Victoria via VIA.

Back in July my sister Nola and husband Doug invited me to spend some time with them at the Surf Motel in Victoria. An immediate affirmative from me, led to exploring transportation options. VIA rail soon won out and I booked a lower berth. The advent of 12 inches of snow and a 2 ibuprofen shovelling marathon followed by absurd icy walkways assured I had made the correct decision.
The train was even on time arriving in Saskatoon.

Painfully obvious I don’t have much practice at selfies.

It is always so much fun to share the mountain views with individuals who have a trip on the ‘Canadian’ as a major ‘bucket list’ reality.

Situated right on Dallas rd. all fourteen rooms of the Surf Motel face the Salish Sea where one can spend an inordinate amount of time just looking at the fascinations of the sea.

Doug standing on the balcony.

View from my deck.

The contrast between shovelling snow and doing the ‘penguin walk’ on ice is evident everywhere you look in Victoria. We were told by numerous people that we picked the absolute best week of the last month to arrive. Plus teen temperatures, clear skies, mild breezes, lovely sunsets and an abundance of flowers, birds and mammals …WOW.
Here is a sampling of the eye candy on a walk along Dallas Rd. from the Surf Motel.

Anna’s Hummingbirds are here all year.

This is the same bird as above with a twist of the head so the sun reflects off the feathers.

It was not obvious why this hummer was approaching this dried up bud. It must have been getting something for the effort.

River Otters live and bring up young along the breakwater. We did not see any pups but often saw two adults.


A trip to Beacon Hill Park on a beautiful day offered up a visual feast.

Magnolia trees were just coming into blossom.

A couple of Mallards and a bale of turtles (thank you google for the collective noun) all balanced comfortably on this log.

Over 50 Great Blue Herons were flying in and out of the trees. They seem such unlikely birds to land in trees

Many people told us the Herons have a rookery here and this bird seems to confirm nest making activity.

You just new there would be more birds.

A male Harlequin Duck.

Black Oyster Catcher.

A female Common Merganser.

There were many Song Sparrows singing and posing for portraits.

A male Bufflehead duck.

This White-crowned Sparrow was singing its heart out.

This Glaucous-winged Gull had a leg band but I couldn’t get around the other side to get the complete number.

A walk along the Galloping Goose Trail on a warm sunny day revealed a number of pollinators at work.

The Oregon Grape was bursting with flowers and s strong pungent odour.

Blow Flies seemed to be attracted to the flowers and maybe the odour.

Many Yellow-faced Bumble Bees were active on the flowers.

This Red Flowering Current did not seem to attract as many insects.

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9 Comments

  1. Robert April 10, 2024 at 7:35 am #

    Great to see rail used as transportation!
    The Victoria pix are nice too..
    Amazing how the hummingbird appears to have a shield across its face. One wonders what they live on in winter if they’re there all year?

  2. Jan March 20, 2024 at 7:57 pm #

    My old stomping grounds, thanks Trent!

  3. Joe Shorthouse March 20, 2024 at 3:34 pm #

    Great shots Trent. The hummingbird is feeding on some unknown fluid in the dried hip of a rose – likely the introduce rose Rosa canina – by the size of the bristles. Likewise, you have a sparrow sitting on the same kind of rose. Do you recall seeing any of the mossy or bedeguar galls on these roses? Brown, hairy mass about the size of a golf ball. Lots of tiny cynipid wasp larvae inside.

  4. Ray Romanski March 20, 2024 at 2:38 pm #

    Thanks Trent. I was excited to get the notification that you have new photos and stories to share. They always make me happy.

  5. Sarah March 20, 2024 at 2:08 pm #

    Wow!! Thank you for sharing these are amazing!

  6. Rich March 20, 2024 at 11:45 am #

    Beautiful Trent. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Sharell Watts March 20, 2024 at 11:45 am #

    Wonderful photos and I enjoyed your story and captions. Kelly Koski (Hubble) forwards some of your photography to me. The photos are spectacular.

  8. Shelly March 20, 2024 at 9:57 am #

    Oh Trent! These photos are fabulously breathtaking! Thanks for the armchair visit!!

  9. Anonymous March 20, 2024 at 9:55 am #

    Great adventure plus, fantastic photography and storytelling too, Trent!

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