Friday, July 31, 2020

The Dare

Two boys contemplate a jump into the Englishman River.
"You go first. No, YOU go first!"

Parksville locals have a semi-secret swimming spot located on the Englishman River. The river has carved strange formations into the banks such as this 'double patty'.

It's a favourite place to jump into the water, but can be intimidating because:

i. The water is dark and you can't easily see if there are any obstacles below the surface of the water (there aren't);

ii. The water is cold and there's no easing into it from a jump;

iii. It's also a bit challenging to climb back out of the water without skinning a knee or scraping a foot on the rock.

In the ancient of tradition of boys, I watched one young guy coaxing/teasing his pal into jumping into the water. No idea if he did it as I couldn't wait that long. Mom was nearby though so I figured everyone was safe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tree lined

A summer canopy of green over a Parksville street...
A cooling canopy of leaves...
A cathedral of trees over a street in Parksville glows with the afternoon sun.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Moss Lady

The Moss Lady of Beacon Hill Park...
Serenely sleeping in the shade...
You'll find the Moss Lady tucked away in the shade of Victoria's Beacon Hill Park.

Artist Dale Doebert was inspired by the Mud Maid in Cornwall’s Lost Gardens of Heligan. The 35-foot long sculpture is covered with a specially designed clay-based acidic soil so that she will eventually be cloaked in moss.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


Aggressive formica ants...
Beware of mandibles!
Them! is the cinema classic that started the whole 'giant mutant bugs' trend in the 1950s. It's the tale of giant ants that threaten a small New Mexico community.

While these ants aren't gigantic, they are very nearly as scary to me because they can deliver a pretty good bite. I discovered them outside my backyard shed. In the process of sweeping them away with my feet, a few managed to climb up to my arms.

I didn't give it much thought until I felt a startling pinch.

I had never encountered such aggressive ants before in BC in all my decades here. A helpful expert with the municipality identified them as formica ants.

From the website
This group of ants do not sting, but they can bite using strong mouth parts. They also spray formic acid from the tips of their abdomens at predators or perceived threats like human fingers. The formic acid can cause mild to severe irritation depending on the proximity of the target.

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Sandstone cave on Galiano Island...
A peak through to Retreat Cove and Island...
Wave and weather action has carved a cave out of the sandstone on Galiano Island...

Thursday, July 16, 2020


The waterfalls of Mystic Beach on Vancouver Island...
Waterfalls at Mystic Beach on Vancouver Island...
People in BC are discovering the outdoor beauty of their province during these days of lock downs, closed borders, and limited vacation time. Media have reported that camping gear is selling briskly as BC residents opt to vacation in their own backyards.

Monday, July 13, 2020

To boldly grow...

Strange tree seen in my neighbourhood...
Sticking out like a sort thumb...
I really have to get out and walk around the neighbourhood more.

Following on from this post about strange local flora, I recently discovered this bizarre looking tree. Deep red-purple colour and mixed textures make it seem like something out of Star Trek to me.

No idea what it is...

Friday, July 10, 2020

The wraiths

Creepy kites...
Ominous creatures overhead...
I know that these kites flying over Parksville are supposed to be squids, but they still look creepy and alien-ish as they flutter in the breeze.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020


A mysterious entrance in Fan Tan Alley...
The mysterious red door...
23-1/2 Fan Tan Alley in Victoria's Chinatown has been featured here before, but I've never caught a glimpse of what lies beyond the door until recently.

Nothing remarkable, just stairs leading up to ???

I've always been curious as to what the 1/2 means. Is 24 considered an unlucky number in Chinese? Did they somehow build an extra apartment between 23 and 24? Is it a portal to some alternate reality?

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Norwegian Bliss

Norwegian Bliss takes over Victoria's breakwater...
One big boat... one colossal cruise ship...
It was two years ago that I featured the cruise ship the Norwegian Bliss. At the time it was the largest cruise ship to ever pull into Victoria.

Cruise ships are unlikely to return to Victoria this year. Local and federal governments are not allowing cruise ships into Canada until at least October.

Not that it matters since cruise ships are likely not going to see the numbers of passengers that they need to stay operating for a long, long time.

In the meantime, the Norwegian Bliss is on the East Coast hoping to re-start operations to American ports in the fall.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Happy Birthday to Us

Canada celebrates its 151st birthday...
Gloomy skies
2020 seems like a dark time right now...

Canada Day celebrations this year are non-existent with the cancellation of every event thanks to the ongoing COVID crisis. Let's hope that next year will see sunnier days.