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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Best of 2015 - 3

In this year-end retrospective series, we've seen some local birds (one of my main interests) and some urban scenery (yesterday's photo), but as well as being a beautiful city, Victoria is surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Here are a couple of examples. Above is a shot from August 2015 of Esquimalt Lagoon. Below is another of my favorite views - one that I have photographed many times. It is Saxe Point Park, photographed in July 2015.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best of 2015 - 2

Here's a favorite photo from June of this year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Best of 2015 - 1

While browsing among the year's photos looking for calendar shots I began to think that some of the year's posts were worth a second look and since I tend to be a bit housebound during the winter I'm going to finish this year by a little retrospective. Above is a Double Crested Cormorant photographed in March 2015 at Swan Lake. I like this photo because it shows some aspects of this cormorant that I rarely see. The beautifully mottled feather markings are particularly visible as is the red around the beak and the remarkable emerald eyes. Usually when I see cormorants all I see is a large black bird flying low over the water. This photo reminds me that they are actually quite spectacular. As far as the Mallard Drake to the right is concerned, I like how close up it is, how you can see right into his eye. Mallards always look so peaceful and happy.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Island View Beach 3

Here's Island View Beach on a crisp frosty morning last week, in black and white.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Wooden Heart

Well Christmas has come and gone and I have enjoyed the last couple of days of relaxing and not going out of the house hardly at all. I snapped this photo on my way through downtown last week as it was a nice surprise to have been at this intersection countless times before and have never noticed this. - Fern

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Island View Beach 2

Island View Beach has a certain austere beauty but I'm happy it also has a nice sandy trail above the driftwood line because it is what I call an ankle-breaker beach. Going for a stroll on rocks this size almost guarantees you will be limping by the time you get home (unless, of course, you are a seagull).

Friday, December 25, 2015

Island View Beach

Something tells me we won't see many visitors to this site today, but for those who do spend a few minutes here, above is a change from all those fancy wrapping papers and Christmas lights. This is Island View Beach, a long beach on the eastern side of the Saanich Peninsula. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

Here's our tree. Fern and I hope that you and yours are warm and happy tonight and that Santa leaves a pile of just what you wanted under your tree. Best wishes and Seasons Greetings from Victoria Daily Photo.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ducks and Pumpkins

AT this time of year many of the low-lying fields in Saanich are flooded and provide perfect winter quarters for a wide variety of waterfowl. Here is a Mitchell Farms pumpkin field and a flock of Mallard Ducks.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Saanich Morning

I had occasion to be out on the Saanich Peninsula this morning and spent a little time on and near Island View Beach. Above is an idyllic scene near Mitchell Farms, a large market garden producer. Island View Beach is just over the rise.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Float Homes - West Bay Marina

Our damp and dark weather continues as illustrated by this view of the float homes at the West Bay Marina. However, with the winter solstice passing today the days will begin now to get longer and brighter.

Sunday, December 20, 2015


I keep promising myself that I'm going to take some pictures of all the Christmas lights but I find myself time and time again standing under the trees enjoying the natural light pouring through the branches instead. - Fern

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Blue Skies

The sun came out yesterday while I was downtown and it was so nice to see some blue sky I just took a photo of it from where I was - just across the street from the Chinese Public School on Fisgard Street.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Rain, Rain, Go Away....

I am resisting buying a rain protector for my camera but the rain has been so persistent these days it is difficult to take photos for fear of drowning the equipment. Oh well, we're only a few days away from the winter solstice on the 21st, an important milestone for me. I always feel a sense of relief when we are heading back to warmer weather, moving closer to the sun every day. Although the weather won't likely improve appreciably until March, after the solstice it seems like we are on the downhill run to spring.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Fireside Grill

On Tuesday I had the pleasure of dining at The Fireside Grill in Saanich. This lovely old Tudor revival style cottage houses an excellent restaurant managing not to look like one from the outside. It was built in 1939 as a tea and dancing establishment and while researching it I learned that those curvy things over the upper windows are appropriately called "eyebrow dormers".

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mall Christmas

If you want color during these gray winter days the best place to find it is in the mall. This one is on Douglas Street downtown and is a nice bright warm place to spend an afternoon (as well as all of your disposable income.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Pale Landscape

Fern likes winter's muted colors which is a good thing because even the most vibrant landscape such as Work Point pictured above is looking pretty washed out at this time of year when compared to summer's saturated colors.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Winter Colors

Maybe it's the morose side of my personality but as much as I love summer these winter days have their own poetry. - Fern

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Causeway Christmas 2

Yesterday we had a look at the Inner Harbour's lights through a 24mm lens. Here's what it looks like through a Takumar 50mm.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Causeway Christmas

Every Christmas the powers that be light the Inner Harbour Causeway and Legislature for Christmas. I took a couple of different lenses down there last night. Above is what it looks like through a Takumar 24mm wide angle.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Winter on the Causeway

Here's Victoria's Inner Harbour Causeway a few days ago - in summer this area is thronged by mixed crowds of tourists, locals, artists and entertainers. It's almost as pretty at this time of year but the temperature is not conducive to relaxed strolling.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Winter Shadow

