Thursday, February 27, 2014

Victoria's most expensive view...

Over the past few years, I've taken a few photos of the Shoal Point condos at the entrance to Victoria's harbour. I knew that they were expensive, but even I didn't realize just how expensive until recently.

An article in our local newspaper revealed that the penthouse suite -- the one you can see top right-hand corner of the building -- was owned by music producer David Foster. Foster is from Victoria but found fame and fortune in Hollywood as a music producer.  Over the years he has won seven Juno Awards and 16 Grammy awards. In the 80s and 90s, he hosted a number of high-profile sports events in Victoria as charity fundraisers. These were typically attended by acting, music and sports celebrities who Foster recruited to help him.

He just sold the 4200 square foot condo for a sweet $5 MILLION dollars.

According to the article:
"Features include large windows, hardwood floors, marble counters, high ceilings, recessed lighting, three fireplaces, a guest suite, and city and mountain views."

In front of the condo, you can see Fishermans Wharf, another Victoria landmark frequently highlighted in these pages.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ghost in the Wall

Poking around the nearby Uptown Centre in Saanich a few nights ago, I noticed these faces peering out from the fa├žades on the top level...

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Emerald covered rocks deep in the forest...

Here on southern Vancouver Island we don't often get snow on the ground in the winter. But we do get lots of rain which gives rise to a lot of moss. It covers the rocks and tree roots like a soft green carpet.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

You Park Like an Asshole

Bad parking job...

A couple of years ago I learned of a website,, dedicated to photos of those dickly drivers who for one reason or another park taking up multiple spaces, or so close to the adjacent car they block its doors, etc.

I think I found a contender with this bizarre parking job in the covered lot near the local Walmart. Fully two-thirds of this vehicle was left jutting out in the main thoroughfare.

To be fair, maybe the car crapped out on them and they went off to get help, but it's a late model car so it seems unlikely. And there was no note of explanation left on the car either. So whaddya think - douche or no?

Saturday, February 15, 2014


A flock of towhees is known as a 'teacup of towhees'!
We have bird feeders right outside our large living room windows. From there we can easily watch birds moving among the rhodos that brush up against the windows. It also makes it easy for me to get close up photos of them.

This is a spotted towhee. They are a large member of the sparrow family. They spend a lot of time moving about on the ground and seem to be pretty calm when humans are about.

As I've mentioned previously, each species of bird has a unique name for a flock. Twohee's don't normally flock per se but, if you hover your mouse icon over the image above, you'll discover the unique name given to a gathering of towhees.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


At the end of Victoria's waterfront breakwater, you'll find the Ogden Point beacon that marks the entrance of Victoria's inner harbour. It was featured a few days ago in a separate post.

You can also see it live (sort of) via this online webcam...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Although flock is the generic word for a group of birds, each type of bird has its own group name, e.g. a murder of crows. In a previous post, I created a group name for cormorants. I have no idea what the word is for a group of seagulls, but I’ve decided that I like the alliteration of ‘squadron of seagulls’.

This particular squadron at Victoria's Clover Point on the windy waterfront had their asses to the sun during last week’s cold snap, presumably in an effort to get warm.

Saturday, February 8, 2014


The banners that line the main streets of Gracepoint describe the small town as "America's Last Hometown". The town news is served up from the modest offices of the Gracetown Journal.

So where is this bucolic, sleepy little community?

Well, you won't find it on any map. It doesn't exist... except as the creation of the Fox Network. But you'll find hints of it throughout the Greater Victoria area.

Gracepoint is a television series currently filming in the area. It's a remake of a popular British series called Broadchurch except that the series' story has been re-located to the fictitious California town of Gracepoint.

Various locales throughout the area have been re-branded as Gracepoint locations. The series' stars -- which include British actor David Tennant, Anna Gunn (who I totally crushed on as the beleaguered wife in the excellent series Breaking Bad) and Nick Nolte -- have been spotted here and there throughout Victoria and filming scenes on the waterfront.

It's not the first time Victoria has stood in for American locations. Our unique climate, seaside location and heritage architecture have made it possible for Victoria to stand it for the Florida Keys(!), 19th century Portland, London, New England... In fact, the Mutant Academy of the X-Men films is a retired military college just outside town that I attended as a student over 30 years ago.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Just one of the 12000 varieties of moss in the world...

On the wet West Coast moss is probably more common than grass. Can you guess how many varieties of moss there are? Hover your mouse over the image above for the answer...

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Absent companions (Blue)

I had lost all feeling in my fingers but I didn't care. I was on my scooter, the crisp air washing over my face as I admired the stunning ocean and mountain views along Victoria's waterfront Beach Drive. Overhead the sky was mostly clear and a late afternoon sun was blazing over the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

I was putting a new point-and-shoot camera -- a gift from my wife -- through the paces. Passing a small turnoff I saw these two blue chairs perched on Kitty Islet overlooking the waterfront. Too intriguing not to investigate and take a photo or two...

After I took my photos I noticed that one had a plaque on it (below). Thanks to Google I tracked down the tale of Blue For You.

BTW The island in the background above is Trial Island.