Alice In Wonderland Mushrooms

orange mushroom toad stool Alice In Wonderland, garden Victoria BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The scorched grass of summer morphs into verdant lushness.
The air sparkles.
Leaves tremble.

I’m Alice In Wonderland admiring a toad stool.

orange mushroom toad stool Alice In Wonderland, garden Victoria BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Am I too big?
Or are they too small?
Looking around, I’m disappointed there’s no bottle labelled ‘drink me.’

Still I’m enchanted.

Anything this beautiful must be magical – – but NO.

Research says this is probably Amanita muscaria.  Hallucinogenic, YES.  But not in a good way.  Bad.  Very BAD.

cap of orange mushroom toad stool Alice In Wonderland, garden Victoria BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Fungus & mushrooms are a mystery to me.  Our rainforest abounds with their fruiting bodies each autumn.
They’re so exotic looking – so tempting.

Haida Gwaii (also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands) is mushroom heaven.  I went there one September to visit friends & forage chantrelles.  We found so many varieties I lost count.  And the 2 volumes on Mushroom ID just made me even more nervous of proper recognition.
So many. So similar. So tasty. So deadly.
Too risky.

orange mushrooms toad stool Alice In Wonderland, garden Victoria BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Each year the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society host a Wild Mushroom Information Day at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.  Perhaps I should be brave this year, and give it a try.

Or maybe playing with my camera in the woods is more my style. Hmmm.

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Crosswalk Craze

street art, Dallas Road, Victoria BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I risked life, limb & bicycle when I stopped in the middle of Dallas Road the other day to get this photo of street art.  Wouldn’t it be neat to meet the whimsical public worker brave enough to create it?

decorative crosswalk, Blancshard & Fort Street, Victoria BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

More & more often the streets in Victoria are showing the influence of creative & open-minded thinking.  I first spied this funky crosswalk through the windows of a transit bus.  The compulsion to get a photo was so strong, I had to get off the bus.  This time my self-preservation instinct kicked in, so I remained safely on the curb for the shot.

rainbow crosswalk, University of Victoria, Victoria BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

This past summer, a rainbow crosswalk decorated the street in front of City Hall for Pride Week.  The University of Victoria painted one on Ring Road, just outside the Student Union building.  It seems to be holding up well even though a couple of months have passed.

decorative crosswalk waves 1 Tofino BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

When I was out to Long Beach for Thanksgiving, I was delighted to see the trend had spread to Tofino.  Several crosswalks along the main drag show off the town’s artistic bent.

decorative crosswalk wave 2 Tofino BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Surfing is a big deal out there, so it makes sense they produced an homage to the wave.   My favorite is the wave made by swapping the black & white stripe placement to show off the wave pattern.  Another that changed the regular shape of the crosswalk to form the wave is pretty cool, too.

decorative crosswalk fish Tofino BC pacific northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Even better is the crosswalk that the fish are swimming through.
Now that’s groovy.
🙂

But all this makes me wonder…

Are we just a bunch of creative hippies out here on the west coast?
Or are other places on board with this fun?

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Great Grapes

Woo-hoo!!
This year our grape-vine has produced grapes!  It’s thrilling.

green grapes September 2015 garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins 2012

Most years we get 1 or 2 clusters of teeny-tiny grapes… and honestly, I thought that it was just the way this particular variety of grape made fruit.

Nope.

Whatever variety of grape this is, it is capable of producing a wonderfully sweet, juicy eating grape.

green grapes September 2015 garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins 2015

When I picked my first cluster, he weight of it astounded me.  I  just had to check it out on the kitchen scale – –
2.5 pounds !!!

Can you believe it?

And they’re tasty, too!

Now it would be nice to know what we did differently this year…

 

green grapes September 2015 weight garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Was it because C didn’t winter prune the vine as hard as he usually does?
… or because we had an especially sunny summer?
… or because there was less competition for water & nutrients in the planting bed this year?

Perhaps there’s a good reason this area is marketed as the Wine Islands.

Cheers      🙂

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