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Friday, June 30, 2017


Victoria generally has a long and lush spring but about this time of year it dries out and, while I love the rich greens of spring, I am always pleased to see the lovely purple flowers of Brodiaea among the dry grasses. These were photographed yesterday at Harling Point. I'm beginning to realize (to paraphrase the popular song) that when you go out with a camera you don't always get what you want but you will probably get something.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Harbour Rats

Here's a pair of brothers I've not seen before - Gabe and Mac, who are busking on the causeway this year under the name of The Harbour Rats. They have a wide repertoire that includes some high-energy bluegrass. Great stuff!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Durrance Lake

Yesterday's photo of the Foxglove flowers was taken near the shore of Durrance Lake, about a half hour's drive from the City of Victoria. Above is a photo of the lake itself. Just before we left, one of the local residents swooped down and perched overlooking the lake.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


In the deep forest surrounding nearby Durrance Lake in Saanich this Foxglove seemed to glow almost with a light of its own.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Portrait Problems

Regular visitors here will have noted that I've been posting a lot of photos of performers lately. One of the reasons is that my photography interests lately have been in two directions - portraiture and landscapes. In part these two interests stem from two lenses I have - an 85mm lens (the focal length generally agreed to be most useful for portraits) and a 20mm wide angle lens that should be good for landscapes. I've been having more success with portraits but I feel that I tend to end up with the same old head and shoulders composition. Today's two photos illustrate two different choices for composition. Above is what I usually end up with - the subject (in this case, the lovely Esther-Ruth Teel and her Celtic harp) is pretty much centered in a 3:2 frame. Below is a different crop of the same photo - a close-up of just head and shoulders but sharing a square frame with the harp. I think I prefer the version below but I will be interested in any opinions visitors care to share.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


Summer has begun in earnest with hot, hot weather. I spent the weekend at a painting workshop in Fernwood and I'm pretty sure me and this crow were the only ones left in the neighborhood as everyone else had headed to the lake or beach. - Fern

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Zoubi and the Sea

There's lots of buskers around these days but there are also many other musicians participating in The run-up to Canada Day and Canada's 150th anniversary celebrations. Here is one group, Zoubi and the Sea, that I caught on the Ship Point Stage yesterday.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Mather Hewison

I was happy today to catch a performance by Mather Hewison, a veteran causeway performer. Mather plays vintage rock 'n roll with gusto and it's always a pleasure to listen to him. (Today was really HOT and BRIGHT - for me it was the first real summer day.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Chase the Bear

I am always interested in new groups coming to busk in Victoria so I was happy to see these musicians playing at the bottom of Government Street yesterday. But in this case I was amazed at the raw talent they displayed. And I was not alone - many spectators were equally struck at the music these young perfomrers provided. The group is called, "Chase the Bear" and consists of Troy Gilmore (vocals), Jordan Phillips, and Braeden Royer. Dusty Townsend (cello) of "Fish in a Birdcage" was jamming with them. (Please excuse the quality of the video below. I had gone out to shoot landscapes earlier and neglected to bring my proper video recording equipment with me. The video is from my phone. Consequently the sound is muffled by wind and traffic noise for the first 30 or 40 seconds.)

Braeden Royer
Jordan Phillips
Troy Gilmore

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ukelele Player

Each year I focus mainly on the street performers who perform on the Inner Harbour Causeway but there are many equally talented performers who offer their talents in other parts of the downtown area, especially Government Street. That is where a few days ago I chanced upon this lovely young woman making some interesting music with her ukelele.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fish in a Birdcage

Fish in a Birdcage has been featured here in other years with other members but the one consistent member is Dusty Townsend, usually playing cello as on the right in the photo above. When I saw him earlier this week he was playing in the company of Esther-Ruth Teel, on the Celtic Harp. It's an odd combination of instruments but it works amazingly well, the deep, rumblings of the cello perfectly counterpointing the softer pluckings of the harp.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Harling Point

This is the view from Harling point looking in a westerly direction. This is not the view I went there to photograph. The subject I wanted to picture is that huge whitish boulder down on the shore on the right. However, I realized when I got there that for the photograph I had in mind, I needed the tide to be in and it was low tide. I'll go back in about ten days or two weeks.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Hats off to my most excellent Dad and his fabulous blog. It's a daily treat to see the world through his lenses. - Fern

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Summer of Love...

