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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Jammin'

It always makes for an interesting musical evening when two of the Causeway's musicians get together for a jam. On the left above is Mather Hewison with one man band Dave Harris on the right. At one point Mather delivered Elvis Presley's version of "Donald, Where's Yer Troosers" and that should give you a hint of the eclectic musical spectrum they surveyed.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bobbo the Clown

I just spent an hour watching Bobbo the Clown make people laugh. He's a very funny performer with a non-stop stream of one-liners and surreal balloon creations. Kids, as you can see in the above picture, stand, watch, listen and laugh and when they finally walk away they are wearing big grins as well as funny balloon hats. Bobbo's been doing this for a long time and he does it very well. If you see him, don't just walk by. Trade a few quips and you too will walk away grinning.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Chinatown

Walking down Fisgard Street on a summers evening, I glanced up and for a moment wondered if I'd been transported to New York City itself. - Fern

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Homecoming

There is a small open space overlooking Ship Point that is dedicated to the Navy and this statue, The Homecoming, is its centerpiece.It depicts that magical moment when the sailor comes home from the sea to the loving arms of his family. It's a statue that strikes a chord in most passersby, even those of us who have never been in the navy. We all know what it is like to be separated from those we love and the joy of reunion. The sculptor is Nathan Scott.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Hatley Castle

Before we leave Hatley Park National Historic Site here is a photo of the castle. I plan to have a look at Victoria's other castle, Craigdarroch, next week.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bokeh 2

Here's one more from the Italian Garden that shows the slightly "swirly" kind of bokeh that is characteristic of the Helios 58mm lens.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bokeh

I mentioned in a previous post the term "bokeh". For the non-photographers among visitors to this site, "bokeh" refers to the out-of-focus areas in a photograph, the blurry areas. I like nice crisp images but lately I've begun to appreciate the blurry parts of the photo as well. Different lenses produce different kinds of blur, some more pleasing than others. One of the reasons I like this Helios lens I've been using lately is because of the bokeh it produces. In today's photo I've thrown caution to the winds and used bokeh to more accurately express the experience of a hot summer afternoon in the Italian Garden at Hatley Castle, the way one is thrust into an overpowering profusion of shapes and colors. Wikipedia has a good article on bokeh HERE.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hatley Park Italian Garden Flowers 2

Here's a few more blossoms from the Hatley Castle National Historical Site Italian Garden. For those who are interested in the technical side of things, all yesterday's and today's flower shots were taken with the Russian Helios 58mm lens I mentioned a few days ago. It continues to impress me with its sharpness and interesting bokeh.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Hatley Park Italian Garden Flowers

Being in the Italian Garden with a camera is a little like suddenly being transported to a French p√Ętisserie - such a wealth of delicious things.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hatley Castle Italian Garden

Here is a glimpse of the Italian Garden at Hatley Castle. The Italian Garden style is very formal with clearly defined beds of flowers laid out symmetrically. Despite the formality there is such a wealth of exotic blooms in this garden it is quite overpowering.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hatley Park National Historic Site

I went out to Hatley Park National Historic Site yesterday to take a look at the Italian Garden that is adjacent to the castle. It was just as splendid as usual and we'll look at a bit more of it next week. Above is one of the four seasons garden statues that stand around the edges of the garden.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Canada 150

As part of the Canada 150 celebrations a very large CANADA 150 sign was installed on Ship Point Pier and quickly became a popular jungle gym for kids.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Backyard Jungle

I've been experimenting with old lenses this week - today's photo and yesterday's were taken with a lens that is about 60 or 70 years old and proudly proclaims itself as "Made in USSR". It's a Helios 58mm lens I bought in a thrift store for $10 and I'm thinking it's probably the sharpest lens I own.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Garden Fireworks


With all the action downtown and on the beaches, it's easy to forget that some pretty spectacular things are happening in the back yard, too.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Plasterman

I couldn't let summer pass without at least one photo of perennial causeway performer, "Plasterman", whose living statue mime enthralls everyone, and especially enchants kids -->

Monday, August 7, 2017

Serena Jack

Accomplished musician Serena Jack fitted in perfectly with the beds of flowers on the upper Causeway this weekend. She provided some lively jigs and reels for an appreciative audience.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Surreal Sky

My cellphone camera doesn't do justice to the intensely strange light created by the smoke that has drifted down from the wild fires in the interior of BC. - Fern

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ghost Cat

Sculptor Fred Dobbs has two sculptures on display in Oak Bays Arts Alive program. This one is on Beach Drive. It is called "Ghost Cat". According to the artist's website, "The title for Ghost Cat came from a description of cougars, as elusive, secretive creatures, seldom seen and were more like ghosts."

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Gatekeeper

Here's another of the sculptures that are on display in Oak Bay as part of the Arts Alive program. This striking piece is entitled "The Gatekeeper" and is by sculptor David Hunwick.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Phat Funk

You may notice a slight orange cast to the colors in these photos - we are suffering from smoke from forest fires so the light is a sort of ominous yellow-orange. Couple that with higher than normal temperatures (about 30 degrees C when these photos were taken) and it sounds like a prescription for finding a cool, shady spot to rest. None of that deterred this group of young musicians who bounced around producing some high energy music so stimulating that a large group of small children couldn't help but dance. (See the short video clip below)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Shadow Play 2

The same sun that makes those interesting shadows in yesterday's post poses a real difficulty for photographers since causeway performers almost always sing and play with their backs to the sun. It is very challenging to get a good photo of a performer when the sun is behind him or her. Sometimes however, that can become an advantage - if you like shadows. Providing the shadow above is Blake Andison, a very talented young singer/songwriter.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Shadow Play

The Inner Harbour Causeway faces westward so that in the late afternoon and evening interesting shadows form on the sidewalk and back wall.

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

Jammin'

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.