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Last sunset of 2014 on Mt Doug Victoria Bc

31 Dec 2014

It was a cool and clear afternoon with no wind - ideal conditions to take a drive up to the top of Mount Douglas in Victoria BC to admire the view and take some pictures of the sunset. Lots of people of all ages, some with their dogs, had the same idea. Many were visiting from out of town, judging by the variety of accents I heard.

I talked to a young woman from Toronto, now living in Denmark, who had never been to the west coast before. I think she was impressed.

Others were posing on the rocks making sure the sun was strategically placed for photos. A great place also for yoga practice and meditation.

Everyone was wishing each other a Happy New Year!


Hand held. On automatic settings.
Post-production: Minor adjustments to highlights, contrast and saturation using Picasa. Not cropped.

Salisbury Cathedral reflections in new font


Please also visit our travel blog for more details and photos of this glorious trip!

During our first 25 day trip to England in the Spring of 2012, we visited Salisbury in Wiltshire for three nights. In addition to visiting the nearby Stonehenge and Old Sarum heritage sites, and meeting a relative and driving to Great Wishford for a special luncheon and festival, we were awed by the majesty of Salisbury Cathedral. Its construction started in 1220 and was completed in 1258. A spire was later added, the tallest medieval spire in England.

In 2008 to celebrate the Cathedral's 750th anniversary, the installed a permanent font that is a spectacular work of design and art. It's large surface area is kept topped up to the brim with water, and even as water constantly drains from it's narrow corner troughs, the surface provides an ideal reflective surface to mirror the amazing architecture from all four sides.

CAMERA NOTES: I hand held my camera in spite of the indoor lighting conditions.
Shutter speed was only 1/5s (so clarity suffered a bit), aperture f2.8, ISO 100, focal length 5.00mm (30mm equivalent).
Post-production: I adjusted the contrast a bit using Picasa. Not cropped.


Pink heather blossoms


The garden is slow in blooming this year, and this heather bush now provides one of the few hints of colour in our front yard. The weather today was mostly sunny, but chilly and for a time very windy (which we've had quite often recently). Yesterday we even had hail mixed with rain for a while mid-day. But in spite of this we're seeing some signs of spring. The birds are singing. The air is fresh. We've cut our lawns already this year, and nothing says spring like the smell of cut grass. The plum and cherry blossoms are just starting to burst forth in parts of the city along with the spring bulbs. Our few daffodils are now in bud, but the deer have been eating our crocuses and other new shoots, including chives! We have switched to daylight savings time, so the evenings are lighter. So it must be Spring!


I hand held my camera in spite of the windy conditions and macro settings.
Shutter speed was 1/200s, aperture f2.8, ISO 160,
focal length 5.00mm (30mm equivalent).
I cropped and adjusted the contrast a bit using Picasa.



SQUIRRELLY ANTICS - January18, 2012

During our recent series of snow storms, we took pity on the 2 pesky squirrels who are
frequent visitors to our yard, and fed them sunflower seeds.
Here's a selection of photos (couldn't choose just one). Colin and Terry likely took some of these photos.

squirrel shivering in snow

1. Brrrr, it sure is cold! Please, make this snow stop!
And please, please may I have some more seeds?
squirrel looking innocent
3. Who, me? I swear I'm innocent.
I don't know where those seeds went!
squirrel eating seeds

2. Thank you, kind sir! These seeds are very yummy!
squirrel holding tummy
4. Oh, my goodness, my tummy sure is
hurting. Guess I shouldn't have eaten
so many seeds.
Bald eagle waiting for sushi, Sooke BC

WAITING FOR SUSHI - January 13, 2012

Terry and Claudia drove out to Sooke (1 hour drive west) to visit with friends
Gary and Chris. After lunch we drove down to Ed McGregor Park,
where we walked down to the ocean and then a along the board walk
out on the water that paralleled the shore.
On a neighbouring dock was a boat with a large "Sushi" sign -
they apparently run a small sushi restaurant on board, 2 or 3 days a week.
As luck would have it, two eagles were perched on two nearby pilings,
patiently waiting for their turn at sushi. The nearest one was within camera range.

Camera Notes
The sky was primarily cloudy, a high overcast, with some sun peaking through
near the southern horizon. At mid-afternoon there was very little breeze.

This photo was taken hand-held, at maximum zoom (100mm) - 35mm equiv: 581mm.
Other settings: f5.7, 1/400s, ISO 80.

