Wednesday, December 31, 2008


If you travel to the Victoria waterfront you will get to Dallas Road. This is the main road along the waterfront and it is indeed a place to see the sights. You are looking out over Juan de Fuca Strait and towards the majestic Olympic Mountains in Washington State, USA. The waterfront has much to offer from incredible sunsets, winter storms, beach walks and lots of activity, as shown in the photo above.

If you want to spend some time on Dallas Road, there is no better place to stay then at Dashwood Manor, located on the corner of Cook Street and Dallas Road. You are right across the street from Beacon Hill Park and feet from the cliffs over Juan de Fuca Strait. The action is at your doorstep. Check it out.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Food For Feather Friends

What a difference a couple of days make! Don't get me wrong. There still is snow around but it is disappearing quickly, just like it is supposed to. That is green grass you see. There is still a lot of white stuff around but it wont be long before we will be back to normal. Green, green and more green. The birds in the winter all get a tad hungry. So we took some leftovers to Esquimalt Lagoon to share with the hungry gulls. They were delighted to see us. I tried to spread it around but as always, the aggressive ones win.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tough on our Feathered Friends

Our super dump of snow has been really tough on our feathered friends. Everything is covered in so much snow that food is very hard to find. I took chicken scratch to the beach at Esquimalt Lagoon and was feeding it to the ducks. The gulls hardly ever eat the seeds but that day they were right in there with the ducks. The humming birds are also having trouble. One sat on my neighbours feeder all night and was found on the ground in the morning. We have been putting out fresh food daily to try and help. Tomorrow the weather is supposed to be heading to 10C and today the melt has started. Soon the birds can help themselves. Until then.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Well, it is official. As of today, Victoria has more snow than any city in Canada. It even has more snow than the north pole. My goodness. Early this afternoon it was raining. Now it is snowing heavily again. The good news is that our reservoir should fill up again when it melts. The good news is that it is a winter wonderland around Victoria which does not happen very often. The good news is you can still get around on the roads. The good news is that it is Christmas and being home indoors is an option for many people, so there is much less traffic on the roads. The good news is that Victorians seem to be learning how to live and drive in snow. Problems and accidents are down when they usually would be up. The really big blizzard we had in 1996 shut down the City for 3 days. There was no traffic at all for a few days. Amazing that both snow piles have been around Christmas holidays. The good news is that the Saturday forecasts are for 8-10 C. Merry Christmas all. The photo is at the Colwood Golf Course.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland Maybe!

Well, when you look at this picture, you might think it is from a winter wonderland. Well, it is not. These pictures were taken outside my home on the West Shore of Victoria, in Langford. The snow at our elevation has been a bit more than in downtown Victoria, but quite frankly, we have all had enough. There have been at least three four-wheel drive vehicles stuck in front of my house. My Christmas decorations are buried under several feet of snow. Only part of the head of my reindeer is showing and the trunk of my tree is buried. I cannot drive out of my cul-de-sac and walking is treacherous. I saw a large transport truck stuck this morning on the road behind the grocery store. The driver was digging out. Boy what a job for him. The main roads are OK and the scenery is beautiful. But, it is a pain in the neck. In 1996, we had about twice this much snow and for a few days the entire city did not move. Well, this time, the entire city has slowed somewhat. The bottom line is that the city is not used to this and the snow soon gets wet and heavy and creates even more problems. I grew up on the prairie and experienced weeks of 40 below and really bad driving conditions, but most often we could drive. Not so in my neighbourhood. I am lucky, I live close enough to stores to walk, so I do. If this sounds like a complaint, it is. Otherwise, life is good and the scenery beautiful. I see another weather front moving down Juan de Fuca strait as I write this. Looks like more snow tonight. Soon I will need a step ladder to get the snow to the top of the pile. Merry Christmas. I know ours is going to be white.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Well, it certainly is unseasonably cold. Temperatures in Victoria are about 12C below normal. That means we are freezing. The good news is that it is about 20C warmer here than in most of Canada, including central and northern BC. Some consolation. So here is my suggestion for what to do when it is cold. The Royal BC Museum has enough to see to keep you busy for a good day if you really look at what is there. While there you can take in the IMAX Theatre and get both tickets for a special discounted rate. The IMAX films are always good and the photography is exceptional. So, to avoid the cold take in this superb, world-class attraction. I hear that the Woolly Mammoth now talks to you when you go by. All you have to do is be able to understand "Mammoth". There is also a great gift shop and a good cafe there. Get out of the cold!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Unfortunately it is! Winter has arrive all across Canada. Usually, it might rain here and snow usually only lasts a couple of days. For the first time in many years, we are likely going to have a white Christmas. I was sort of getting really used to the green ones. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I cut my lawn.

