Monday, December 29, 2014

(Un)Discovered

Sculpture 'Hide and Seek'
Ninja urban art!
Walking down Government Street one evening last week I was surprised to come across this sculpture. It appears as a tree growing from the sidewalk, its branches entwined around the adjacent lamppost.

Among the branches were plaques printed with a verse.

Amazingly, some research tells me that the sculpture has been there for FIVE YEARS! How I have never noticed it before now is a complete mystery.

The artist's name is Glenn Closson. The script is called 'Hide and Seek' and was written by Victoria's first Poet Laureate Carla Funk.

I'll have to take a closer look at this during daylight hours. The artist states that he has hidden an old English penny in the trunk of the tree.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Captain Cook's Christmas

Captain Cook sculpture at the Victoria inner harbour...
Too busy exploring to celebrate Christmas...
This sculpture of a stern-looking Captain Cook faces the Empress Hotel along Victoria's inner harbour.

He does not appear to be into the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ice Time

Victorians enjoying the ice rink in front of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC...
A rare chance to skate the real thing in Victoria...
Victorians are being treated to a rarity... authentic outdoor winter skating on a 60’ by 90’ covered rink, courtesy of the Empress Hotel.

In the past, local malls have periodically featured seasonal rinks where the 'ice' was a type of high tech plastic. The Empress is doing it old school with the real deal -- genuine ice.

It must be popular. This photo was taken on an otherwise slow downtown Monday night and there was a solid line up of people waiting to take their turn on the rink.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

One of the Christmas trees in the Empress' Festival of Trees...
One of the entries in The Festival of Trees...
Infused with strands of berries, this old-school decorated tree was my personal favourite of the many trees in the Empress' Festival of Trees.

However, aside from that tree, glance down to the fugly pattern of that carpet below it. This is the sort of the drab, dated details that I hope will disappear with the recently announced $30 million dollar face lift of the institute. I'm looking forward to it...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Griswald Delight

Massive Christmas tree in the foyer of the Empress Hotel...
Clark would be ecstatic!
Every holiday season in the lobby of our venerable Empress Hotel, this massive Christmas tree greets guests and visitors...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trucks on Parade

Victoria's Lighted Trucks Tour always falls on the weekend following the Santa Claus Parade. It's over pretty quickly... typically the trucks roll past in about ten to fifteen minutes.
This year it was a relatively warm night which brought out a lot of crowds. Despite all the 'ooh-ing' and 'aah-ing' from the crowd though Stump the dog seemed totally indifferent to it all.

Stump is less than enthused about the lights and music...
Stump endures the parade lights and music...



Friday, December 12, 2014

Sandra Davis-Callon

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
-- Dr. Seuss
I called her Mom...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a woman in Value Village...
A life forgotten?
One of my guilty pleasures is trolling Value Village for castoffs. It's a great place for finding the odd... the unique... and sometimes the plain weird.

Recently, I was checking out the wall art section for funky frames or inspiring ideas when this sketched portrait jumped out at me. I think it was the compelling look in the eyes that drew me to it. Her enigmatic expression fascinated me. It was impossible to say for certain if she was serene, wistful, bored... but something about the set of her face also suggested anger or disappointment.

Studying it closer, I saw from the signature that it was done in 1983. Assuming the woman in the portrait was about forty-ish at the time, that would make her seventy-ish today.

If I was to guess, I would assume that she had recently died and the portrait was among the donated estate items. In a way, this discarded portrait in a thrift shop perfectly summarizes the ephemeral nature of our existence.

Angry, bored or ?
Who was she and whatever became of her?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Here Comes Santa Claus...

A Coca-Cola moment courtesy of the Victoria Christmas Parade...
SC looking like he freshly stepped out of a Coca-Cola ad...
Scenes from our recent Santa Claus parade. Unlike the rest of Canada, Victorians don't have to put up with they annoying snow during our parade.  ;)

The worst we might have to endure is cold rain. Fortunately, this year's parade was both snow-free and rain-free although temperatures were sub-zero

Getting into the spirit of Rudolpy...

Making moose eyes...
The moose has eyes... tiny, tiny eyes...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Tree

A giant Christmas tree overlooks Uptown Centre in Saanich, BC...
Christmas tree at Uptown Centre...
This is the bright Christmas tree that lights up the centre court of the nearby Uptown Centre for the next few weeks. It probably stands about fifty to sixty feet high.

Man, I would hate to be the person who has to dig out and untangle THAT strand of Christmas lights when they set it up.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Empress Alight

Christmas lights of the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC...
The Empress Hotel dressed in her finest colours for Christmas.
Christmas is only a few weeks away. Victoria's landmarks are lit up in their traditional seasonal colours.

It was announced a month ago that the Empress will be undergoing a major renovation over the next two to three years. Part of that reno will see our long-outdated bus depot torn down and replaced with high end condos.

Some will disagree, but I'm looking forward to the changes as part of a massive overhaul of Victoria's harbour vistas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Changing seasons

Two views of Little Qualicum Falls on Vancouver Island...
Same view, different seasons...
Looking through my photo archives recently, I came across two separate photos of Little Qualicum Falls which I've featured here and in my old blog several times.

I realized that I have never compared the summer flow with the winter flow though. Rectified! The falls in the summer are much more subdued compared to their winter flow rate.

In the summer local teenagers sometimes tempt fate by hopping over the protective fence to jump into the upper cauldron. Bad idea though... A memorial in place on the fence overlooking the cauldron has been in place for several years and is testament to the dangers that the falls pose even when they are at their low point.