Welcome to the Island Rambles Blog

Hi my name is Nora and Welcome to my blog world. This is a nature and birding photo blog about Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. I am trying to be a birder and I take photos of the birds and scenery I find. I hope you enjoy your time here and please come back again. PHOTOS WILL ENLARGE IF CLICKED. The photos are slide show enabled if you click on them. If you click on the top lighthouse photo it always takes you to the most recent summary list of my postings.

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on New Year's Eve


Happy New Year!!!  I found a new game to play....Weekend Reflections and you know I love water reflecting. Check out the other reflections there.  These shots were taken last week at Brentwood Bay.

Brentwood Bay is the home of the Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay ferry. You can see the long dock there. The ferry route is the oldest continuous ferry route on coastal B.C. and was started by two naval officers in 1924.  It was bought out by B.C. Ferries in 1969.

I found two boats there with appropriate names for a New Year's eve party and you can see what we are drinking.  The sky was incredible with all the popcorn clouds but I was having to shoot into the sun and did not realize the best shot was the water reflecting the clouds.   Then the sun was playing peek a boo with me but I hope you enjoy the shots and hello to the Weekend Reflections folks.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

French Beach Sky


Today's sky is for Sky Watch where there are lots of photos from everywhere.  These photos are from French beach.  Last week we went on a drive to Sombrio beach and French beach. We had a great day with the surfers on Sombrio.  It was amazingly warm and sunny. There were huge waves and everyone was enjoying themselves.  I will put in the  photos later of that beach day.  We spent the whole day on the beach and had so much fun and then at the end of the day we were driving home exhausted and thought we had finished our day and this is the gift nature bestowed upon us as we arrived at French beach. I ran down the walkway as dusk was soon to settle upon us and snapped a few hundred shots. It was one of my best photo days ever. Hope you enjoy the shots and Happy New Years.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Lights at Butcharts


Just a few of the lights at Butchart Gardens. We went there the other night and they have thousands of lights, caroling and a skating ring and many displays.  It is their 25th year of celebrating the  magic of Christmas. Hope everyone is having a great holiday.  This is almost wordless so it is for
Wordless Wednesday where there are many more wordless people.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas To All


I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I have been taking a little break for the holidays.   This is for the sky watchers at
Sky Watch. There are lots of pictures of the world's sky there.

My picture today is from south of Campbell River, B.C. where we stayed in the summer.  I took this right outside our little trailer as the sun set on the first night there.  Campbell River is on the east coast of Vancouver Island at the south end of Discovery Passage which is named after George Vancouver's ship the HMS Discovery as he arrived here in 1792.

The Coast Salish and Island Comox First Nations peoples lived here until sometime in the 18th Century the natives of the Fort Rupert area migrated south and enslaved the local tribes.  They became the raiders of the Coast Salish people in the south.

Dr. Samuel Campbell was the ship surgeon on the HMS Plumber when they mapped the area around 1859 and his name seems to have been given to the river.

I hope to return soon with some pictures of the Christmas lights in the area. Hello to some of my old readers who have returned to see me.  It is wonderful to hear from so many of you.


 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sooke Basin Reflecting

  This post is for Sky Watch where you can find more sky watchers.
The Sooke River flows into this basin and it has an excellent chum run of fish.

Gold was discovered in the Sooke area in the 1860's in a tributary of the Sooke River called the Leech River.

Sooke has a sheltered harbour that is very shallow.  The T'so-ke First Nations people lived here for thousands of years and were wealthy in the abundance of nature around them. They had salmon, crab and clams from the sea  and the land provided berries, roots, game and ducks.  The first settler here to buy land was a Scot, Captain Walter Grant who came around 1843.  He brought with him the yellow Scottish broom that has spread now from here  to Alaska and California and has taken over many of the indigenous plants.When he left he deeded his land to the Muirs, other Scots. The Muirs and their five children had a farm and sawmill and were important in developing the lumber market. The rainforest was harvested to build the economy of the area.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mill Bay Watery and Wordless


Todays post is for Wordless Wednesday where you can find the other great wordless posts.  It is nice to have a day with no text.


