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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Janion Hotel Update

The Janion Hotel pictured here was one of old town Victoria's most derelict buildings until recent renovations. Below is what it looked like a few years ago. Above you can see that while adhering to the original style they have made some additions and improvements. The work is not finished yet but I am quite happy with the makeover of this heritage building.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Grindstone Cafe

Regular visitors here will know that I like to see murals on our buildings rather than ads or blank walls and here's another that I have not featured before though I see it several times a week. It's on the walls of the Grindstone Cafe on the corner of Herald and Store Streets in Victoria's old town. The artist is Mario Labonte.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mushrooms Again

Here's the last of the mushrooms I collected on my visit to the forest at Royal Road University.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


This has become my calling card; the photograph of nothing. But it is something, it's that nondescript architecture from a certain era that is slowly disappearing and be replaced by condominiums. And it's the composition, I love the balcony and the shadow which mimics the shape. - Fern

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Belmont Building

The Belmont Building is probably Victoria's oldest Office Building, though it was originally planned as a hotel when it was built in 1912. I always enjoy the mural on the side though I have been unable to find out anything about it. There is another similar mural on the eastern side. The Belmont Building has a prime location on the corner of Government and Humboldt Streets, facing the Inner Harbour and the Empress Hotel.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Frankie's Modern Diner

I had the good fortune earlier this week to sample the fare at one of Victoria's newer restaurants, Frankie's Modern Diner. It's right on Government Street a block's walk up from the Inner Harbour Causeway. The menu is extensive and varied and the food and service both were very GOOD. The restaurant is on the second floor and overlooks Government Street and many of its heritage buildings.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Perfect Picnic Place

All those geese from yesterday's post were looking out on this view over the West Song Walkway - what I always think of as the perfect picnic spot, especially if you've got a couple of kids who want to explore the shore.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Welcome to Esquimalt

The sign in the upper left marks the place where the West Bay Walkway crosses the border between the City of Victoria and the Township of Esquimalt. Generally when I write of Victoria I am referring to "Greater" Victoria, which includes much of the southern tip of Vancouver Island. However, strictly speaking the City of Victoria only occupies a small part of this area. Esquimalt lies to the west and a number of other communities lie on all sides of the city proper. What really interests me in this photo however is the way the low winter sun shines through the grass, making it glow.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Stormy Weather

Victoria is usually a sunny place but lately the weather has been pretty much as pictured above. This is the entrance to the Inner Harbour, Work Point on the right and the Ogden Point Breakwater beyond the rocks.You can see the people out for a Sunday stroll on the breakwater when the rain let up for awhile.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rally in Vancouver

So this is what being in the middle of a 3000 person rally looks like in Vancouver on a cool, cloudy Saturday. It was a march against the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion project here in British Columbia and it was really powerful to be part of a large, positive crowd of people who want to protect the environment. - Fern

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Fungi

Here's another fungus from Mount Douglas Park. I have been unable to identify this so far but my personal name for it is the Bean Sprout Fungus because it looks a little like those bean sprouts we find in Chinese cookery.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lichen 2

Every time I reach the summit of Bear Hill I enjoy the wonderfully gnarled limbs of this large Garry Oak. It's like an enormous Bonsai. This oak and those pictured yesterday seem to think it's spring - they've got young green leaves sprouting from the ends of their branches. Perhaps this is a result of climate change.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


As well as being a good season for mosses this time of year is great for lichens too. Some of the trees in Bear Hill Park were so festooned with lichen they reminded me of the Florida Everglades.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Moss 2

This is a different kind of moss from that posted yesterday but it is also very common though more likely to be found on fallen trees as it is pictured here.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Moss 1

This is a great time of the year for mushrooms but it also seems to be the best time of the year for mosses and lichens. The moss pictured here seems to be particularly fond of Garry Oak tree bark as a good place to grow. I took this photo when Fern and I took a weekend walk up Bear Hill Regional Park in Saanich.

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Daylight savings means the trip home is in the dark. Always takes getting used to. - Fern

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016


Although mushrooming in the forest is generally very peaceful, there are surprises. I was despairing yesterday of seeing any really large mushrooms when I suddenly spotted the one pictured above. It was all by itself and I have never seen another like it. Whereas, when I stumbled on those pictured below it was like discovering a small city. Their camouflage coloring matches the ground cover so perfectly I nearly stepped right in the middle of them before I realized what they were.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


I'm just back from Mount Douglas Park and here's some of the mushrooms I encountered. The season is well underway now and I counted about 10 different kinds in a short walk.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Autumn Greens

We've had lots of rain lately and some fairly warm days so, as well as mushrooms popping up all over the place, there is a lot of new grass out in the open like on this little peninsula on the West Bay Walkway and, on the forest floor, lots of fresh green moss. We've not had too much sun though but when it does come out its low angle makes for dramatic lighting.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Buy Mushrooms in the Store

Here are more BIG mushrooms from the forest on the Royal Road University grounds. If you're not a mushroom fancier you will not find much of interest on this blog at this time of year. For me, mushrooms are not FOOD, they are much more akin to the glorious wildflowers of spring. I really do wish that people would stop "harvesting" them or simply "vandalizing" them. People who would never dream of cutting down a tree in a public park seem to think nothing of collecting a cluster of mushrooms in the same place. Support your local mushroom farmer - buy your mushrooms in the supermarket and leave the wild ones alone so that everyone can enjoy their beauty and variety.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Fog creeps over the western end of the Inner Harbour at Work Point while a vee of migrating geese passes high overhead.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

No Words

This is one of those things that I love but why? If I try to articulate it I'd say it's because it's a tiny spot in amongst the
constant bombardment of information we've come to accept as the norm where no one has anything to say. It's a pause of sorts; a moment of silence. - Fern

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Jack O'Lanterns?

These mushrooms were so big and prominent that I have been attempting to identify them. At first I thought they might be Jack O'Lanterns (Omphalotus olivascens), but a couple of these show quite a distinct ring around the stalk which is not characteristic of the species so now I'm stumped. Any mycophiles out there please feel free to offer suggestions.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Fluted Black Elfin Saddles

Yesterday I visited the forest out by Royal Roads University again and was pleased to find these unusual mushrooms called Fluted Black Elfin Saddles (Helvella lacunosa). The charming name describes the way the caps of this mushroom are sometimes saddle shaped. "Fluted" refers to the stalk. I like the way they look but some creature likes the way the caps taste. In many places I found only the stalk remaining while the cap had been neatly snipped (or bitten) off. I suspect deer like these mushrooms too.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Killarney Lake Mushrooms 2

Here are more mushrooms from our Killarney Lake excursion last week.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Songhees Point

Songhees Point is a great place to view the Inner Harbour but it is also a sacred place to the Songhees First Nation, whose land it is. Though they are aged and faded, this pair of totem poles exudes a powerful presence here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

From Songhees Point - 2

Yesterday's post was a photo looking eastwards from Songhees Point. Above is the view looking westwards. The large building is the Shoal Point Condominium complex.