Chineses tapestries

Chinese Tapestries - 23 Nov 2011

Our walking group decided to explore Victoria's China Town - the oldest of its kind in Canada - and surrounding area. Many of the old brick buildings and narrow alleyways date back to the 1860s and have a colourful past. We visited a Chinese temple, climbing a narrow and steep stairway to the 3rd floor of a building on Government street.

The single room was dimly lit, aromatic with incence, and jammed with wall hangings, an old brass bell, an offering table, and a alter with a cherished statue. These colourful tapestry pieces along one wall caught my eye, with their interesting embroideries, tassles and shapes.

Camera Notes:   The only light sources in the room were a limited amount of natural light coming from the balcony doorway (very cloudy outside) and red electric candles at the alter (they stopped using live flame candles after their recent fire).

I played with both manual settings and preset options, which I may have used for this one because the ISO was only 400, aperture f/2.8, and the shutter 1/8s. Without a tripod, I'im amazed it wasn't more blurred. The resulting picture turned out quite dark, so I lightened and brightened it using the curves tool in Fireworks. I didn't crop it.

Snow on palm fronds.

November, 2010 - Snow-vember in Victoria

We got a few dumps of snow in late November - not too deep and it didn't stay long. Somehow the palm tree in our back yard always manages to survive!

Parliament Buildings and classic boats in Victoria BC inner harbour

September 2010 - Classic Boat Festival

Sept 5, 2010 - Provincial Parliament buildings provide a scenic backdrop to boats on display during the Classic Boat Festial in beautiful Victoria BC's inner harbour.


Terry and Claudia aboard MS Statendam cruise ship

Apr 29, 2010:
Claudia and Terry dressed up for formal night aboard the
Holland America MS Statendam.

April & May 2009 - Panama Canal Cruise


Panama Canal

Apr 30, 2010:
Heading west through the Panama Canal, locks 1 and 2 from the Atlantic side.

little girl in Antigua, Guatemala

Cute little girl in Antigua, Guatemala.

Claudia and Terry at Thai food restaurant, Victoria BC

Feb 2009 - Cheers! Spring is Coming

Feeling no pain whatsoever, Terry and Claudia celebrate at a local Thai food restaurant with friends Bill and Joanne on Feb 25, 2009.

What occasion, you may well ask?

A joint toast to Claudia and Joanne's birthdays, just one week apart!

Dec 2008 - White Christmas in Victoria

It only happens every ten years or so in Victoria, but this year we actually got a couple of weeks of freezing temperatures and lots of the white stuff that gave us a traditional white Christmas.

Our house and yard covered in snow, Victoria BC Terry shovels our driveway.While is was pretty to look at, the snow played havoc with transportation and last minute Christmas shopping. Here is our snow covered house, yard and vehicles, plus Terry demonstrating the use of the snow shovel. It was hard work trying to keep our driveway clear, as conditions cycled through freezing wind, snow storms and short thaws. Then the rains came, and by New Years day, the only snow left was in the piles made by all the shoveling.

Tall ships off Dallas Road, Victoria, BC

Summer 2008

Summer is Here! Terry volunteered at the Tall Ships Festival which was held in Victoria June 26 - 29, 2008 .

On the Saturday evening after a record-breaking 30C day, Claudia and Colin headed down to Dallas Road to watch, in full sail, 4 of the 24 tall ships on show in Victoria's Inner Harbour. Once they were in position, they held a series of mock battles, complete with cannon shot, whose loud retort echoed off the Olympic mountains in the background.

Claudia took this photo off of the breakwater at Ogden Point, near sunset.

spring crosuses blooming

Spring 2008

Claudia captured these crocuses in the welcome spring sunshine in a neighbour's yard in early March 2008.

Egypt Tour 2007

Sunset on the Mediteranean coast at Alexandria.
Shown above: Sunset in Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast.
We had a wonderful holiday in Egypt - February 26 to Mar 15, 2007.

Claudia with Egyptian boy and his camel.Claudia and Terry wearing galabeyas.

Terry rode this camel at a Bedouin feast we attended in Giza. Claudia decided just to pose beside the young Egyptian boy and his camel, having previously ridden another (smellier!) camel when we visited the pyramids in Giza.


Terry and Claudia dress up in Egyptian galabeyas for party night aboard a Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor. -->



The Egyptian people are very friendly...

people of Egypt photo collage