Custom Search

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Travel Light

The three young men performing here on the Inner Harbour Causeway are students at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and are a subset of a larger band called "Travel Light". I enjoyed an hour of their jazzy repertoire on Saturday though rain was threatening the whole time. The video below will give you some idea of their cool, relaxed sound.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Caleb and Autumn

We're still getting lots of rain these days but whenever the sun peeks through there are more performers enlivening the Inner Harbour Causeway with their music. Above are Caleb and Autumn, father and daughter, pouring out high energy pop classics on Friday afternoon last week.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Adventure On The Open Seas

Benjamin has had to fly solo for the last month as I have been doing some traveling this month. These sea lions were spotted as the little boat I was aboard was making it's way north from Tofino to Hot Springs Cove in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. It was, according to the captain a mild day on the water and the swells were about 1 meter but I tell you, when that little boat went down and then up again, my stomach didn't like it very much. It was worth it though, so incredibly beautiful. Tofino is a small town but has a thriving tourist trade as people come to surf, go whale watching, camp and fish. It's one of those places that's so special I am flummoxed to describe it in a few sentences. - Fern

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Song Sparrow

The last couple of times I went out to Swan Lake I was hoping to get some photos of Marsh Wrens. These perky little birds are especially active and visible in the spring but not, it seems, quite yet. Instead I've been seeing many Song Sparrows posing beautifully on the cat-tail stalks, a symphony of brown and gold. So here's a Song Sparrow (above) with a promise of Marsh Wrens to come.

Friday, March 27, 2015


Whenever I see a Double-crested Cormorant up close I am always dazzled by their dappled plumage. The colors and pattern are so subtle - if you see one from a little further away it just looks black, but up close, what riches! They have a wonderful color scheme - the jade-green eyes are also very striking. A visit to Swan Lake never disappoints.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Blush

Here's what Swan Lake looked like earlier this week. There's just the faintest green blush of leaf buds on the various kinds of bush and willows that edge the lake, and lots of pussy-willows.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


On my recent ramble in Highrock Park, as well as the Shooting Stars pictured yesterday I also saw the first of these lovely blue-purple flowers. Bluebells are not a native plant here but have moved into the local environment so successfully they seem like an indigenous species and are a delight to see in the spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shooting Stars

I went up to Highrock Park a few days ago to check if any new spring wildflowers had appeared. Above is the one I was specifically looking for, the lovely little magenta blooms called Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon hendersonii).

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring on Fisherman's Wharf

While strolling around Fisherman's Wharf last week I was happy to see the rich purple of these Grape Hyacinths, a flower I always associate with spring.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ice Cream Weather?

Well, It was warm last week but I didn't think it was Ice Cream weather. However, judging by this photo I was in a minority since these folks were clearly enjoying their cones, especially the little guy in the center who was having a face-painting session as well as a treat. For folks who preferred more solid food, Puerto Vallarta Amigos (below) was providing their delicious Mexican Seafood fare a few steps away on Fisherman's Wharf.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Fisherman's Wharf

Sunshine earlier this week lured me over to Fisherman's Wharf. It's not a difficult segue from the most recent posts of Songhees Point since the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and the old Blue Bridge are visible (on the right) in this photo taken from the southern side of the Inner Harbour where Fisherman's Wharf is located. Some of the colorful houseboats that are a Fisherman's Wharf trademark can be seen on the left.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Old Blue Bridge

Upkeep on the Johnson Street Bridge has been neglected since the idea of a new bridge was bruited a half dozen years ago and it's beginning to look pretty bedraggled. The once bright blue has faded and rusty streaks are visible. Oh well, it only has to last another year; the new bridge is expected to open in 2016.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Between the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort and the Johnson Street Bridge is a small passage leading to the Songhees Walkway. Every year caretakers pollard these trees and I always find them oddly attractive in this condition. By mid-summer they will have sprouted hundreds of slender, leafy branches

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Delta Ocean Pointe Resort

All of the Songhees Point area is occupied by condominiums with the exception of this resort hotel, the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. It's a prime location since it's only a short stroll across the Johnson Street Bridge (old or new) to the heart of Victoria's old town.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Songhees Point

A bright clear afternoon after a morning's rain inspired me a few days ago to revisit some of my favorite Victoria views. Above is the view from Ship Point Pier at one end of the Causeway. Here we are looking at Songhees Point with the Johnson Street Bridge on the far right and Laurel Point on the far left. Just to the right of the center is the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. We'll have a closer look at that tomorrow.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Barred Owl

Just as I was leaving the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary last week another photographer drew my attention to this Barred Owl having a snooze in a tree near the exit trail. There were actually two owls but the other one,perched a little below this one, was obscured by branches. Owls are becoming another favorite model of mine since, like Great Blue Herons, they often sit unmoving for long periods of time, thus enabling even torpid photographers like myself to get a photograph.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Zenith

Here's a super yacht I've noticed the last few times I've been down to the Inner Harbour. It looks pretty nice from the outside so I thought I'd check it out online. It turns out it's for sale - $41,000,000. Yeah, you read that right - forty-one million dollars. Well, at least that's what it cost to build. If you want to get an idea of how the super-rich, those 1 per centers, live, click HERE to take a look at the slide show of the various interior features. I guess this is the sort of boat that will park at the new marina when it is completed.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ring-necked Ducks

