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Friday, October 31, 2014

Selkirk Trestle 2 - Looking Southeast

Here is the view from the middle of the Selkirk Trestle looking south towards the city centre. The green area on the left is Point Ellice, with the Point Ellice (Bay Street) Bridge visible closer to the centre of the photo. On the right, just behind the trees is the Railyards condominium development with the Dockside Green development behind it.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Selkirk Trestle 1 - Looking North

One of the most distinctive features of Victoria is the body of water called The Gorge. I've mentioned before that no matter where you are in the city you are never far from the water. One reason for this is that the city is located on the pointed tip of Vancouver island and so is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the east, south and west. The Gorge is another reason we are always close to water. It is a long finger of the ocean (6 kilometers from the Selkirk Trestle to Portage Inlet) that penetrates the city and adjacent municipalities and provides a great deal more shoreline. Where I live in Vic West, for instance, is only a few minutes walk southwards to the Songhees and West Bay Walkways that skirt the Inner Harbour. A few minutes walk north brings me to the shores of the Gorge. The Selkirk Trestle marks the eastern end of The Gorge where it widens and becomes Selkirk Water and then the Upper Harbour. It's called a trestle because it was originally built as a rail crossing for the Canadian National Railway that ran a line out to Sooke. That line carried a train called "The Galloping Goose" and the name has been carried over to the trail that now follows the rail right-of-way. Selkirk Trestle is part of that trail and is reserved for cyclists and pedestrians.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Saxe Point Panorama

Here's a bit of coast I always enjoy, the view looking south-east from Saxe Point. Often it seems that human constructions are a blight on the natural environment but here the colors and shapes of these houses seem to provide the perfect counterpoint to the rocky shoreline. This is a big panorama - click it to take a walk along the coast.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Thoughtful Fly

During mushroom season I always end up lying down on the ground in the forest and tuning in to tiny things I don't ordinarily notice. This is not your ordinary summertime, buzzy, bothersome fly. This fly sat peacefully on the mushroom while I got my camera in place and in focus and didn't move a muscle when the shutter clicked.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Refugee?

During Canada's long Thanksgiving Weekend a few weeks ago I went out to Esquimalt Lagoon and was surprised to see this bird, a domestic Muscovy Duck, strolling among the seagulls and swans at this bird sanctuary. Now I figure that he got wind of those meaningful glances and remarks about his plumpness and size that he overheard in the farmyard and decided that he'd skip Thanksgiving at home and spend it in a place where he could keep his feathers on.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hatley Castle Fall Colours

Here's a shot of Hatley Castle from the southern side of Esquimalt Lagoon. The castle now houses part of the administration for Royal Roads University, some of whose buildings can be seen behind the castle.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


One thing I learned when writing fiction is that what the writer does is merely to help the reader imagine the tale. You give the reader only enough clues to enable him or her to create images and feelings inside himself. I am beginning to think that photography is like that as well - the image should suggest a greater reality that the viewer creates in his mind using the clues you give him. It's one of the reasons that reflections are a popular photographic subject. Here on the cap of this tiny mushroom you can see reflected the giant maple trees that loomed overhead. The tiny reflection lets you create that towering forest in your mind.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mushroom Season 3

I mentioned earlier this month that mushrooms were starting to pop up in the woods now that our dry summer weather has finished. Last week when I went out to Mount Douglas Park I photographed over seven different kinds of mushroom in just one small area. Above is one of them.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Carriage Ride?

Most of the tourist oriented activities have closed down for the year now but I was happy recently to see this horse and carriage still operating on the rain-washed pavement of Government Street.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Autumn's changeable weather often results in sunsets more dramatic than usual in Victoria. Here's one looking over the Inner Harbour towards Songhees Point.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Here's a shot of the perhaps deceptively peaceful West Bay Walkway. I don't often think about what is beneath the surface though when they pop their heads up I like to photograph the seals and otters that swim there. However, when I recently took the above photo of the shoreline skirted by the West Bay Walkway I didn't notice the large fish leaping in nearly the centre of the photo. It's almost impossible to see in the photo above but in the 100% crop below it is quite clear and yes, it certainly does have a sharky shape. Hmmmm....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shadow Play

Whenever I pass this spot on a walk in the late afternoon I always enjoy the shadows cast by some nearby trees. This time I had both a camera and a willing volunteer to have a little fun with it. - Fern

Sunday, October 19, 2014


We think we know what things look like but do we? Here are four pictures taken on a stretch of beach yesterday all of driftwood and the variety is fantastic I think. - Fern

