Custom Search

Monday, July 31, 2017

Karen Hough

Karen Hough is a veteran busker on the causeway I first photographed in 2009. I've not featured her since because she generally only appears in the evening and I usually visit the causeway in the afternoon. I was happy to sit and listen to her on the weekend because her repertoire and sound is such a refreshing change from most other buskers. The sweet and mellow tone of her French Horn really adds something to Broadway classic tunes such as South Pacific's "Bali Hai". She plays classical music as well as popular and it's always a pleasure to see and hear her.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Esquimalt Lagoon

I am perpetually fascinated by the ever changing mood of the ocean. - Fern

Saturday, July 29, 2017

What the Nose Knows

When I posted a photo of the Bodhi Frog last week I mentioned that it was only one of a group of sculptures scattered around Oak Bay as part of their Arts Alive Program. Above is another of the pieces, this one called "What the Nose Knows" by artist Ron Simmer.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Empress Update

A striking addition to the Empress Hotel is the Porte-cochere they have built to shelter the new entrance to the hotel at the front of the north wing. I like it mostly for how it frames the Legislative Assembly Building (see below).

Thursday, July 27, 2017


I enjoy the music of individual buskers on the causeway but it's always a special treat when two or more of them get together for a little jammin'. This afternoon I was lucky to catch one man band Dave Harris performing with one of the causeway's younger performers, guitar prodigy Landen Shaw.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Where's Roger?

Hard to believe this "bee-loud glade" is on one of the busiest corners in the whole city. It's where the Empress Hotel keeps its bees and is also home to Roger, the resident Yellow-bellied Marmot. How Roger arrived on the island (there are no native yellow-bellied Marmots here) and why he chose to live in the garden of the Empress Hotel are mysteries that are unlikely to be solved but he has been there on the corner of Government and Humboldt Streets since 2008. However, when I went there today he was not in evidence, no doubt napping during the heat of the day in his burrow. Click HERE to see some pics of him I took a few years ago.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Breakwater Cafe

This is the Breakwater Cafe, perched at the junction of the Ogden Point Breakwater and Dallas Road. It's a busy place year round with good food at reasonable prices, and, (below) a great view of Holland Point.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bodhi Frog

I mentioned a few days ago that Oak Bay has some sculptures on display at various public venues and that I proposed to feature a few here. So far however, I have only had time to photograph one, pictured above. It's called Bodhi Frog by Doug Taylor and it is currently installed on Willows Beach. The wheels whirl in opposite directions and sparkle in the sun making it a very eye-catching piece of beach sculpture.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The View From Up Here

Last evening were invited to a friend's place - they live in The Promontory on Saghalie Road which is just off of Esquimalt Road in the Songhees. From their balcony on the 13th floor they have an excellent view of downtown Victoria. It was an overcast day but as the sun was setting it broke through the clouds and cast a warm glow over everything. So fabulous to get to enjoy a new viewpoint. - Fern

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Along the West Song Walkway there is this lovely little bay called Lime Bay and overlooking it is a great place to eat - Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub. I've eaten there several times myself and recommend the food highly.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Saxe Point Park

Here's a favorite view of mine that I visited this afternoon - looking westward from Saxe Point Park.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Beach Pianos

The first thing I saw when I arrived at Cattle point yesterday was this gaily painted piano. It's one of a set of five painted pianos that are part of the Oak Bay Arts Alive Program. There are also a dozen sculptures scattered around Oak Bay. We'll have a look at one of the sculptures tomorrow. Shortly after I took the above photo a man came along and sat down and proceeded to play, really beautifully. Later on my drive around the shoreline I came across another of these pianos, this one on Willows Beach, pictured below. To find out more about the Arts Alive Program, click HERE.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Great Beach House

I took a spin around the the eastern side of Victoria today to Cattle Point and Willows Beach. I had to stop and photograph this beach construction - now that's a beach house!

Monday, July 17, 2017


This is the Sizzlers Fiddle Camp ensemble adding their sounds to summer on Government Street.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Aboard the Coho Ferry

After a trip south it's always a pleasure to sail back into the Inner Harbour and see our little city from the water side instead of from shore. - Fern

Saturday, July 15, 2017

A Situation in Which I Hope Never to Find Myself

Australian B-boy group, Beat the Streets, visiting here for the Victoria International Buskers Festival, put on a great show yesterday in Bastion Square.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Smiley Brothers

To continue with the line-up of this year's buskers on the Inner Harbour Causeway, here are the Smiley Brothers. I've not seen or heard them before but it's obvious they've been making music together for a long time - very smooth, original arrangements of pop classics. Stop and listen if you are lucky enough to see them - you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Street Music