I've mentioned before that one of the difficulties of identifying birds is that members of the same species don't always look the same. Here's another example I saw out at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary earlier this week. Both the ducks pictured above are Ring-necked Ducks. The one on the left is a mature male in breeding plumage. The one on the right is a juvenile.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Harlequin Duck

While at Clover Point I noticed some Harlequin Ducks. A male of the species is pictured above. These sea ducks dabble for their food in shallow waters but also dive for deeper prey such as crustaceans and worms. They often overwinter here but disappear in the summer. However, unlike most other migratory birds they do not fly north but breed and nest in the mountains, flying eastwards to their favored nesting grounds. This behavior is highly unusual - there's an interesting article about these ducks HERE.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Brant at Clover Point

I was down at Clover Point earlier in the week and was happy to see some Brant grazing along the shoreline. These are birds of passage that we only see here in the spring and fall as they move north and south. Like our ubiquitous Canada Geese, these geese are grazers. Here they are grazing on Sea Lettuce. Eel Grass is another favorite food.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jean Bedard

Here's another Causeway veteran, guitarist Jean Bedard. He's pictured here on the Causeway though he is more often found on Fisherman's Wharf. Jean specializes in intricate, jazzy arrangements of popular music. His thoughtful, accomplished playing makes for easy listening.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mather Hewison

Buskers are as individual as the rest of us, maybe even moreso. They display a wide variety of music and performance styles. Mather Hewison opts for the most straightforward - a man and a guitar and a terrific repertoire of Rock n' Roll classics delivered with high energy and sincerity that makes them sound new and fresh.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Dave Harris - One Man Band

I was down on the Causeway again on Sunday to catch a performance by its most enduring performer, one man band Dave Harris. If you ever visit Victoria plan to spend some time on the Causeway listening to Dave. It's a unique and rewarding experience. A couple of years ago I recorded the video below of Dave's version of the Orange Blossom Special. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Causeway

On Saturday, many Victorians including myself took advantage of the warm spring-like weather to take a stroll on the Inner Harbour Causeway. There were lots of buskers, artists and craftspeople out as well and next week we'll visit some of the people who make the Causeway such a vibrant environment.
Today marks the 7th Anniversary of Victoria Daily Photo. In the last seven years Fern and I have made over 2,500 daily posts and shared about 4,000 photos. It's hard to believe it's been seven years but time flies when you're having fun. I thank our regular visitors for their many supportive and interesting comments and I hope we'll continue to provide a window to Victoria in the years to come.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Red-winged Blackbird

One of the signs of spring I enjoy most is the song of the Red-winged Blackbird. It may be territorial but to me it sounds like a love song. Maybe it's both. Yesterday morning near Esquimalt Lagoon I wandered into a group singing contest. About twenty males (one is pictured above) flitted around in the nearby blackberry brambles, all emitting piercing lovelorn warbles. There were lots of females around too and their disapproving chut chut chuts were like a counterpoint to the males' songs. It is sometimes claimed that Red-winged Blackbirds are the most numerous North American bird, numbering as many as 250 million pairs in good years. Head out to your nearest swamp or cattail marsh and you'll surely find some.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Up Close and Personal

I went out to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary on Wednesday to see what birds were there. I saw a very nice assortment though nothing unusual - Ring-necked Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, Lesser Scaup, Spotted Towhee, Red-winged Blackbirds, Sparrows of several kinds, Downy Woodpecker, Anna's Hummingbird, American Coot, Bufflehead Duck, a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Marsh Wren. The Mallard Ducks at Swan Lake are very friendly and the drake above posed so photogenically in his new breeding plumage that I couldn't resist taking a dozen photos of him.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Satinflower (Olsynium douglasii)

Here's another early bloomer, the Satin-flower or Grasswidow. I find some little patches of these every year near the summit of Highrock Park. These are blooming about ten days or two weeks earlier than last year.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


In the same bit of woods near Esquimalt Lagoon where I photographed the woodpecker and hummingbird in yesterday's post I had a nice encounter with two kinds of sparrow. Above is one of our commoner species, usually singing his heart out, a Song Sparrow. This one looks to be in a pensive mood. Below is a Fox Sparrow.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Spring is not only a time for a cascade of wildflowers but is also a very exciting time for watching birds. This is a time when there is a lot of movement from migrating birds heading north. And resident birds are becoming more active and visible as they don mating colors and engage in flirting behaviours. The two birds pictured to day are year round residents here but for some reason I don't see so much of them in the winter (probably because I spend too much time indoors when it's cold outside). Above is a Downy Woodpecker and to the left is an Anna's Hummingbird. Both were photographed a few days ago near Esquimalt Lagoon.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Giant White Fawn Lily

I posted a photo of some Indian Plum blossoms last week as the first local spring wildflower to bloom this year. Here's another local wildflower I saw last week along the West Bay Walkway, the Giant White Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum). These are few on the ground now but over the next three or four weeks they will be sprinkled all over the meadows and forest floors in this area.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


I pass this building downtown almost everyday but rarely are all the conditions right to capture just the right image. I knew it would eventually happen and here it is! Now I am waiting for a day of black thunder clouds... - Fern