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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mount Douglas Maples

During the fall I always try to get out to Mount Douglas Park in order to see the wonderful carpet of leaves that are shed by the giant Bigleaf Maples.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Those Autumn Leaves

Well, with what's happening on the east coast of North America in the last few days it would be ungrateful of me to complain of our weather - especially since we had some sunny skies yesterday.

Monday, October 29, 2012


It's that time again! Carving pumpkins is one of my favorite part of Halloween I think. - Fern

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Follow the Leader

Walking home along the Songhees Walkway, this gaggle of geese passed me just as calm and self assured as can be. It amazes me how tame urban wildlife has become in recent years. - Fern

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Delhi Street Scene

Our weather has been so unremittingly dark and wet lately that I've really been longing for some sunshine and warmth. As I result I present today for "Somewhere Saturday" a street scene I snapped in Delhi a couple of years ago because it's full of sunshine and the relaxed attitudes that are expressive of life in a warm environment. It's also got lots of nice details that I like - such as the bicycle rickshaw man coming up over the hill, the ice cream and popsicle seller, the glorious bush of bouganvillea and the perfectly relaxed attitude of the seated man in the lower left. Delhi is noisy and hectic but I always find when I slow down and walk around there are lots of little islands of peace like this.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Canoe Brewpub Marina

Photographs for the last two days were taken from the Canoe Brewpub Marina, just north of the Johnson Street Bridge. Today's photo is of some of the boats that are moored at the marina, including some of the little harbour ferries that are mothballed during the winter season.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bucket List

A bucket list is a list of things to do before you die. The concept is derived from the phrase "to kick the bucket" and was made popular recently by the 2007 film "The Bucket List". I'm thankful that I don't have a very long bucket list. I've been lucky enough to experience during my life most of what I dreamt of when I was young. However, whenever I spend a few minutes in the vicinity of the two S.A.L.T.S. training ships pictured above, that last bucket list item comes surging to the surface: A long sailing voyage on a ship such as this through the South Seas and on to the Orient. To wake up in the morning and look out one of these incredible windows onto some palm-fringed shore - that's my bucket list item. What's yours?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Johnson Street Bridge

With half the Johnson Street Bridge gone I am always reminded of the gap-toothed smile of a six year old, though it's not quite so engaging. Despite the near manic urgency of the decision to build a new bridge some years ago nothing seems to be happening except the projected cost is rising (up about $15 million over the original budget). Click HERE to see what the new bridge might look like and what the city has to say about the project. Click HERE to see read what a concerned citizens group has to say about problems with bridge design and budget over-runs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rain Garden

Last week we looked at the children's play area in the new Fisherman's Wharf Park in James Bay. Here is another section of the park where a "rain garden" has been created. It doesn't look very impressive yet but when the plantings grow a bit and the trees leaf out it should be more attractive. What's more interesting perhaps is that the park used to be nothing more than a large flat field and all these interesting curves and humps have been landscaped to create a garden that will not only appeal to the eye but will function to improve the ecology of the area. According to Wikipedia, "A rain garden is a planted depression or a hole that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm drains and surface waters which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater)."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rowing on the Gorge

This seems to have become a very popular sport and the Gorge waterway is a great place to practice. There are always boats of all kinds going to and fro. In the background is Victoria's very squat skyline, but I like it all the same. - Fern

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I am taking an art class right now and the subject of my current project is cranes. I'm crane obsessed, I admit it. These are a few photos I've taken and I'm using them to then create various 'art pieces.' The question is though...would it be a "Contruction of Cranes" or maybe a "Crew of Cranes?" - Fern

Saturday, October 20, 2012


The new Fisherman's Wharf Park includes a small playground for kids. Above is a tried and true playground fixture, a slide. Below is a newer style of playground ride, one of a pair of small Fisher-Price style boats mounted on giant springs that are wonderfully bouncy. There's no swing set - perhaps they are considered too dangerous nowadays.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sequoias in Victoria

The natural range of the species Sequoia sempervirens (Giant Redwood) doesn't extend beyond southern Oregon but a number of these glorious trees have been planted in Victoria and seem to be thriving. Above is one that is located on Gorge Road. There are others - one on Moss Street, another in front of the Legislature, several in Beacon Hill Park and one on the grounds of Hatley Castle. I suspect there are others. Several more are noted on Ross Crockford's fascinating blog, Unknown Victoria. This tree species includes the tallest trees on earth and they live for very long periods of time (1,200 to 1,800 years). I stopped to photograph this one because I was attracted to its near-perfect symmetry.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fry's Bakery

