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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.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Into the Light

When I'm taking photos I often notice people skipping out of the road or apologizing for being in the photo. Not only do I not mind if people are in the frame, I generally prefer having people in my photos, not necessarily as the subjects of the photo but just as participants in the scene. Sometimes, as in the photo above I wait until the innocent passersby are exactly where I want them before clicking the shutter.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Autumn Leaves

Autumn leaves always look great in color but they can be good in black and white too.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015


The etymology of the word jog is unknown, but it may be related to shog or be a new invention in the 16th century. In 1593 William Shakespeare wrote in Taming of the Shrew, "you may be jogging whiles your boots are green". At that point, it usually meant to leave. The term jog was often used in English and North American literature to describe short quick movements, either intentional or unintentional. It is also used to describe a quick, sharp shake or jar. Richard Jefferies, an English naturalist, wrote of "joggers", describing them as quickly moving people who brushed others aside as they passed. The term jog originated in England in the mid-16th century. This usage became common throughout the British Empire, and in his 1884 novel My Run Home the Australian author Rolf Boldrewood wrote "your bedroom curtains were still drawn as I passed on my morning jog".

In the United States jogging was called "roadwork" when athletes in training, such as boxers, customarily ran several miles each day as part of their conditioning. In New Zealand during the 1960s or 1970s the word "roadwork" was mostly supplanted by the word "jogging", promoted by coach Arthur Lydiard, who is credited with popularizing jogging. The idea of jogging as an organised activity was mooted in a sports page article in the New Zealand Herald in February 1962, which told of a group of former athletes and fitness enthusiasts who would meet once a week to run for "fitness and sociability". Since they would be jogging, the newspaper suggested that the club "may be called the Auckland Joggers' Club"—which is thought to be the first use of the noun "jogger". University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman, after jogging with Lydiard in New Zealand in 1962, published the book Jogging in 1966, popularizing jogging in the United States.

....There's more on Wikipedia - just click the paragraphs quoted above.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

One More From Thetis Lake

Benjamin is most gracious in his description of our wonderings in woods, leaving out the part about getting lost and almost dying! Well, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but it was pretty close and if he hadn't of brought a couple of emergency granola bars we might've collapsed out there from exhaustion. Next time I'm definitely bringing an inflatable canoe and a flare gun. - Fern

Saturday, November 14, 2015


One of the most distinctive trees on the west coast is the Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii) - a tree that doesn't shed its leaves in winter and but sheds its paper-thin park all year round. It's native to our coast here and southward to Northern California where it is more generally called Madrone or Madrona. Whatever the name, it's nice to see those green leaves throughout the winter months.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Comb Hericium (Hericium ramosum) (?)

I mentioned yesterday that Fern and I did not see the many mushrooms we were hoping for on our walk around Thetis Lake. However, we did see the small fungi pictured above and it was a first for both of us. I've put a question mark after the title of this post because my identification of this as a Comb Hericium (Hericium ramosum) is very tentative. Many photos of this fungi are of much more vigorous growths, but I suspect this may be a young one.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thetis Lake Regional Park

Despite storm warnings yesterday morning was brilliantly bright and clear when Fern and I took a long walk in Thetis Lake Regional Park. We didn't find many of the mushrooms we were looking for but walking in the woods is always a pleasure and even moreso with good company. I find it hard to capture the feeling of the deep forest because so often, like in the photo above, there is a brightly sunlit spot in the midst of near darkness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Walkway Wildlife 4

I'm not going to belabour you with all the birds I see on my morning strolls along the West Bay and West Song Walkways as there are many, but these are one of the largest and most common, our own Canada Goose. Like the deer pictured yesterday they are considered to be a pest by some people but having harmless wildlife in the city seems like a privilege to me. With many species going extinct due to human behaviour, animals who have managed to learn how to survive with us in harmony should be treasured. People complain about the mess these geese make but when I get home from a walk I more often have to clean my shoes of dog messes than of anything these geese leave.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Walkway Wildlife 3

A couple of weeks ago I posted a photo of a Blacktail Buck in the Ross Bay Cemetery. Here's one I saw last week in the Matson Lands, a bit of preserved Garry Oak landscape that is on the West Bay Walkway just above Sailors' Cove. This buck was following an attractive young doe.... Must be that time of year.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Elk Lake Trails

Between watching the races on the lake we went for a little walk around the lake which is quite pretty but also quite muddy at this time of year. The trail goes all the way around Elk and Beaver Lake and is about 10 km in total. Quite popular with runners and walkers even on a wet day. - Fern

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rowing Regatta

This weekend all the local high schools are participating in a series of races on Elk Lake. The boats, these racing skulls are long and sleek and when they get going they just fly across the water. Looks like quite a lot of fun. - Fern

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

Walkway Wildlife 2

Just a little way down from where I saw yesterday's racoon I spotted this pair fishing off this rock. I especially like to see these River Otters because they are very sensitive to pollution and are a good sign that these waters are relatively clean. Although I grew up on the west coast (Vancouver) I don't recall seeing so much wildlife when I was a child. In fact I don't recall seeing any wildlife in the parts of the city where we lived. It may have been that I was not very observant as a child or possibly Vancouver simply lacked the wild animals that I regularly see here in Victoria. Another possibility is that people may have begun to adopt a less aggressive attitude towards wild animals and so they are becoming more numerous and visible. I hope that is the case.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Walkway Wildlife

I am always amazed at the variety of wildlife I encounter when I walk the West Bay Walkway. This is an urban neighborhood which yet harbours a surprising number of species that appear to have adjusted to living in close proximity to humans. The racoon pictured above is an example. When I encountered him on Tuesday he and a pal were fishing a little lower down on the shoreline, wary but generally unconcerned by onlookers.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Westsong Walkway 2

Here's another from the Westsong Walkway a few days ago. I haven't been able to get out much for the last few months and have only resumed my daily walks along the shore recently. We are very lucky to have such a splendid waterside path available to us. This morning it was almost crowded with joggers and walkers but everyone seemed to have a smile and a greeting for fellow strollers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Westsong Walkway

Yesterday's photo was taken from Rainbow Park Viewpoint looking westward. Today's photo was taken from the same place looking east along the Westsong Walkway towards the city. Rainy weather means lots of gray gloom but it also means dramatic clouds and light.

Monday, November 2, 2015

West Bay Walkway

Fern's photo yesterday perfectly captured the rainy weather we've been having for the last week or so. Now and then, however, the sun peeks through the clouds for a few minutes and provides some really dramatic lighting. In the photo above we are looking west along the West Bay Walkway towards West Bay, at the far end of the Inner Harbour. This photo was taken from the Rainbow Park viewpoint.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Rain, Rain and More Rain

It's definitely puddle jumping season here on the 'wet' coast. - Fern