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Paint Job

Here's a heritage house I enjoy regularly on my morning walk. It's well over 100 years old now and recently got a makeover with some new colors and detailing. On the right you can see what it looked like before the paint job. The white was nice but this the new color scheme is much classier.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mushroom Season 2

Beside Mount Douglas Park, another favorite hunting ground for mushrooms is the forest surrounding Thetis Lake. I went out there last week to see how the mushroom season is progressing. While I was able to find a few beauties like the one above, I think we still need a few more autumn rains before the woods bloom with our fungoid friends.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thetis Lake Calm

There are so many evergreens on the shores of Thetis Lake it hardly looks like autumn. Aside from that, our deciduous trees have only begun to change color. While the weather has been cooler we have yet to have any frost.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cadboro Bay

Cattle Point divides Oak Bay and Cadboro Bay. While I was looking for birds, others were watching the small sailboats racing in Cadboro Bay.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cattle Point

Because I live in Vic West I tend to focus on the western side of Vancouver Island. But one place I like to visit regularly, Cattle Point, is on the eastern shore of Victoria. It's a great place to birdwatch, especially at this time of year when the autumn migrations are taking place.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Final Burst of Colour

The days grow shorter and the air crisper signalling the final encore before winter's sleep. - Fern

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

The rain came down in buckets yesterday morning as a reminder that autumn has really and trully arrived. Our little dog sure didn't seem to want anything to do with all this wet stuff at first but once we got underway seemed to enjoy it. - Fern

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fisgard Lighthouse

By the time I had walked out to the lighthouse the fog bank had blown clear - you can see its remnants off to the right.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fisgard in the Fog 2

Along the shore there are some aspens or poplar trees whose leaves are just turning into coppery disks that shiver in the slightest breeze.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fisgard in the Fog

Those of you who visit here regularly will know my fondness for the Fisgard Lighthouse. Thus you will understand why I was happy to see it on a foggy morning recently. I have not photographed it in the fog previously so the first thing I did when I arrived at the Fort Rodd Hill/Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site was take some shots of the lighthouse. It was only later I noticed the Steller's Jays and the deer romping around.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Out of Season Fawn

While stalking the Steller's Jays through the bush yesterday I was suddenly confronted with this fawn. This is a little strange since this little deer looks like it's just been born and foaling season for these Black-tailed deer is May and June. I hope this one's late arrival doesn't mean he will have a hard time of it this winter. At least while he's living at Fort Rodd Hill he won't be bothered by predators and the weather here is generally mild enough so that he should be able to find something to eat until spring.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Steller's Jay

Here's a bird I have been hoping to see for some time. Once again, although this Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is not a rare bird it is the first time I have seen any. I encountered quite a group of them, maybe ten or fifteen, foraging in some Garry Oaks at Fort Rodd Hill. They move around in the trees quite quickly and it was some time before I was able to get a clear shot.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mushroom Season

I mentioned last week that the rain we've been having would bring on mushroom season and when I was out at Mount Douglas Park on the weekend I saw these beauties, though the season is only just beginning. Mushrooms are a favorite photo subject of mine - they don't move around, are stable (i.e. not subject to breezes), are usually easy to see (not hopping about up in the treetops). They are also beautifully shaped and colored.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Swap and Shop Finds

Almost every Sunday my dad heads out to the swap meet early in the morning to see what he can find. Its always interesting to see what comes home every weekend. He finds all kind of old things from vintage cameras to beaver traps. Its always a mystery what he is going to find. Today's picks were some old clippers and a tin pencil shooter (to my disappointment the pencil shooter doesn't work but it still looks very cool). I wonder what he will find next week. -Rosie (photos by Fern)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mount Douglas Park

Mount Douglas Park includes a nice chunk of beach as well as the mountain. When I see the ocean like this I always think of Homer's "wine-dark sea".

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ogden Point

At the Western end of Dallas Road is Ogden Point. This point marks one side of the entrance to the Inner Harbour and its breakwater protects deepwater moorage facilities where the cruise ships dock. I always like to get close to these monsters because their size is simply breathtaking.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Clover Point

Travelling east along Dallas Road from Holland Point, a next favorite spot is Clover Point. Sea Gulls and other marine birds are also fond of this spot. In the distance is the Trial Island Light.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Holland Point

I went for a ride along Dallas Road recently and realized I hadn't posted a photo of Holland Point recently. Since it's one of my favorite bits of coastline in the city, here it is. Autumn's rusty color palette is definitely taking over summer's vibrant green.