Victoria has a new bakery, located in Vic West on Craigflower Road next door to the Spiral Cafe. But it's not an ordinary bakery. It's unique in a number of ways, starting with the wheat that is used to make the flour - red wheat. Other fine ingredients are added and it's all baked in a wood-fired brick oven to produce really tasty and toothsome loaves. Byron Fry, the baker, makes pastries too. I haven't tried any yet but I am looking forward to sampling some. Here's a mini-backgrounder on the bakery from his tumblr site.
Traveling baker Byron Fry taught himself to bake 3 years ago before apprenticing at the Italian Bakery in Victoria BC. During the summer of 2010 he rode his motorcycle 16 000km around North America, visiting bakeries in Montreal, New York, North Carolina and Portland. In NC he met the baker Richard Miscovich who inspired him to come home to BC, build an oven, and bake bread. The historical name and logo of Fry's Red Wheat Bread was passed down from his great-grandfather who owned and operated a bakery in Victoria at the turn of the century.
Fry's Bakery is located at 416 Craigflower Road in Vic West.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Patterns of Recycling

Some of the maple trees shedding their leaves in Thetis Lake Regional Park are playing host to some other species that is leaving interesting patterns on their leaves. I don't know whether these circular patches filled with black dots are the eggs of some insect or the the results of a fungus or....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I'm happy to be back in full color again, having recovered from last week's computer malaise. I went out to Thetis Lake Park yesterday to see if the rains of the last few days have brought out any mushrooms. I didn't find any but I did enjoy the brilliant yellows and browns of the Big Leaf Maples (Acer macrophyllum) in the park. These leaves, in a stylized version, are on our national flag, though the flag maple is not meant to represent a specific species. Big Leaf Maples are mostly found on the Pacific Coast. In the eastern part of Canada other kinds of maple trees are found.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Is it a dream? Is it some trick of photoshop? Nope and nope. This is the kind of fun you can have with a camera a still pool of water. - Fern

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In The Rain

We took a stroll along Bowker Creek today. The rain was falling gently as were the leaves. - Fern

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Safe Mode 3

Here's another using the same special effect setting as yesterday's photo. Today's photo is of one man band Dave Harris who is endlessly patient with my incessant photo-taking. Thanks Dave. And thanks also to regular visitors here who are getting a grab-bag selection of photos for the last couple of days because I am having ongoing computer problems. Operating in Safe Mode means I can only see very fuzzy distorted versions of my photos and cannot edit them before putting them up here.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Safe Mode 2

Yes, I'm still experiencing computer problems. However, I begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be back to normal.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Safe Mode!

Here's the causeway looking good under an October sun a few days ago. At least I hope it's looking good - I can't really tell too well because my computer is crashing and I'm operating in safe mode. So I'm flying blind this morning.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Autumn Colour

As I rode along the Gorge to enjoy the leaves turning red I stopped at this place to take a photo. After parking I found that I wasn't the only photographer out to capture the rich contrast of the reds of the leaves against the blues of the sky and water.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October Afternoon

October continues warm and dry. Here's what lower Government Street looked like on a recent afternoon.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Great View

We took advantage of this beautiful weather and hiked up Mt. Wells to take in the incredible view. This is the best shot I got don't you think? - Fern

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dusk in Vic West

I never tire of this magical time of day and how it transforms everything. - Fern

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Gazebo #2

Here's another gazebo. This one is located in Fisherman's Wharf Park, a newly refurbished park that overlooks Fisherman's Wharf in James Bay. We'll have a closer look at some of the other features of this park next week.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Autumn Leaves

While many of our trees are still wearing summer's green the leaves are beginning to wither and turn brown. Clearly the maples along this Beacon Hill path are dropping their leaves but we have not yet had a frost that will bring out the most glorious reds and yellows. Below is a little nostalgic mood music from Nat King Cole.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Not only does the sun set earlier these days but it seems to set faster so there is less twilight. Darkness falls very quickly. Today's photo was taken barely five minutes after the photo I posted yesterday, looking towards the Legislature and the Empress Hotel.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Autumn Sunset

September was summery but With the advent of October it became clear that autumn has arrived. The air is thinner and the wind is cold and blustery. One is surprised by long shadows in what seems like mid-afternoon. Here Victoria's downtown catches the last slanting rays of the setting sun. This is the view from Songhees Point.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I think I will begin to collect local examples of gazebos because it is an interesting word and an unusual kind of structure. This particular gazebo is on the West Bay Walkway and is pictured here today because I just noticed that it has been given a new roof during the summer. The word gazebo has quite an un-English sound to it but it is not borrowed from any other language nor is its origin known. The term gazebo includes various sub-types such as pergolas, rotundas and follies. The essential charactistics of a gazebo is that it is a circular building that is roofed but open on all sides and has no purpose other than to provide a sheltered spot for people to rest in the outdoors.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Study in Yellow

Further explorations of my little piece of Victoria reveal that Vic West is very much a mixed community, with residential, commercial and industrial neighbours. This collection of photos is my attempt to find the beauty and interest among the heavy duty equipment, scrap lumber, and scrap metal yards. - Fern