Though I forgot to mention it, you may have guessed from the plethora of busking musician photos I've been posting that we are currently in the midst of the Victoria International Buskers Festival, an event which draws acts from all over the world to perform on Victoria's Ship Point Pier (right next to the Inner Harbour Causeway). Pretty well all the photos I've posted however have been of our own local buskers, who are fully as talented as those who come for the festival. For whatever reason, the streets are full of musicians and I especially enjoyed the sounds produced by the couple pictured above. I think what they were playing might be called Zydeco - it was fast, nostalgic, and had a hint of gypsy in it - great stuff! On the left above is Lolita Froissart and that's Jef Gasse (D'Jef) on the right.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Musical Family

Here's a group that have been entertaining Victorians and tourists on the causeway for years, the Kennedy Family, consisting of father Caleb (center), son Cairo (left) and daughter Autumn.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Harbour Nolan

Here's a young busker who has more right to play on the Inner Harbour Causeway than most. His name is Harbour Nolan and, as you may have guessed, he was named after Victoria's Inner Harbour. He sings and accompanies himself on the ukelele, plays a foot drum and high-hat cymbal and blows a mean harp too, a true one-man-band.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pride Parade

Above is a little sample of some of the more exotic participants in Sunday's Pride Parade here in Victoria. It's a very exuberant parade that is viewed enthusiastically by thousands of spectators - see the photo below.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Theme Park

I've mentioned before that sometimes during the summer months I get the feeling I'm living in a giant theme park when I'm in downtown Victoria. I got that feeling yesterday evening when I was enjoying the mesmerizing music-box mime of Pierre St. Pierre and one of those horse-drawn carriages trotted past.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Swan Walker

Here's a veteran causeway performer I've not featured so far this year - Swan Walker. Swan adds a distinctly Caribbean flavor to the causeway and though he plays a lot of calypso and reggae music he has a wide repertoire of other popular music as well as his own distinctive compositions. In addition to guitar he also plays a pair of steel drums. If you see him on the Causeway make sure you stop and listen - you won't regret it.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Gonzales Beach

When I was young I loved to lie under a hot sun on a sandy beach and dip in and out of the water for hours on end. Well, those days are long past but if they weren't I would probably be spending a lot of time on Gonzales Beach. It's a very nice quiet, neighborhoody kind of beach. The bay is called Foul Bay but I think that just refers to its qualities as an anchorage because there's nothing foul about it otherwise. This is what it looked like yesterday afternoon when the temperature climbed to the high 20s.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Dustin Childs

Here's a busker who's new to the causeway this year but his smooth very listenable performance indicates he's an experienced professional. I continue to be amazed at the range of talents displayed by the artists who perform on the causeway and Dustin Childs is no exception. He's a fine musician.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mike & Joy

Most busker musicians' repertoires focus mainly on adult tastes but here's a duo that adds a good selection of kids' songs to a collection of pop classics. This is Mike and Joy. If you're on the causeway with your kids, keep an eye (and an ear) out for this pair. They sound good no matter what age you are.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Those Lamps

I find the faux gas lamps pictured in today's and yesterday's posts very attractive and I wish there were more of them throughout old town instead of only in Bastion Square.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Chancery Lane

Just off busy Bastion Square Chancery Lane remains peaceful and cool even on a hot summer day like today.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Chinese Cemetery Redux

Fern's off on a road trip to our southern neighbor so I'm back on Sunday posting duty. I mentioned a couple of days ago I had returned to Harling Point. I found the tide out again - I really should trouble myself to check some tide tables. I found that the altar pictured above has been freshly painted since last time I photographed it and it looks quite different. I am posting another photo of it today because it's such a peaceful and slightly mysterious scene. You have to keep in mind that this scene is urban Oak Bay - little more than a hundred meters back is a dense residential neighbourhood. Click HERE to see some past posts of Harling Point.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Canada Day on The Gorge

Every year Canada Day is celebrated here on the Inner Harbour with extensive ceremonies and entertainment, and, huge crowds. So, for the last couple of years I've been enjoying Canada Day on the Gorge, a much smaller and more intimate gathering of locals more like a block party than anything else. There's lots of food and drink - strawberry tea at the Gorge Canoe Club for only $3 - and lots of other food purveyors including kids selling lemonade. About half the people strolling around wear something red since thanks to our flag it has become our national color. And there's music - One Man Band Dave Harris was entertaining a large crowd, the Karpes Family Band were producing some great jug band style music and other musicians were performing as well. Lots of classy vintage cars and cotton candy made from Maple Syrup - bet you wish you were here. There's canoe rides and bouncy castles and everyone relaxes and has a good time. I did, and I thank the kids and others who allowed me to take their photos.

Below is a 20 second video of two small boys dancing to some Dave Harris Dixieland.