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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The O'Brien Family

Sunday evening I chanced to hear this group performing as part of the Night Market on Ship Point. This is the O'Brien Family, a very accomplished group that were a pleasure to listen to. Below is a video of one of their performances a few years ago to give you some idea of their sound.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Esquimalt Lagoon

The Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site is directly adjacent to the Esquimalt Lagoon Nature Sanctuary. The above photo was taken from Fort Rodd Hill looking towards the lagoon. The stream in the foreground is the tidal flow into and out of the lagoon.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Postcard

I'm not a very adventurous photographer - usually what I strive to achieve is picturesque rather than striking or unique and this shot is a good example of what satisfies me.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Salt Spring Island

We had a mini holiday over on Salt Spring Island, staying at a cabin on St. Mary's Lake. It's one of my favorite places to go being just a short ferry ride away and yet feeling like another world. - Fern

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Garry Oak Learning Meadow

A few years ago Fort Rodd Hill was little more than a preserved coastal defense site. But in the last few years new features have been added that make it more interesting, educational and relevant. One of my favorite new features is the Garry Oak Learning Meadow, a garden area stocked with a wide variety of plants that are a part of the Garry Oak Ecosystem. Above we are looking at the entrance to the meadow through its attractive new gate. The learning meadow is well worth a visit quite aside from the other attractions of the park and there is usually a helpful Parks Canada person there to describe how and why the meadow was developed.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fisgard Lighthouse

Under blue skies and bright sunshine I went out today to Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site. I was pleased to discover that in celebration of Canada's 150th Birthday this year, all National Historic Sites have waived their admission fees. The entrance fee to Fort Rodd Hill has always been quite modest but the feeling that I could come back again, often, subtly changed the tenor of my visit, so that I was able to concentrate on one part of the site and reserve the rest for further visits. Above is a slightly different view of the Fisgard Lighthouse viewed from Fort Rodd Hill.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Carriage Trade

Despite sporadic protests from animal rights activists these horse and carriage tours of the city remain popular with tourists. Certainly one good effect they have is traffic-calming since they move at quite a leisurely pace. Their home base here is right beside the Legislative Assembly Buildings and they add a pleasantly pastoral air to the area while they wait for clients.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Queen Victoria

Last weekend was Victoria Day weekend. The original holiday was to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria on May 24th. To ensure a long weekend it is now celebrated on the last Monday before the 24th of May. I thought it might be nice to salute the holiday by posting a photo of the statue of the young queen that stands in front of the British Columbia Legislature overlooking Victoria's Inner Harbour. It's a larger than life statue and rests on a high pedestal so it is not easy to see her face. Probably most of us think of her in her widow's weeds as an elderly woman but when she came to the throne she was a beautiful young woman only 18 years old. I think this statue does her justice. The sculptor was Albert Bruce-Joy. The statue was installed at its present location in 1914. We'll have a look at Monday's Victoria Day Parade tomorrow.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Looking West

On Saturday we had a look at the view from Walbran Park looking east. Here, from practically the same viewpoint, is the view looking up the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Chinese Public School on Fisgard Street

This historic building is so photogenic you almost can't help yourself on passing it. Fun fact:it was designed by Scottish architect David C. Frame. Lots more interesting here.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Walbran Park

When I posted yesterday's photo of the Blacktail deer I mentioned that I was in Walbran Park for the view. And it is a very nice view, even on an overcast day like Friday. Here we are looking at MacNeil Bay on the eastern side of Vancouver Island.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Young Buck

I took a spin up to Walbran Park this afternoon for the view and was rewarded by being able to spend a pleasant half-hour with this young Blacktail buck. Though he kept a wary eye on me he allowed me to come quite close. As you can see in the photo to the left, I'm not the only one who is fond of Camas Lilies.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fleming Beach

On the western side of Macaulay Point is a small area known as Fleming Beach. It's a small bay protected by a breakwater and used as a boat launch by sport fishermen.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Yesterday's photo was taken facing east. Here's the view facing west, towards Metchosin. The pink flowers somehow thriving in the gravel are known as Thrift and are often found along the seashore growing where no other plant can survive.Saxe Point is visible in the distance on the right and beyond that the Fisgard Lighthouse can be made out by the sharp-eyed.
@JoJo: This view is the answer to your question on yesterday's post.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Macaulay Point