When you get a shadow this long in mid-day you know it's nearing the winter solstice.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


Lots of rain these days but when it stops and the sky clears the light is splendid.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

American wigeon (Anas americana)

Continuing the roll call of winter visitors to our shores today's photo is of a pair of American wigeons (Anas americana), the female on the left and the male on the right. These are dabbling ducks like Mallards that find their food in the muck on the bottom in shallow waters close to the shore.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Meet Trevor

I came across this creature and thought immediately that he looked like he was very patiently waiting for spring. - Fern

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Best Bagels In Victoria

These are the best bagels I've had outside of Montreal or New York. They make them fresh everyday and it's so worth it to go early in the morning and get them while they're still warm out of the oven. Delicious! - Fern

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Bufflehead Ducks (Bucephala albeola)

Here's a little closer look at these very small diving ducks. Above is a Bufflehead drake (Bucephala albeola) and below is the female of the species. I find it interesting how the different waterfowl and ducks in particular exploit different parts of the shoreline and different foods. Dabbling ducks like Mallards exploit the shallowest waters near the shore because they only feed on what they can reach while floating on the surface. The Buffleheads pictured today generally are shallow divers that feed on crustaceans and molluscs they find on the bottom a little further out than the dabbling ducks and in deeper water. Diving ducks like the mergansers that feed more on fish than on bottom life dive deeper and stay down longer so they are often seen even further away from the shore in deeper water.

Friday, December 4, 2015


Some other winter residents on the Inner Harbour are these little black and white Bufflehead Ducks. They are diving ducks despite being very buoyant - they are so light that they have to give a little jump up from the water before diving so as to give themselves a little momentum. When they finish their dive they pop up onto the surface like little balloons.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)

Here are a couple of my favorite winter residents, male (above) and female (below) Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus). These are diving ducks, constantly disappearing below the surface in search of the small fish and other aquatic life they eat. Like Wood Ducks, they nest up in the hollow trunks of trees. It would be a treat to see the ducklings emerge after hatching.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Winter Visitors

My favorite seasons are spring and summer so in autumn and winter I have to make special efforts to find things I like. Autumn brings all those strange mushrooms and other fungi and by the time winter settles in we have quite a differently composed bird population, particularly along the shore of the Inner Harbour. Here's one of my favorite winter visitors in a little bay off the West Song Walkway, a Hooded Merganser drake. We'll have a closer look at him and some other winter visitors in the next few days.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Olympic Mountains

Today was one of those days when various photo ideas came to nothing so here's a photo from the archives, almost exactly five years ago to this day. Taken with a 300mm telephoto lens it shows the Olympic Mountains across the strait in their winter splendor.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Light Sculpture

Last Friday a friend and I decided to walk down along Harbor Road by Point Hope Shipyard to see this light sculpture. The photos don't even capture its full colour changing magnificence. I highly recommend (if you are in the area) to walk down and check it out. -Rosie

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Chilly Mornings

The thermometer has been dipping down below zero at night so when the sun makes it's appearance the landscape is covered in a lovely blanket of frost. - Fern

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Janion Hotel

For many years the derelict Janion Hotel stood boarded up and empty at the eastern end of the Johnson Street Bridge. It looked haunted enough so that I even used the photo below as a scary Hallowe'en picture for this blog. However, in the last year or so work has commenced to turn this heritage building into a smart bunch of micro-flats (above). I'm happy to see this old building re-purposed in this way but I hope the final product will look a little more integrated. Below is the Janion Hotel from the front 5 or 6 years ago.

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Our weather has been all over the place lately, heavy rains, cold, cloudy, windy, clear and sunshiney, all in the last few days. Perhaps that explains the wild variety of clouds over the city in this photo taken from the West Bay Walkway.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

And Another....

Yesterday's and today's photos were processed by an in-camera app that renders the photo into an impressionistic illustration. I am a little bit addicted to this - in case you haven't noticed, I'm not a photographic purist, being more interested in the final image than in the process of achieving it. Like any method of processing this illustration style has its limitations and advantages. It works best when there are large blocks of color. Otherwise it tends to be too busy (as in the foliage in today's photo).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Colour Explosion

Last nights sunset was really quite spectacular and so of course there were many folks out, all with cameras in hand. - Fern and Rosie

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Time Machine

We were walking to a friend's house the other evening and when we turned onto the street where I grew up I felt like we'd gone back in time. My mom had a yellow bug and there it was parked on the road just down from the corner store where we bought our bread and milk (and as much candy as I could buy with my weekly allowance). - Fern

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Frosty Monk

This little Buddhist monk fell asleep in our back garden during the long hot drowsy summer. He doesn't look quite so comfortable now with his little moss garden covered with frost. I think I'll just let him sleep until spring.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Frost in the Strawberry Patch

This is not the first frost we've had this year and it's a little unusual for us to have frost this early in the year. It's been quite cold here also for the last week or so. Seems like we may be in for an icy winter.