Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Parting Shots

This is the last of the series of photos from my day in Victoria last weekend. Tomorrow, I'm off to the mainland for a few days. My friend Margaret will be staying here to care for the dogs and cat, while I visit my mom and Emma, and hopefully get in a quick visit to Hearts on Noses to see Janice and the piggies. I'm also looking forward to breaking bread (ok, drinking wine.....) with my long time friends Ann and Ken with whom I'll be staying. It's been far too long.

Hmmmm... if I can take 348 photos and get four blog posts out of one day in Victoria, how many photos will I take and how many posts from several days on the mainland? Check back next week!

Meanwhile, may these photos hold you for a few days:

Stone bridge in Beacon Hill Park

From the trail along Dallas Road


Flying high

Windy day

Bye for now!

Blooms and Old Dogs

For my friends on the mainland, who are slipping and sliding through snow once again, here is a taste of  springtime on the island.  I took these at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria last weekend - a little further south of us and in an urban park well maintained by dedicated gardeners.  We do have lots of blossoms in Crofton, too, but we're not quite as far into spring as Victoria:


and whole fields of crocuses


And whole bushes of rhodos

Carpets of yellow flowers, whose name I've forgotten

and daffodils

Red Currant (I think?)

Winter heather, snowdrops, teeny violets and other sweet surprises

More blankets of yellow

And more fields of crocusses
(with a little dog who was quite determined to be in the shot!)

And, for the dog people, a few shots of one of my favourite old dogs, Archie, who stayed overnight with us a few days ago while his mama Else was at away:

There are few things more beautiful than an old dog's face!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Peacocks, and a Picnic

On Saturday's trip to Victoria, I drove through Beacon Hill Park while looking for a spot to park near the museum. It was on that first drive through that I knew I was going to spend at least part of the day in the park. After all, where else can you find a traffic-stopping peacock.... who know what a crosswalk is for?

When I returned to the area after visiting the photography exhibit, the peacock had obviously spread the word that I was coming back. One saved a parking space for me, watched me get out of the car, and started following me down the road.

Here, Lady, here's a space for you!

A little to the left....okay, now straighten the wheel....

I hope she doesn't think I'm stalking her

He then posed for me next to a bike stand, after first reading the plaque dedicating the stand to the memory of a young woman who passed away in 2005.

Aw, so sad, she was only twenty....

Okay, enough of that, take my photo!

Oh wait, maybe this is my good side?

Several of his friends came to check things out. They hopped over the nearby fence which marks the parameter of a petting zoo, currently closed. I assume they live there year-round, though there was no sign of any other animals or staff in the locked compound. Clearly, fences, gates and locks don't stop these boys from showing off for the tourists.


Show off

I love the colour of their necks, and their fancy little hats perched on the backs of their heads. And though I took dozens of shots, I still think the one I posted Saturday is my favourite shot of all:

I still have many photos of Victoria's blooms and beaches worth posting, but I must digress to capture today's story while it is fresh in my mind. Eddie had missed his usual beach loop walk this morning, for the first time in many weeks. Around noon, the sun shining brightly and some of my chores completed, I decided to take him on his first outing to my favourite local park - Osborne Bay Park - where fields meet forest and forest leads to ocean. I quickly made an egg salad sandwich and a thermos of coffee for myself, packed some water and a few treats for Eddie, and tucked some slices of apple into a baggie for us to share. It was the perfect day for a picnic, and a perfect place for solitude.

After photographing a few interesting artifacts along the beach,

What is that?  A rusty anchor?

Or King Neptune rising from the surf?

I sat on a log and took out my sandwich, which Eddie eyed longingly. His water and treats didn't cut it, apparently.

May I have some of your sandwich?

Just then, I noticed a movement to my left - an eagle, perched on a dead tree checking the receding tide.

And as I struggled (somewhat unsuccessfully) to focus the camera, trying not to spill the coffee or trip over my backpack,  that little opportunist sheltie STOLE MY SANDWICH!

Yum!  Egg salad!

Gulp, and it was gone. The whole thing. At least he had the grace to look ashamed of himself.

Oops, I guess I shudn't have done that.  Sowwy.

Though I'm pretty sure it was all an act.

Ha ha!  Whatz fer dessert?

Ah well, we still had the apple slices (and Eddie got more than his share), and spent a lovely hour or two walking the beach and the trails back home.

Winter brush in purple

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ducks, ducks and more ducks

I've spent all day going through the 348 photos I took yesterday in Victoria, and have deleted perhaps two thirds of them.  The rest I have grouped by topic - birds, blooms, beaches (and a miscellaneous category) and I'll post some of my favourites from each category (or a subcategory) over the next few days.  Today, the topic is Birds - Part One.  Just the ducks.  Tomorrow I'll do the peacocks.

And for those who come to this blog just for the dogs......

Well, that's just ducky! 
What am I?  A duck-tolling retriever?