This picture is for
Watery Wednesday
where there are lots more watery photos from all over the world.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Goldstream Park Fish Spawn

Today we are going to Goldstream Park to see the fish spawning.
This post is for Our World Tuesday. There are many more photos there.
Some of the trees there are over 600 years old.
Once again it is time for the miracle of the fish. In November and December they fight their way up the rivers to spawn and then die.  They provide wonderful fat filled food for the eagles and bears and all the gulls and clean up crew, to last them over the cold winter months.
They were predicting about 9,000 to l5,000 spawning chum to come up the river from the Saanich Inlet.  We did not see any chinook (springs) and very few coho were reported to come up.  As you can see the river was full of chum. The springs return sometime when they are three to five years old so perhaps there is still hope for them.  There was such an abundance of fish that they were competing for the gravel to make their nests on.  The river had been quite low as we had a dry April to October.
Goldstream Provincial Park is a lush green rain forest park of about 3.70 kilometers and has some easy trails and some more advanced up to Mount Finlayson. There was a small gold rush there in the 1860's hence the name.  The river flows from Butchart lake which is in the Greater Victoria watershed.  Hello to all the Our World participants.This post is for Klaus, I think he would like it. He was really kind to me.

Photo note: my photos are little soft today, trying a new resizer and need to sharpen next time.




Saturday, December 10, 2011

Butchart Gardens Today's Flowers

These flowers were snapped at Butchart Gardens, Victoria, B.C.   This is for Today's Flowers and you can find a lot of flowers there. On this day I was lucky as it had just showered with rain and then the sun came out and everything sparkled.  As I was taking the pictures a dragonfly and a bumblebee came to visit me.  So you can see that the thousands of people who visit the gardens each year are not the only ones to enjoy themselves there. In 1904 the Butcharts settled here at Tod Inlet.  Jennie Butchart created a beautiful garden in the remains of her husband's messy limestone quarry. They had to bring in all the soil by horse and cart. This was an immense project for the time and for a woman and it must have been very rewarding for her.  Now each year 1,000,000 bedding plants of 700 varieties are planted.  Here is a little link to the Butchart Gardens site. Have a wonderful flowery Sunday.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Horses At Saanich Fair

This is a picture of the horses at the Saanich Fair. This post is for Camera Critters. You can find lots of other great animal photos there.  Why do we love horses so much?  They are an irresistible force to me....like a magnet I am drawn to them. The Saanich Fair started in 1868 and is Western Canada's oldest continual agricultural fair.  The fair grounds consist of 70 acres and around 45,000 people attend the fair.  I love the draft horses and the old time farm equipment. Do you love horses like I do? There is something universal and comforting about horses.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Back to Sky Watch McNeill Bay

Remember me? I am back to sky watch with you.  This picture is of McNeill Bay, Victoria, B.C. Canada. McNeill Bay is a great place to sit and sky watch and see the storms come in. It is sometimes called Shoal Bay and they say that it is the place where Victoria came into existence. It is the birth place of Victoria however the local First Nations Lekwungen people had lived in summer camps nearby and harvested camas and Springbrook clover here probably for centuries. The steamship SS Beaver anchored at this beautiful bay on the afternoon of March 14, 1843 and the next morning James Douglas went ashore at Clover Point, over to the left. The bay is named after Captain William Henry McNeill, the Master of the Beaver, a Hudson's Bay Company steamer. I sometimes wonder what the area looked like then. Chief Factor Douglas wrote to a friend that there were tall grasses and ferns up over their heads as they walked near Clover Point. He then selected it as the site for Fort Victoria. Now it is a busy spot for boaters. The First Nations people called the area Camosack or "rush of water" possibly for the rip tide there. Captain McNeill went on to buy 200 acres of land and became one of Oak Bays five main landowners of the time.

Hello to my old blog friends and readers, please leave a comment for me.  I have just returned to blogging and everything has changed here.  New interface and new dashboard.  Very nice but a lot for me to learn. This post is for Sky Watch where you can find many more skies all around the world.
Here is the link to Sky Watch.




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