Pink Now Blue

The hydrangea featured in these photos is a color change expert.  Last year it was pink, this year it is blue.  Of course, the blue this year might be from the Miracle Grow plant food I fed it earlier in the season.  Last year I did not feed it at all with a pink result.  The photo below is to show the many blooms on this plant.  Last Fall I pruned it quite hard and thought that I would not get many blooms this year, but in fact the pruning has produced many more blooms.


Filling an Empty Backyard Space

What do you fill an empty space with that is by a fence next to a Deodara tree?  Yesterday we agreed on purchasing this old “chippy wicker” (so advertised) chair and put a Purple Fountain Grass on the seat.  This photo taken late afternoon when the grass was backlit.

Most would think us fools for paying what we did for the chair found at a vintage shop in Cobble Hill, but you don’t see this kind of old wooden wicker too often. Couldn’t bear to paint it and take away the vintage look.

The grass is not hardy, but we hope that putting it in husband’s workshop where there is a window to let in light will carry it through winter.

Rudbeckia Irish Eyes

More from my new perennial garden, Rudbeckia Irish Eyes is blooming now.  Large, brilliant yellow, they are beautiful!  Catmint herb was in the background when I took this photo a couple of days ago but I have dug up the Catmint and moved it into a pot because it was rapidly spreading and this is just the first year.

Little Lake at Coombs Country Campground

This photo and the one following were taken today at Coombs Country Campground on Vancouver Island.   The lovely fountain above keeps the water moving on the small man-made lake which is stocked with trout and does not have a catch and release program.  If you catch a trout, this is your supper for the night.  We did see two men fishing but no  luck for them.

The photo below is of the part of the lake where people were swimming, kayaking and just having fun.  There is a small dock for people to dive into the water, but to me it doesn’t look like it is very deep.

This is a family campground where we will be until Thursday morning.  Some campsites are sunny, some are shaded. We have morning sun which will be nice.  There are clean washrooms, a pool and an arcade.   Within a short distance there are many things to do. Cathedral Grove and Cameron Lake are not far away, neither is the town of Qualicum and below that, Qualicum Beach.  Closer to the campground is the farm market, famous for its Goats on the Roof.  I have always said I would not photograph such a touristy spot but probably I will give in and take a photo to share here.

Hot Day at French Beach

The photo above was taken at French Beach west of Sooke BC.  It was a very hot day in July and what looked like steam was rising from the over-heated sand exposed at low tide.  Families were building things in the sand, or walking along the beach.

French Beach is a Provincial Park about an hour west of Victoria BC.  There is a lovely campground and a large parking area for day visitors.  The trail to the beach is downhill but paved, and at the bottom of the hill next to the beach is a grassed area with playground, picnic tables and pit toilet.

French Beach is a wonderful place for a day trip but if you plan to spend the night in the campground bring warm clothes because this campground is in the fog zone and can be cold in early morning.

Great Blue Heron Fishing..

The photo above and the one following were taken from the walking path beside the river at Goldstream Provincial Park beside the Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island.  This heron was only a few feet away from me, and so intent on fishing that it either didn’t know I was there or else ignored me. I was behind a bush but not completely out of sight.

The photo below is a closer look.  In a previous post I noticed those brown feathers on the top of the wing and thought that it was an injury, but now it is obvious that this color is natural on herons.

There are many Great Blue Herons in this area but this is the closest encounter I have had.

Wild Flowers on Canada Day

For Canada Day my husband and myself went for a bicycle ride on the Somenos Dike Trail in the Cowichan Valley.  The wildflowers are in abundance now and it was lovely.  Above is blue Flax.  Just beautiful waving in the wind.

I think the pink flower below might be a wild Mallow, that is what the bud looks like.  Not nearly as large a flower as cultivated Mallow but the abundance made up for it.

Below is Queen Anne’s Lace.  I think that it is beautiful.

I am not sure what the dark pink flower below is.  I thought it might be wild Phlox but wild Phlox is blue not pink.

