Saturday, January 30, 2010

At rest in the Place of the Cradles

The establishment of Fort Victoria in 1843 may have marked European settlement on this southern tip of Vancouver Island but Aboriginals have inhabited this area for thousands of years. South-eastern Vancouver Island, where the capital city of Victoria is located, was the home of the Northern Straits Salish peoples and in what is now the greater Victoria area were 12 interlinked Songhee villages.

From time to time, during road works or housing development, an aboriginal grave may be unearthed. Once evidence of an ancient burial site is found, all work is immediately stopped and First Nations community representatives are called in.

In this case, on August 27, 2009, the excavation of a sewer trench along Dallas Road disturbed the remains of a young First Nations woman, “SLENI”, originally buried over 300 years ago. Following consultations with archeologists and First Nations Elders, a determination was reached to hold a reburial service close to the site of the discovery and a marker was placed to identify the spot.

SLENI's marker was placed along Dallas Road beside another one identifying the location of the unearthing in 1995 of the remains of another First Nations individual "HIWET."

The location of this site, now called "Camel Point," was originally called "Lekwammen" which means “the place of the Cradles.”

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Snowdrops are in full bloom!

While much of Canada is in full winter, here in Victoria the snowdrops are in full bloom. We've also seen Rhododendrons in bloom but since we don't like Rhodos we chose to ignore them.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The house of stories

Some houses just have many stories to tell - like this one at 937 Caledonia Street.The first thing you notice as you approach it from the west is this wonderful bottle-based public rest chair.Then as you continue to walk past the house you see this structure:A pyramid of twigs and branches resembling a medieval shrine:Which on closer examination reveals itself to be a crèche dedicated to Sponge Bob Square Pants:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Free-range chicken - in the city

Walking up Cook Street from Dallas Road I noticed a dark form moving in the driveway of this heritage building...Yes, a free-range chicken giving me a wary "evil" eye.
Quite surprising to see it walking about so freely because there are still a number of eagles and hawks living in the city that would likely enjoy this fellow for a dinner meal.
Other city chickens that we've seen in the city are more cooped up like the ones in this earlier post HERE

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shingle Beach

The logging industry is a major part of Vancouver Island's economy. Logs that are floated down rivers and estuaries sometimes break free and end up on the shores around Victoria.The mature Western Cedar's soft red-brown timber is valued for its distinct appearance, aroma, and its high natural resistance to decay. It is extensively used for outdoor construction in the form of posts, decking, shingles and siding.Patrick is taking advantage of these wayward logs to shingle the roof of his house.He first uses a small chainsaw to cut the logs down to shingle size and then creates each shingle using a froe to cleave the wood by splitting it along the grain. He has so far cut 8,000 of the 10,000 shingles he needs.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A pole becomes a Totem

Over the holidays someone feathered this telephone pole turning into a strange Totem Pole.