Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A jaunt up-island

We took a couple of days to drive up to Comox to visit some old friends who live beside a marsh. What a joy to see birds everywhere and to hear a chorus of frogs at night! The weather cooperated and I managed to get some photographs to share.

Evening at the marsh

Peaks seen from Mount Washington (where there was hardly any snow this winter).

Red Wing Blackbird on the deck railing. There were dozens of these beautiful birds with their amazing trilling songs.

A woodpecker tree

The marsh at midday

Aspens just beginning to leaf out

Beavers built this but it had to be dismantled so the water could flow.

Watery abstract

It was so wonderful to be in nature for two solid days.  I realize how much I miss this living in the city.


For Earth Day on April 25th, the new documentary by Rob Stewart, maker of Sharkwater, will be released. You must watch the movie. It's called Revolution and every single person in the developed world must watch it--before it's too late.  To see the trailer, click here

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ice flowers

My friend Jackie and I had such a fabulous time today photographing flowers frozen in ice.  

Something amazing happens when the flower is partly frozen in ice--it becomes very other-worldly.

To give you an idea how it's done, here's Jackie focusing on the upturned ice bowl.  She collected them  from her garden and froze them in water the night before.

You can find her photos and more at her blog:

To me these images have a kind of Victorian quality to them, perhaps because of the colours of the flowers she used. Plus the idea of pressed flowers. But there's the added dimension of the bubbles and lines of the ice that give them a magical quality.

And of course there's the bonus of the ice reflecting the ambient light in quite a lovely way.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Butchart Gardens

I just realized that I've had this blog for at least seven years and I haven't yet posted about Butchart Gardens, arguably the most famous sight in Victoria.

That could be because as residents here we consider it to be a tourist attraction and too expensive to visit ourselves.  But several of our friends have a seasons pass, which costs only a little more than two regular admissions and it allows you to visit as many times as you want for a year. What a deal!

We went there in December to see the lovely Christmas light show and now that we're back in town we're planning to go often. Today being the first day of spring seemed an auspicious time to visit. A bonus is that you can bring your dog on a leash so we took Geordie along.

Here are a few of the sights we saw.  Blossoming trees and mossy bears among the cedars...

Plantings in the sunken garden (with the fountain as a backdrop)...

 Mossy tree trunks and elegant buildings and cheeky fountains...

some of the most beautiful Camelias I've seen....

Scenes in the Japanese garden...

The famous bronze boar with the shiny nose from all the visitors hands...

And of course lovely spring bulbs (crocus, tulips, daisies, hyacinths and daffodils)

And finally a peek inside one of the greenhouses

I'm planning to go back at least once a month with my camera so I'll keep you up to date.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring on Yukon Street

Spring has arrived here on Yukon Street. The coral bark maple in front of our house is leafing out. This photo looks through it across the street to where the plum trees are just finishing their blossoms

Here's the apartment across the street. The plum trees are leafing out in their plummy colour and the kids are starting to hang out on the steps leaving their toys behind. Soon the snowflake designs will come off the window to be replaced by Easter eggs. 

And down at the end of the street is Nomi's house with her exquisite pink magnolia in full flower. The street is a study in pink and green.