreshing after the browns and grays of autumn and winter. Beacon Hill Park is looking good.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Seeing Fern's photo of snowdrops a few days ago reminded me that I had not checked Beacon Hill Park for spring flowers yet this year. It has been so mild lately that it seems that spring has already arrived and the glorious burst of crocuses pictured above would seem to confirm it. These are planted crocuses in beds but the escaped crocuses are also peeping out all over the park and we'll have a look at them tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Young Blacktail Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)

I mentioned the other day that I always enjoy seeing wildlife on my walks through my part of this city and I was rewarded again recently by being able to observe two young Blacktail Deer browsing on a hillside above the West Bay Walkway, one of which is pictured above. While keeping a prudent distance, these deer seemed nonetheless to be used enough to humans not to panic or race off in fear as I approached.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Misty City

Well, here we are half way through February and the crocus and daffodil buds are near bursting. While the sun pops through from time to time, most of the days now are like this - gray and misty. Here's what the city looked like from the West Bay Walkway recently.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Signs of Spring

Snowdrops are always a welcome sight at this time of year aren't they? - Fern

Sunday, February 17, 2013

One Square Block

I gave myself an assignment: camera in hand, choose one city block and walk all away around it searching for clues that would mark that place in time. - Fern

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Otter Breakfast

This is the same otter as pictured yesterday, a few minutes later. He climbed out onto the rocky shore in order to enjoy quite a large fish he had caught. It was still flopping about and it took more than a few bites with those sharp teeth to kill it. Otters are social animals and you can see another otter swimming on the right in the background.

Friday, February 15, 2013

North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)

It always gives me a thrill to see wildlife here in the city and it has been some time since I was privileged to sight an otter. Although he was swimming yesterday in the salt water near the shoreline along the Westsong Walkway, he's a North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) and not a Sea Otter. Sea Otters are found in the coastal waters of Vancouver Island but not in the Victoria area. I particularly like to see otters because they are sometimes used as an indicator of pollution - they are very sensitive to pollution.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Holland Point

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I thought this would be an interesting photo to post next to yesterday's because it is so different and yet it was taken within an hour of the other two. The mist just rolled in and completely changed the whole landscape. Quite fascinating. I won't deny we were all glad to be close to the lodge when it happened and not still out in the forest. - Fern

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Snow Day!

British Columbia has a new holiday; Family Day and we took advantage of it to go north to Mt. Washington to enjoy a little of the white stuff. Now I know many of you would rather drive away from snow but here on southern Vancouver Island we get so little of it that we enjoy it from time to time. One of the things we did was go snow shoeing in the woods and that was so beautiful and alot of fun! - Fern

Monday, February 11, 2013


This lovely old house is located just inside the gates of Victoria's poshest neighbourhood, the Uplands. It was built in 1929 and listed last year for $1,595,000. Wow. The giant garry oak and it's shadow cast along the sunlit wall are free for all passing by to enjoy. - Fern

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stormy Weather

Even on the rather grim gray days of winter the view from the beaches along Dallas Road is always interesting and dramatic.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Shoal Point at Dawn

Friday, February 8, 2013

Along Dallas Road

A favourite view.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sunset on the Gorge

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Gorge Park

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saxe Point Park

Here's another archival shot of a favourite local seaside park. This is Saxe Point Park in Esquimalt. Here we are looking out towards the Strait on the eastern side of the point, which stretches around to the right.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ogden Point and the Juan De Fuca Strait

Can you feel the weight of those clouds? I can. - Fern Long

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Classics

Good ole Fan Tan Alley, always an interesting place to explore and of course, take photographs. - Fern

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Inner Harbour Causeway

Here's another archival shot from February four years ago.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Blue Bridge

Here's one from the archives (I'm a bit busy today) - the Johnson Street Bridge as it used to be - two spans, one for road traffic and a smaller one for rail. Despite the voters' endorsement of plans for a new bridge, the process seems to have bogged down. The smaller of the two spans, the rail span, has been taken down and dismantled so currently only the road span is operational.