The entrance to Victoria Harbour lies between two points, Ogden Point (where the cruise ships dock) marks the eastern side of the harbour entrance and Macaulay Point (above) marks the western side of the entrance. In the photo above we are looking at Macaulay Point from its western side. If we walked over the top of it we would see the harbour and the city spread out before us. I didn't go so far today because I got sidetracked by the rich profusion of Camas Lilies among the rocks.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Probably the main cycle trail on Southern Vancouver Island is the Galloping Goose (named after the rail line it follows through much of its length). It crosses the Gorge (an inland arm of the Harbour) over an old re-purposed train trestle, from the centre of which the above view of the city invites contemplation. That's the Bay Street (or Point Ellice) Bridge in the foreground and (if you've got sharp eyes or click the photo to enlarge it) you can see the Johnson Street Bridge further back. The latter is open to allow some marine traffic to pass.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mt. Doug Beach

Mount Douglas Park, in Saanich is the largest urban forest on the Saanich Peninsula. From the top there is excellent views of Southern Vancouver Island and then down through the forest there is interesting things to see all the way to the beach. This is the view looking out onto Haro Strait.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Holland Point

Late this afternoon I went for a brief drive along Dallas Road and stopped to enjoy one of my favorite coastal scenes, Holland Point. I've photographed it many times but it's always different.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Legislative Assembly Building

Earlier this week we had an election for the provincial government, the Legislative Assembly. The election was so close that it has yet to be definitively decided who will govern and I thought that this was a fitting time to take a look at the Legislative Assembly Building, pictured above. Generally the building is photographed from the front but it offers some interesting perspectives when viewed from the sides or the rear. I quite like these little decorative turrets and flourishes and we'll have a look at some other aspects of this building over the next few days.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Gray Days

Another gray day today with spatterings of rain. - I don't like this weather much but above is someone who does.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Highrock Park

I've visited and photographed many of Victoria's Parks but I think Highrock is my favorite. A main reason is because it is close to where I live. But it also has an surprising number of environments in a very small area. There's some nice bits of Garry Oak Ecosystem but there is a little forest area as well, all this in a park you can walk across in ten minutes.

About a month ago I mentioned I was learning some new video edting software. I'm still learning, but here is my latest attempt - a montage of, you guessed it...Highrock Park. Come enjoy a three minute walk with me.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Camas 2

Yesterday photo of Camas is not a bad close-up but their real beauty for me is in their profusion and the photo above gives a better sense of that. I was up in Highrock Park again today and the Camas are really peaking.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Despite the subnormal temperatures this year and the cloudy skies, the Camas Lilies have once again spread their carpet of blue over the slopes of Highrock Park.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Time Lapse

Here's another favorite view of the Inner Harbour taken from Songhees Point. I like the look of the old town along Wharf Street. Victoria is a very low city - I don't think we have more than a few buildings over 20 stories. I think it makes for a more human scale. Below is a time lapse taken from about the same location as the photo. The time lapse compresses about 1 hour's activity into about 1 minute.

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Postcard

As I was leaving the causeway yesterday I thought I might as well grab a postcard view of the Inner Harbour, something I have photographed many times. It's always different. Here's what it looked like on an overcast late afternoon in May, 2017.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Among the many charms of spring here is that we see more young performers on the Causeway and Government Street. This youthful quartet was sawing out some splendid jigs and reels this afternoon on the Causeway. I hope to see more of them over the summer. I suspect these are music students who've joined together in an impromptu group to make a little money from their talent. Whatever the reason, the joie de vivre and energy they bring to their playing is a pleasure to behold.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Babe in Arms

Inspired by Fern's photo off Songhees Point a few days ago I visited there today myself. I have always liked this totem pole, especially the figures of the mother and child on the bottom but it has a special resonance for me this week. I became a great-grand-father barely a week ago. The baby, a beautiful little girl, is my first great-grand-child and a lovely addition to the family.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Though these Bluebells are not a native species, they have naturalized themselves so well they seem to be native and they are a joy at this time of year.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Spring Update

Here's another wildflower that is blooming up in Highrock Park now. They look like what are commonly called Buttercups except they are on tall stems rather than being close to the ground. You can also see some of the deep blue Camas Lilies in this photo, taken last week. I intend to visit this park soon - perhaps tomorrow - since it is never more beautiful than when the Camas are in bloom.