If You See it – Celebrate It!

In the midst of a sunny summer, Victoria knows how to celebrate.

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Canada Day was a birthday bash 147 years in the making…

Standing “on guard for thee.”

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The sun set, music filled the great lawn in front of the Legislature…

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venders took last call, as expectations rose for the grand finale.

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A stroll down to the harbor gets you close to the little island…where the big bang awaits.

Then night gives way to light.

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The celebration ended with an image that looked like…creation.

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The next weekend brought out the flash and color of Victoria’s annual Gay Pride Parade.  Quite the scene…

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Tourists wondered what they had walked into.

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Just one more reason to celebrate in the Capital City.

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Scene It: Kite Flight Fest

A walk in Victoria, BC will often stop you in your tracks.

Even the eagle, resting atop the world’s 4th highest totem pole, appears transfixed…

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…by the impromptu festivities below.

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Then again, festivals are de rigueur for Victoria in the summer.

This Victoria Day found Chinese Dragons once again, leaving mouth’s agape.

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There were tykes on motor bikes…

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…and a street demo to palpitate a parent’s heart.

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What really lit up the coast of Victoria in late May was the city’s first International Kite Flying Festival.  

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Kiting is a high art form.  

Acclaimed kite designers  from around the US and Canada used the blue sky for their canvas. 

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Kids were, of course, captured by the kites.

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The kiters who journeyed to Victoria put on a show of synchronized kiting.

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 As dusk descended along the coast, and a cruise ship departed for Alaska…

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Kites lit up the night sky.  

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Providing fireworks…without the fire.

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And another Victoria day ends with a splash of color.

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Scene It!

Returning to Victoria after a 6 month stay in suburban Maryland was certainly a breath of fresh air.

There was also a slight sense of “been here, seen this,” unlike our initial landing on Vancouver Island three years ago.  

But then, as before, the beauty hit.  I relaxed into the sublime slide-show of Victoria’s day-to-day:

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Kites dancing above Dallas Beach.

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Herons stepping out.

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While it was lovely to once again view a mini-duck dynasty in the placid ponds of Beacon Hill Park…

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…I got an unexpected jolt from seeing ducks in the soup, in the rolling waves of the Strait.

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Where they had to seek shelter from the storm.

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There are the other unique Island characters that cross your path.  Like this long man on a short bike…with takeout.

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It was, of course, wonderful to see my old friend, Anna’s Hummingbird.  

If you are patient, Anna is likely to reward you with a dance.  Or was it yoga…a sun salutation perhaps?  Whatever it was, this Anna was into the flow.

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Loose, limber, and ready to fly!

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To be continued…

Canadians Confront the Climate Crisis

May 10th was a National Day of Action across Canada, with demonstrations protesting government plans for expanding oil pipelines, tankers and tar sands.  

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In Victoria, BC, the day started with the local chapter of the Raging Grannies coming on stage as an oil slick.

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There were concerned clowns…

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and an endangered bear with a ballad.

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Good reviews from the bear’s best friend.

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BC’s Premier, Christy Clark, is due to make a decision in June on whether to allow the Northern Gateway pipeline to move oil from the Alberta tar sands thru British Columbia’s Pacific Coast.

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With rising concerns about the growing climate crisis—

on this day in May, there was reason enough to cheer.

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Time Tripping in Baltimore

Though Baltimore is just down the road from my suburban, Washington DC-centric life, I hadn’t really seen the city.

A recent day spent walking through Baltimore’s past and present, provided a bit of a correction.  

There were, of course, old buildings made new.

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Buildings preserved, like the historic Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower…built in 1911 and inspired by the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy.

(Though bromo-selzter is probably not the best calling-card for a tourist town).

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And buildings as backdrops.

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Some buildings were allowed to languish…

(Unlike my other home town–Victoria, BC–American cities appears to have lost interest in providing public “comfort”)

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We saw cool window art — with this store honoring filmmaker John Waters, Baltimore’s Pope of Trash.

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  A Baltimore walk will also get you to museums off the beaten track.

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Where the body is the backdrop.

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And Geppi’s Entertainment Museum… a pop culture explosion of images, guaranteed to take you back.

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This privately run museum near Camden Yards is 16,000 square feet of fun, with six million pop culture artifacts arrayed from floor to ceiling.

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Most of all, walking in one of America’s oldest cities is a form of time travel.

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And to our surprise, we landed on the Privateer Festival.   

A community celebration of Baltimoreans who take their dress-up seriously…and have fun doing it.

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This guy’s finger fetish aside, we learned there is a difference between pirates and privateers.

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Of course, what these seafaring adventurers have in common is…? (drum roll!)

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No, not dogs…

Parrots!

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All in all, a spring back-in-time weekend in Baltimore…

is a present day treat.

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Which reminds me.  Baltimore is also the home of baseball’s greatest ballplayer.

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Safe at home…

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