Monday, November 30, 2009

My World Tuesday

We had a lovely long walk around Victoria and I was fascinated by this beautiful sculpture, remembering it from our first visit ten years ago. When my curiosity is peaked I love to find out more about the things and places I have seen. A little research revealed later that this lady is called "The Spirit of the Republic", an eight-foot statue across the street from the BC Legislative Buildings. It is a memorial honoring those Canadian Veterans who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. Nearby is a plaque with the title "No pasarán!", which means "They Shall Not Pass". The lush carpet of gold and red leaves of Autumn were a perfect adornment for this beautiful statue.

One thing you will notice around Victoria is that there are many beautifully carved totem poles, which you can also see on the grounds of the Parliament Building. The Songhees or Songish are an indigenous North American Coast Salish people who reside on southeastern Vancouver Island (British Columbia) in the Greater Victoria area. They were here long before Captain James Cook arrived in the late 1700's.

We saw "eagles" everywhere, all the same shape but painted by various local artists, colorful and vibrant. There was also the occasional "whale" and each one was beautifully painted.

There were several street entertainers around the city with a lot of obvious talent. The chalk artist whom you will see in the video had only just gotten started, but he told me that across the road I could see more of his work. He apologetically explained that it had almost disappeared with the rain and foot traffic, as he had made the drawings several days ago. They were very faded but I am happy to say they became sharper in my photographs and I could see that this young man was a true artist.

I saw Darth Vader playing his violin on the other side, and I did something I would never do normally. I marched across and asked for a photo. Gregg was very surprised. He knows me well. After observing for a few minutes I saw other people walking up to Mr. Vader, whereupon they popped some money into his violin case, after which he posed with them. It's a bit of a fuzzy picture but I did this for our son who was a big Star Wars fan, and he and I went to all those movies way back when. As I am very much into my nostalgia kick right now, well...need I say more? Darth Vader for once contained his heavy breathing and behaved himself. Actually, I'm surprised he didn't run in the other direction when he saw this woman of purpose marching straight for him crossing over at the light, but he was so nice and polite and just a lovely young man. He put up with me and I got my picture for our son, so this is for you Brad. Your mother put her inhibitions aside just this once. Thank you Mr. Vader, you're not as scary as I saw you up on the big screen and I didn't have to cup my hands and "booooooo" with the rest of the audience at the very bad man. This one was a sweetie-pie.

Gregg is wondering if I am going to run away with that splendid mama bear. No, I wouldn't do that no matter how much I wanted to. I am a policeman's daughter after all. He's actually probably wondering if I am going to go into the chocolate shop and ask if it is for sale and if it is, how on earth is he going to squeeze that bear inside a suitcase. No problem, I'll just walz through the airport holding it above my head and once we're on the plane I can stuff it into the baggage compartment above our seats. No, on second thoughts I wouldn't do that to Gregg or to the poor flight attendants. They have enough to put up with. I'll just be happy with my photo.

You will also see photos in the video of the inside of a bookstore. Gregg loves nothing better than to browse around a good bookstore.

Munro's Books of Victoria, shown across the street in the photo above is a great one. We stayed in there looking around for ages. Below shows its location.

A video of our walk around Victoria.

Thank you Klaus, Sandy, Wren, Fishing Guy, Louise and Sylvia, for hosting My World. It is a wonderful way to learn about the different parts of the world we live in.

You can see other "My World" photos or join in and share your own by clicking right here.

A Study of Dogs

These are all the dogs that I took photos of while on holiday a few weeks' ago. My goodness, do you see the cross look on this little fellow's face? He doesn't look too happy does he? He was strolling down the road towards me and as I still had my camera in my hand I took a shot and hoped for the best. He reminds me a little of the expression on the face of The Mad Bluebird, that adorable picture that most of us are very familiar with. In case you can't bring it to mind you can find an image here and the story of the photographer who took that famous photo here. Well, here we have a mad pug whose expression is speaking volumes. "Why I oughta...."

