Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sweet dreams, baby

Good morning! It's Throwback Thursday again, and in the spirit of Hallowe'en, here's my current favourite candy treat.

As a child, my favourite chocolate bar was a Mackintosh's Wigwag. Do you remember those? They no longer exist in any market I know, but at British import shops (and several groceries in Victoria), a replacement exists: the Cadbury CurlyWurly!


And you thought I was in Victoria to read and write.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Field Trip: Butchart Gardens

Last Saturday we left our dock for a mini-vacation. You know, because living in Victoria isn't enough of a break.

After an easy overnight anchored at the south end of Portland Island, we motored (no wind) through Saanich Inlet and into Tod Inlet. There we tied up on a mooring buoy and took the dinghy across to the back entrance to the Butchart Gardens. After a brief delay — there are comparatively few visitors arriving by boat in late October — we were admitted and spent a few hours admiring all the greens, reds, and golds of autumn in one of the world's best-known gardens.

Pictures trump words, however, when one visits gardens. So here are some pictures. 

This is one view of the Japanese garden, which is the first garden we saw when we arrived. It is, as you can see, stunning; we could have stayed there for our whole visit and filled our eyes with colour, shape, and texture.

Did I mention that it started to rain as we set out in the dinghy? The rain added a lovely dimension to the experience. And as things turned out, the skies had cleared and the sun was shining again before we left.

I loved the sheen of the rain on these begonias but don't have the technical skill — or the equipment — to catch what my eyes really saw.

Another spectacular display was to be found in the sunken garden, which is probably the showpiece of the gardens. The sunken garden was the original lime quarry; this picture is taken from one of the high points.

I loved the amur maple in the backyard of our St. Albert house, but this shrub is even better.

The rose garden is the most diminished garden at this time of year, as most of the canes have been trimmed and only a few were still blooming. But as a Prairie girl, I was astonished to see (and smell) roses a week before Hallowe'en. What a scent to inhale in October!

Two totem poles stand in the gardens, raised to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the gardens. This detail shows an otter holding pups and a clam. Yay, otters!

 I couldn't possibly capture all the colours and varieties of dahlias on display in this riot of flowers, but this particularly contrasting section caught my eye.

I found this planting atop a waste bin on the grounds. The truly black plant was arresting — and then I saw it in several other plantings.

The mooring buoys (there are five) across Butchart Cove are complimentary for gardens visitors. (Note, however, that stern-tying is mandatory when you're on these buoys, as there is almost no swing room.) And I should mention that the Saanich Inlet is filled with surprises: between noon and five o'clock on Saturday we watched sea lions, humpback whales, and a hummingbird. There aren't many other places on earth where you could have that experience.

All in all, it was a grand visit. I hope we'll get back to Butchart Gardens in the spring before we leave the coast.

Now, onward to the San Juans!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Way, way back

Good morning!

So, did you take part in yesterday's Back to the Future day? I have never seen the movie (though I have seen parts of it), so didn't have much to contribute.

Instead, here's my Thursday Throwback, this one all the way to 1993. Beside me is James, a friend from my undergrad days with whom we later lost touch. His partner David took the picture in the parking lot at the Safeway in Garneau. Strange days indeed.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Gratitude: Sweet dreams

Today I am grateful for the friends who visit me in my dreams. Even when they are a long distance away — or gone from this realm — they are remembered, missed, cherished. And never far from me in my heart.

Friday, October 16, 2015

From Victoria with love

Howdy, and happy Friday. Today's post was supposed to appear yesterday, as a Throwback Thursday, but I missed. I'd say it's because I'm a little behind, but I think a few too many of you would agree with that — or would even embellish the sentiment. ("Tell all the truth but tell it slant" — insert winky face here.)

Anyway. Here's a picture from 1994, on a working vacation in Victoria. I wish I hadn't cut my hair. And the Undersea Gardens also is no more. I miss my youth!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Back again

Hello! Back in Edmonton briefly and catching up with the internet. Here are some wise words to start us off:

"Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you."

(These are the words Dumbledore rises to say on Harry's first day at Hogwarts. One of my favourite scenes.)


OK. Here are some pictures instead.

1. Rebecca Spit, Quadra Island. 

2. The scenery currently in my head. (Cities are suddenly weird.) Trees and rocks and whales.

3. An extra orca picture: just because.

I'll try to write some more linear words soon.