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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ships That Pass In The Night

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing,
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
While waiting for the moon on Saturday night.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Moon Shot

This is not the eclipsed moon but a photo I took on the previous evening. I went out to prepare for the eclipse with some different lenses and equipment. Above is what the nearly full moon looked like through a 400mm telephoto doubled with an extender to 800mm. While I was pleased with the amount of detail that is visible I decided that I would shoot the eclipse the next night using a normal lens (50mm) to show it as we saw it. It's nice to see the moon as it is in the above photo but it's almost a bit scary since it really looks like a great big rock hanging in the sky.

Monday, September 28, 2015


For those of you who might have missed it last night, here is what the eclipse of the moon looked like over Victoria. I took this photo down on Dallas Road overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and there were thousands of people out to see the moon.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Look Up Part 1

This is a little bit of an awkward arrangement but it's something I wanted to try for a while. I haven't completely succeeded but it's an okay first attempt. What I would like to do is to use photography to show movement and perspective by shooting the same subject from a variety view points. This particular building is the old Post Office which fronts onto Government Street. These photos are taken from the back of the building because I have always been interested in this unique architecture. It must have been designed like this to create more space for windows on the upper floors possibly? I could be pragmatic and so some research but for now I'm more interested in the artistic possibilities. - Fern

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Looking Up

When I looked up from taking photos of the skink I posted yesterday this is what I saw, this couple enjoying the view a few steps away from the summit of Mount Douglas.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)

We don't have many reptiles on Vancouver Island so it is always interesting to see one, especially one I've not encountered before. I believe the little lizard pictured above is a Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus), probably the sub-species known as Skilton's Skink. I saw this one very near to the summit of Mount Douglas when I went there after photographing this week's mushrooms in the wetter lower reaches of the park.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Second Spring 4

Just to complete the catalog of fungi that I saw on the weekend here are some small puffballs. Puffballs are edible and tasty and it's clear from this photo that there are creatures other than humans that have discovered this.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Second Spring 3

A little further along the trail I was surpised to see such a vigorous clump as this so early in the season. We had a bumper year for mushrooms two years ago - maybe this year too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Second Spring 2

While it's a bit early for mushroom season here I had good luck wandering around in Mount Douglas Park yesterday afternoon. Here's one of the biggest ones I saw, this one about four inches across the cap.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Second Spring

Around this time of year, though autumn's colors are beginning to take over, it seems as though Victoria is entering a second spring. The browns and yellows of summer's heat and drought have been replaced by the rich green re-growth of grass and moss and spring's wild flowers are being mimicked by autumn's sprouting mushrooms. I noticed the one above in our back lawn this morning so I'm heading out to Mount Douglas (Pkols) Park this afternoon to see what is happening out there.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Treasure Hunting

On a weekend afternoon there is something so satisfying about nosing around in a antique store for 'finds.' This is a huge, rambling old building with all sorts of beautiful furniture on the main floor and then a basement full of, well EVERYTHING! I wanted to take home so many things but settled on just a few of these treasures. - Fern

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Chestnut-backed Chickadee

This little Chestnut-backed Chickadee is a regular visitor now to our backyard bird feeder. He is not shy at all and often lands on the feeder even when I am filling it. If I had more patience I am sure he would let me hand feed him.

Friday, September 18, 2015

New Bridge Update

It's a little bit presumptuous for me to write "update" since I don't know what is happening with the new bridge, but I do know that something is happening - this big red thing appears to be getting attached to something....

And various interestingly shaped concrete structures are visible....
It looks like it will definitely be much larger than the old blue bridge.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Vic West Community Corn Roast - Music

Vic West is home to many musicians who are willing to share their music with the community at events like the corn roast.
The Colts

This group of local kids has been playing at this event ever since they were much younger and smaller and they get better every year. This year they just blew the house away. Bravo! (From the left The Colts are Cairo, Harbour, Autumn and Reuben)

Children of Celebrities
Some version of this group also plays every year and always sounds great.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Vic West Community Corn Roast - Food!

Corn on the Curb....

Pie Contest

Guess the weight and it's yours (It's not 32 lbs. - my guess)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Front Row Seats

One of my favourite annual events took place on Sunday afternoon, the Vic West Corn Roast. It's a great little neighbourhood celebration that is very like a block party. Local musicians provide the entertainment and there are many other activities we'll take a look at over the next few days. Meanwhile, the little guys pictured above are waiting while the musicians get set up.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Victoria Harbour Ferries Water Ballet

Here is something that manages to be cute and a little bit magnificent at the same time. Every Sunday morning during the summer season our little harbour ferries perform this dance. I've been meaning to take some video of this event for a couple of years and I finally managed to do it yesterday. The video below is the entire 10 minute performance. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Run Along The West Bay Walkway

As summer comes to an end and school comes back in I took one of my final summer afternoons to take my favorite running partner (my dog Beejee) and go for a jog along the beautiful West Bay walkway. It was a lovely send off for the summer, with the cruise ships in the background and the feeling of the colder fall air. -Rosie

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Well the Indian Motorcycle Company has been in and out of business several times since it was founded in 1901, but whether the work of art pictured above is an antique or a modern re-iteration I don't know but I do know beauty when I see it.

Friday, September 11, 2015


I went for a walk with some old friends on Monday along the part of the David Foster Walkway that runs between the Inner Harbour and Fisherman's Wharf. It may be hard to believe but this was the first time I have ever walked along the seafront in that area though I have visited points along the walkway many times. It's a delightful walk and offers, among many other beautiful views, this perspective on the Fisherman's Wharf houseboats.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

MV Olympus

One of the nice things about the Classic Boat Festival is how many of the friendly boat owners are willing to let you get on board and look around. Above is the parlour of the Olympus, a 92 foot motor yacht built in 1929. to the left is a glimpse of the galley.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Classic Boat Festival

In the days of sailing ships, before radio, the primary way that ships communicated to each other was by signal flags. I don't know what the flags above signify to sailors but to me it means the Labour Day Classic Boat Show is on - acres of teak and oak, sparkling brass and chrome and lots of good manila rope in tidy coils.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Victoria Public Market

It's been some time since I checked out the Victoria Public Market. It's been open now long enough to have developed its own character. It's mostly about food - trendy olive oil and cheese shops but lots of vegetables and exotic fast foods and places to sit and snack. I like the sign above the pie shop below - definitely a good sentiment.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Trip to the Museum

We made a trip to the Royal BC Museum yesterday and it is still one of my favorite places to explore. They always have new exhibits, the current one is all about the gold rush but it was extremely crowded so we stuck to the classics; the old town with it's theatre forever showing vintage Charlie Chaplin films (shown above) and other scenes from BC history. Pictures by Rosie. - Fern

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Stormy Skies

Victoria's weather has changed and the rain has been falling off and on for a week or so. This is Weirs Beach located in Metchosin, about 15 minutes drive past Esquimalt Lagoon. We went hoping the sun would come out but it was beautiful none-the-less. - Fern

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Good Morning!

Here is what I see most mornings now when I go outside. This lineup of House Sparrows and about 50 of their friends and relatives are waiting for me to fill the feeder so they can have breakfast.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Red-Breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)

Here's a fairly common local bird that has just begun to visit our backyard bird feeder, a Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis).I am happy that it has decided to feed here since they are difficult to photograph in the wild - jumping and hopping around very rapidly when they are foraging for insects and seeds in trees. Our backyard feeder has been taken over by House Finches and House Sparrows and this forces the little Nuthatch to seek spilled food on the ground or wait for an opportunity at the feeder.