When I saw this trio of young buskers I was suddenly thrown back to the "summer of love" - 1967 - and it made me realize that ideas and movements that were ignited then never really died but that fragments of that time still float around and seeds that were planted then continue to bear fruit. I hope these kids made it home safely.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Chinese Cemetery

I went to Harling Point today to work a little more on landscape photography. The point is also the site of the Chinese cemetery which has been closed for many years though it is still maintained. Pictured above is the altar where memorial ceremonies take place. The cemetery site was chosen according to careful interpretation of Feng Shui principles and it does seem to be a special place.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Landscape Photography Fail

I don't take anywhere near as many photos as I did a few years ago. Then I would routinely come home with 2 or 3 hundred shots. Now I think I work a little harder to get it right before I click the shutter. However, I still have some shots that just don't do it for me. I thought it might be interesting for you to see a shot that doesn't do it for me. There's two things that don't work in this photo - one is the sky - there are some lovely wispy clouds but they are all focused/aimed at the horizon, not the lighthouse. Secondly, the main leading lines that do focus on the lighthouse are the road lines on the ground. The only trouble with these is that the road is not a very interesting object in itself - it's a little cracked and junky looking. I'd prefer a dirt track with some grass and dandelions, etc. I'll be interested in any comments on this photo, especially in comparison with yesterday's photo (taken the same afternoon).

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Landscape Photography

I decided to take a break from the causeway and its summer bustle and rode out to the Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. While the above photo doesn't look a lot different from my usual photos of this landmark, it was an attempt to put into practice some hints and tips on landscape photography I've lately been picking up (mostly from YouTube tutorials). Well, at least I've got the horizon fairly level in this shot.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Carla Olive

Causeway musicians continue to amaze me with their talent and professionalism and singer/songwriter Carla Olive (pictured above) is no exception. We really are privileged here in Victoria to have such polished performances available to us. Carla is a new face on the causeway this year and a great addition to the roster of artists who perform on the Inner Harbour Causeway.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Blake Andison

I've been spending a bit more time down on the Causeway lately in order to catch up with all this year's buskers. Some are new and others are returning. Above is Blake Andison who has been performing on the causeway for 4 or 5 years now. Blake performs rock n' roll classics in a very polished, professional style. If you happen to catch one of his performances, stop and listen for a while. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Look Up, Way Up

Victoria is famous for it's gardens but these tulips in Bastion Square really are the biggest around! - Fern

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Vic West Skateboard Competition

Today was the annual Vic West Skateboard Competition and as usual I was impressed by the kids who competed. They work so hard to learn the skills and it takes so much determination and dedication to crash and get up again and again until you've mastered it. (And lots of scrapes and bruises)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Oak Bay Tea Party

When you have a tea party of course you have to have tea cups.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Secret of Bumper Car Driving

Hammering big nails may be a matter of wrist action or where you hold the hammer (see yesterday's post) but it is clear that the secret to bumper car driving is to hold your tongue just exactly right.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


About 50 paces away from where I took the beach photo I posted yesterday I came across the sight above. It is, of course, the preparation for the famed Oak Bay Tea Party Ladies' Nail-Driving Competition. Below are some of the contestants, hammering.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Willows Beach

The carnival ride photo I posted yesterday is located in Willows Park where the rest of the Oak Bay Tea Party events also take place. We'll have some more photos of the Tea Party events this week. Today's photo is Willows Beach, probably Victoria's most popular ocean beach. When the busy bustling midway became a little overpowering it was nice to take a stroll along the beach.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Midway

What could be better than to be flung around at high speed in a shiny green plastic chariot on a sunny afternoon in June?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Shadow Art

Sometimes the amount of brilliant sunshine and greenery can be overwhelming (in a good way of course) but all the same I feel the need to look elsewhere for inspiration. In this case, the strong shadows are what caught my eye. - Fern

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Oak Bay Tea Party Parade

Oak Bay, though part of what is called Greater Victoria, is actually a small city and the annual Oak Bay Tea Party Parade perfectly captures this small-town atmosphere. Above, while waiting for the parade to begin children romped and chased bubbles and neighbors exchanged news. Below is one aspect of modern parades - lots of parade participants throw candy to the children. Great idea! It certainly makes parade-watching more interesting for the kids.
Below is a bit of a montage that may suggest what this year's parade was like.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Country Dave Ryerson

Well, I didn't get to see the yachts when I was down at the Inner Harbour (see yesterday's post) but I did get to sit down and listen to one of my favourite causeway performers, Country Dave Ryerson. Country Dave has been entertaining visitors and locals for many years now and I never tire of listening to him.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Usually when I go down the Inner Harbour it looks like the photo above. But when I went down late last week to photograph all the boats that had come for a special event what met my eyes was the scene below.
The Special event, of course, was the international yacht race called the Swiftsure. For some reason I had got my dates mixed up and thought the race didn't begin until the following day. All the boats I came down to photograph were out at the race.