It is a blessing that on the Somenos Dike Trail the Municipality of North Cowichan does not mow the sides of the dike, thus providing a home for the wildflowers and whatever insect benefits by them.

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

The photo above was taken one Sunday morning a couple of years ago.  The sight of a red sun almost shrouded by the smoky haze gave an almost apocalyptic appearance.  There were several forest fires in the area and thus the effect on the sun’s appearance.  The morning clouds are faintly seen and have a pinkish appearance as well.

A New Smoke Bush

Yesterday we cut down a Nishiki Willow in our yard and purchased this Smoke Bush/Tree to replace it.  I do love the smoke-like blooms.  This photo was taken at 6:00am this morning with last night’s sprinkler drops still on it.  The photo below is a closer look.

Visiting Kin Beach in Chemainus, BC

Most people come to the town of Chemanus BC on Vancouver Island to view the murals for which the town is famous for, but there is a hidden treasure that few of these visitors see.  In old town there is a lovely beach called Kin Beach.  It is not sandy at low tide as Qualicum Beach is, but it is shallow and very safe for children.  It also has a view of gulf islands in the distance and a lovely lighthouse that you can walk out to when the tide is at its lowest point.

The photo below is the view just to the west.  These hilltop homes have a beautiful view of the beach. 

The rocks and wheat grass below provide lovely textures at the entrance to the path leading down to the  beach.

I noticed the little face in the knot of this tree as soon as we parked the car.  The eyes which were brass screws were very shiny.

Qualicum Beach, BC at Low Tide

Qualicum Beach is one of the loveliest places on east Vancouver Island.  A long stretch of beach that is sandy at low tide and with beautiful views of the gulf islands beyond.  These photos were taken a few days ago when many people were out enjoying walking along the beach.  People with dogs, couples strolling, a man with a paddleboard heading out to the water.  The lady below had two well-behaved dogs.  I liked the reflection in the tidal pool.

Below is a rock that is mostly submerged at high tide. I liked the reflection.  You can see the seaweed that has been exposed.

Below is a little restaurant called The Beach Hut, located beside the sidewalk that runs the length of Qualicum Beach.  The food here is very good.  My husband’s favorite is the Chili Cheese Fries.   It is only open a few months of the year and is very busy.

Goats in a Field of Daisies

Yesterday we passed by a field filled with blooming daisies and populated by a small herd of goats.  I couldn’t resist taking photos.   In the first photo you can see how tall the daisies were by the fact they reach the top of the goat’s legs.  The wire fence is barely visible by a horizontal line across the goat’s back.

Below I liked the way they walked into a line-up.

I think the goat below is a female who is either chubby or pregnant.  She would take a bite and then look at me, you can see the food in her mouth.

Just another view to show the high grass and daisies.

This field was walking distance away from the staging area for the Cowichan Valley Trail.  Yesterday we were going to ride our bicycles there but the Regional District had posted a sign warning of a cougar in the area.   I hope that if it is near to this field, the goats will not be harmed.

A Misty Rainy Day at Mill Bay

There was beauty to be found at Mill Bay on Vancouver Island on a misty, rainy day.  Raindrops on the grasses by the ocean could not be duplicated by sprinklers.  I think their design and size differences are just beautiful.  Below is a little further away view.

Below are the grasses above Mill Bay where I took the close-ups of the raindrops.  You can see that the day was misty.

Below is a view a little to the south.  The rocks are smooth, worn away by the tide and the weather.

We are expecting the weather to change, this could possibly be our last rainy day for a while.   Right now everything is so rich and green but it will change to dry and yellow once the heat of Summer comes.

Cathedral Grove

One of my favorite places, the Cedar trees of Cathedral Grove, a highly visited Provincial park located  between Coombs and Port Alberni BC.  On this day it was sunny,  I think it looks better in the shade.  More mysterious. This photo was taken on the less visited trail.