"I'm so happy, I'm so happy, see this smile? I am full of joy, can't you tell? It's so good to get out for a walk with my human and when I get home I'll get a dog biscuit, and then I'll take a nap and dream of that cute little poodle who keeps giving me the eye when we pass her window each morning. If I keep smiling maybe she'll come out next time and say hello. I'm so happy, I'm so happy!"

"No time to stop, no time to stop, I'm getting my exercise here, no time to stop, no time to stop!"

Here we are getting off the ferry after our trip up to Canada. We're patiently waiting in line to go through customs when I see a dog a few cars ahead. He's checking out everything around him.

"Oh those smells, I can smell a thousand smells. Is that a bird up there, is that a plane? Why I think it's Superman. He's faster than a ...... I think I just got a whiff of something good. Oh those smells, I can smell a thousand smells. I am so glad I have this nose! I bet you wished you had a nose like mine." I do, I have a lousy sense of smell.

"What are you looking at? I'm shy, don't stare at me. I am waiting for my human who will be back any time now. "

"Are you still here? Don't you know it's rude to stare?" Sorry, but I think I'm in love. You have the most soulful eyes.

"Move along, move along. I'm going to bark so loud it's going to scare you out of your shoes" and he did! Why is it that small dogs are the loudest? I think he enjoyed scaring me, do you see that glint in his eyes and the beginnings of a smile? His bark is worse than his bite. I told him he wasn't fooling me, I can read him like a book, he's just a lovable little softy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


We found these pretty flowers in Mendocino, California.

Whenever I see Calla Lilies I always think of my Mother as it was her favorite flower. She had them in her wedding bouquet which you can see here.

TODAY’S FLOWER’S is a wonderful meme created by our good friend Luiz Santilli Jr. You can find beautiful and unusual flowers from all over the world by clicking here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Camera Critters

A study in Seagulls

There were those who really didn't want to be photographed.....

and didn't stay around long enough to pose. Do you think this one was giving me its opinion?

But then again.....

"This is my good side."

There were the fly-byes...

and the ones who were enjoying the bread this very nice gentleman was feeding them. A famous quote I read from Konrad Lorenz said that one meteorologist had remarked that if the theory was correct, one flap of a seagull's wings could alter the course of the weather forever. I could believe it when I saw this sight. Those wings were flapping up a storm. I couldn't tell who was having more of a good time, the birds, the man or me. He had such a wonderful smile on his face which I found endearing, but I feared for his fingers.

They came down in droves.

An ear-splitting cacophony, I could have almost put my hands over my ears.

This one asked for more....and more.....and more.....and more.....and more.
Stroppy little thing he was!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Seagulls of Seattle. I absolutely adored them!

Camera Critters was created by Misty Dawn. Thank you Misty! You can find other critter photos by clicking here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Back to Victoria. We were there for a couple of days and we really lucked out that first day. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. The top photo is of an exhibition called the Undersea Garden. We didn't go on it this time. It looked very interesting though.

We walked up the main street where there were a lot of interesting shops and restaurants.

You can see the dome of the Parliament Building in the following photo.

The first time we came here we were surprised to see they had a Madame Tussaud Wax Museum near the harbor. We didn't go in but it seemed very popular.

This is a statue of Captain James Cook. You can find out about him if you click here.

More photos of the Parliament Building.

A statue of Queen Victoria is on the grounds....

along with this memorial. These last two photos were taken the next day. We got up early to catch the ferry back to the States and it was a bit overcast. We had left the car in line and it was a short walk down to the harbor for one last look around before we left. We had been told to be back at our car by 9.00 a.m., in time for the customs officials to make their rounds before we boarded the ferry. They were very nice customs officials too, very pleasant and polite.

Thank you to the SkyWatch Friday team for bringing this great meme to us each week.

Click right here to enjoy other sky photos from all over the world.