Oh well, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. It appears that I will be up early tomorrow doing some more shovelling. We are so used to leaving it and letting the rain wash it away. Earlier today, I walked over to an open house and on the way the sun came out and it was gently raining on me as I walked. By the time I got there, snow was melting and the sun was shinning and the sky was clear blue.

Later on the clouds came back and with it, snow. Yes, that is me in the picture. Merry Christmas

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter is here

Well, darn if winter didn't arrive two nights ago. My wife and I were at a Sarah Brightman concert and she had a winter scene on stage. Then all of a sudden the power failed and boom, the windows above us blew open. Then it started to snow in the building. When we left the theatre, we had to plow through the snow to our car and take a rather treacherous ride home. Such is life in paradise. It seems as if we are getting one good dump of snow almost every year now and boy did a cold spell come with it. Our family and friends on the prairies in Alberta would call us sissies. For Victoria -3C is cold and it may get even a few degrees colder. Yikes. The nice part is that the sky is clear and the sun is shining. The forecast is for cool temperatures all this week. Poor us. The photo is of the top of Mount Finlayson in Goldstream Provincial Park as seen from the Bear Mountain Resort.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Butchart Gardens at Christmas

When you go out to Butchart Gardens in December, you are entering a winter wonderland. The flower beds are lit with thousands of lights but everything is decorated as well. One of the coolest things they do is have an outdoor skating rink in the square next to the gift shop. It was raining when I went there but that did not deter West Coast kids. If you get a chance take in Butchart at Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter is on its way

Living in Victoria and watching the national news, it is hard to believe we are in winter. From the interior of BC to Newfoundland, we see reports of snow, bad road conditions for driving and other problems. As it is very green in the winter, it is hard to relate to the winter that the rest of Canada gets. When we look at the Olympic Mountains just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and watch the snow caps build, it is our reminder. Word has it that it might snow this weekend. Good thing is, if it last more than two days, we are really in winter. Come for a visit and see why we live here. Winter in Victoria is much easier to take.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Natures Wonder

Sometimes when you look out your window the wonders of nature unfold. A couple of days ago was no exception. My office window looks toward the ocean and the sunset was so spectacular, scenes like this were happening every couple of minutes. This one was particularly awe-inspiring. A picture cannot quite capture the magnificence of the moment, but it can give you an idea of what I was seeing. Enjoy another part of Vancouver Island.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Olympic Mountains Juan de Fuca Strait

One of the joys of living in Victoria is that we get to look at the Olympic Mountains and enjoy their beauty as they back drop the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Each day is a new picture and today was no exception. Enjoy

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Endangered Species?

Recent studies are indicating that the food supply for the Southern Vancouver Island Resident Orca (Killer Whale) population is shrinking, threatening the existence of these beautiful, peaceful animals. There are just too many people on the planet and the drain on our resources is affecting everything. The signs are there but the changes seem to be too slow. Many fisheries have been closed due to shortages, so it is no wonder the whales are running low on food. They move great distances each day in search of food. I am not sure of the answers but we need some. From May to September these whales spend there time around Victoria, the San Juan Islands and the Gulf Islands and Georgia and Juan de Fuca Straits. Photo courtesy of Orca Girl, Chantelle Tucker.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Olympic Mountains

The end of November is often frequented by high winds and seasonal downpours, however this year has been exceptionally mild. A couple of days ago I was near the water in Esquimalt and took this picture which shows the majestic Olympic Mountains which are now snow-capped. They are giants and rise right out of the sea (Juan de Fuca Strait). The water was calm and made for great picture taking.