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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Car-Free Day

June 21st was Car Free Day on Victoria's main thoroughfare, Douglas Street. About 6 blocks of the street were closed to cars and filled with market stalls, music and wall-to-wall Victorians. People seemed to be having a good time although the rationale behind the festival was a little vague beyond getting people to spend some time downtown.
"It's basically a celebration of community, when major streets are shut to not allow cars, but to welcome the community to come down and showcase whatever it is," says Ken Kelly, general manager of the D.V.B.A..

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Bike Shelter and Fix Station

The interesting looking structure pictured here is a bike shelter I recently noticed in the downtown core - corner of Yates and Douglas Streets. I am always happy to see more facilities for cyclists and this shelter has some nice added attractions: That bright green object just to the right of the shelter offers a variety of tools and advice in case your bike has a breakdown.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Postcard Classic

I have misplaced what I planned to post today so here's a classic postcard view of the Inner Harbour Causeway I took last week. Though it's been photographed a million times I can't resist taking this photo when I am down there - it's a pretty nice place to live.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Roadside Rattle

Here's a duo I enjoyed listening to on Government Street over the weekend. Definitely a unique style but fun to listen to, they drew an appreciative crowd.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Too true. - Fern

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Aboriginal Cultural Festival

The Victoria Aboriginal Cultural Festival was hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, who also provided the Master of Ceremonies, "Slash", pictured above. Photos posted yesterday and the day before are of participating performers but are not typical of First Nations groups from the Pacific Coast. However, the MC pictured above is wearing a costume that represents local First Nations ceremonial wear, as are the dancers below. The Victoria Aboriginal Cultural Festival was impressive in many ways but for me perhaps the most impressive aspect was the great richness and variety of the many First Nations cultures represented.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016


So, while strolling through the towering Cedar and Fir forests recently I encountered this lovely young woman.... I wish!

However, I was lucky enough to see her dance on National Aboriginal Day last weekend. This photo was taken where the local celebration is held, on the grounds of the Royal BC Museum. Those trees in the background are a bit of the landscaping of the museum. The National Aboriginal Day celebration seems to get bigger and better every year. Dancers and musicians come from all over the country to display their cultural property and arts and crafts. We'll have a look at some of the other colorful costumes over the next few days.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Under Cloudy Skies

One of our regular visitors once asked if it was ever cloudy in Victoria - because of my penchant for photos with blue skies and cheerful weather. I admit that when it is gray and cloudy outside the camera tends to stay on the shelf and I hibernate with a good book or movie. But, after looking at the above photo I see that some subjects are better shot under ominous clouds. This is the war memorial that occupies one corner of the Legislative Assembly grounds.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

B. T. Williams Quartet

It seems that saxaphones are the new "guitar" - every time I turn around these days I see and hear saxaphone players and saxaphone groups. Anyway, I really enjoyed the music this quartet were putting out despite Saturday's glowering clouds. This is the B. T. Williams Quartet, consisting of - you guessed it - four saxaphones, from a high-pitched soprano to a great honking bass. They have a great sound, especially if you want to cut through ambient traffic noise, but this group is so good you listen to the music instead of marvelling at the unusual composition of the group.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Signs of Summer

When the city breaks out the hanging flower baskets it's a sure sign that summer's here and these manage to look bright and cheerful even under Saturday's dramatically gloomy skies. Those great black clouds were all bluff though; not a drop of rain did they deliver here.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Point Hope Shipyard

           Happy Fathers Day!!!

Last Sunday I got to do something that I've always wanted to do. It was the 2nd annual Vic West Street Fest (different from Vic West Fest in May, yes we have TWO neighbourhood events now!) and it's held on Harbour Road in conjunction with Dockside Green and Point Hope Shipyard. There's the usual food trucks, music etc. but for me the highlight was to get to explore the shipyard and the docks as the rest of the year it's off limits to the public. The above picture was taken on board a tugboat that we took a tour of. I've always admired these little boats when you see them powering along with some enormous barge or boat behind them; something so poetic about their small size and incredible power. - Fern



Saturday, June 18, 2016


Before we leave this year's Vic West Skateboard Competition I have to pay tribute to this skateboarder who soared so high in his quest for "air". From where he is it's a long way down to the cement and if you don't get it right, it's an awfully hard landing. My hat's off to these young skateboarders, both boys and girls of all ages, who take their knocks and bruises with a grin, pick themselves up and try again for that elusive perfect run.

Friday, June 17, 2016


It's strawberry season here so Fern and I went out to the Saanich Peninsula yesterday and spent the afternoon at the U-Pick place. My back won't take much bending over or kneeling these days but these berries were so sweet and juicy I hardly noticed the backache.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

It's Starting!

The Vic West Skateboard Competition is a great way to bounce into summer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sometimes... just have to try something new.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Meanwhile... the Vic West Skateboard Park, we are waiting for the Annual Skateboard Competition to start.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

'Tis The Season

As well as parades, fairs and other outdoor events June is all about graduating. My daughter graduated from Esquimalt High School this year and before the big formal dinner and dance there is a photo session for all the families to come and take pictures and generally admire all the beautiful young grads. Congratulations to the Class of 2016! - Fern

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Before we leave the Oak Bay Tea Party behind for this year I thought I would share with you some screams from a popular midway ride. I'm sure I don't understand why anyone would pay to have an experience that makes you scream but they do and here's proof (video below is 1 minute long).

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pierre St. Pierre

Here is one of my favorite summertime street performers, Pierre St. Pierre, consummate musical mime. Later this year I hope to do some video of his performances since the lilting French Cafe music he plays adds a powerfully nostalgic air to his expressive movements.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Extension Tubes

We'll take a break today from parades and parties because I just received some macro extension tubes. These are neat devices that enable one to use ordinary lenses as if they were macro (magnifying) lenses. All they are is hollow tubes that fit between your camera and the lens. These enable you to focus on things from much closer so they appear larger. Above is an example.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Town Crier

In those long ago days before the internet, every town had a town crier who broadcast important news to the people. Oak Bay still has one and he can be seen marching in the Tea Party Parade every year, as above, with his lady.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Oak Bay Tea Party

When the Oak Bay Tea Party sets up the midway at Willows Beach Park I am always amazed at how the big trees there make even the glitzy, razz-a-ma-tazz seem pleasantly pastoral.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Young Fiddlers

I enjoyed listening to these young violinists on Sunday when I chanced to come upon them playing on Government Street. They are members of the BC Youth Fiddle Orchestra and were raising money to enable them to travel to an event in New Brunswick. The BC Fiddle Orchestra is a program of the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


When the sun is shining so brightly overhead, the shadows become so deep and cool. - Fern

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Oak Bay Tea Party Parade

I just got back from the Oak Bay Tea Party parade so here's a quick glimpse of what it was like. As usual, it was a parade full of kids on bikes and scooters, local marching bands, a few floats, lots of old fire trucks and, of course, some clowns.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Country Dave Ryerson

I went down to the Inner Harbour Causeway this afternoon to catch one of my favourite performers, Country Dave Ryerson. Country Dave plays country and western music and is always a pleasure to listen to.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Fish In A Birdcage

Here's some music I recorded last month and have only just got around to processing. This is Fish In A Birdcage with Dusty Townsend on cello and Heather Woodbridge on violin. I believe this is Celtic music but I neglected to ask the name of the tune. Check out the video below to get your toes tappin' and fingers snappin'.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I have nothing newsworthy today so I decided to share with you some flowers I enjoy every day since they bloom just outside the gate that leads to my residence. I love the color - does anyone know what these are called?