Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Vancouver Island - The Raptors, Duncan

Before I begin, I should mention that my blog connection to my email doesn't seem to be working anymore. I haven't had a chance to look into it, but it all started when I changed my email to "new" gmail. My septviolets gmail doesn't seem to be working at all either. I will be replying to everyone here on my blog instead.

While we were driving up to Chemainus, we passed a billboard advertising a raptor centre in Duncan, BC. I quickly snapped a photo of the road sign so that we could find it on the way back. If you're ever in Duncan and enjoy birds of prey, this is a must see!

We arrived at The Raptors in the afternoon and just in time for a live bird show. The theatre is a small open field with wood benches, and as the handlers talk about the raptors, these amazing creatures fly through the spectators from perch to perch. It was amazing!!

American Kestrel

This Red Tailed Hawk is covering his "kill" to keep other birds from seeing it.

Red Tailed Hawk

Barred Owl

Harris Hawk

Harris Hawk

After the show, we wandered around the grounds admiring the many raptors ...

Eagle Owl

Spectacled Owl

Immature Bald Eagle

Harris Hawk

immature bald eagle

We came upon a couple of handlers that were taking this large raptor out for some exercise. I can't remember if it is a Golden Eagle or an immature Bald Eagle. They look very similar. Anyway, he invited Tim and I to join them to watch the bird fly back and forth between the handlers. That wingspan was impressive!

Peregrine Falcon

Gryfalcon, the largest falcon in the world
The handlers at the centre all knew their stuff on the hawks. It was great to see them, and to speak with the handlers who were all around to share their knowledge. You can see more about the centre at their website (at top of post).

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Vancouver Island - Butchart Gardens

We were sure to visit Butchart Gardens while on Vancouver Island. Even though we've been there numerous times before, we both enjoyed seeing it again. Tim and I went on our own, and after touring the gardens, we went on a short boat tour around a couple of bays. The boat operator was a wealth of information and very chatty. I was surprised to learn that the Butcharts were originally from Owen Sound, Ontario, which is just north of us here. Small world. Mr. Butchart operated a quarry on this property, and when that wound down, his wife got her crew of workers to create this amazing sunken garden ...

The sunken garden is the most amazing feature of the whole estate, and it was many years in the planning and actual creation.

There are narrow waterfalls flowing down from the tall trees on top of the quarry walls here. Very difficult to photograph them, but you can hear the water cascading down as you meander around the gardens.

A few ponds are here in the sunken garden as well.

These lovely cedar benches were everywhere!

The Butcharts' son added this fountain which has various settings it runs through continuously.

We visited the last week of May, so the spring flowers were just about finished and the summer flowers were just coming in. There were huge rhododendrun bushes that must have been fantastic! Unfortunately, the blooms were just about spent by the time we saw them.

The peonies were just as beautiful, and I actually prefer them over the rhododendruns ;)

When we were last at the gardens, we were fortunate to have seen these two totem poles being carved on site! They were carved in celebration of the garden's 100th anniversary. They look quite weathered now ... I guess I do too after 14 years have passed.

Blue poppies ...

Pink poppies ....

Only a few iris were still blooming, but they were stunning!

I think this would make a great feature to my own backyard pond!

All the trees here are beautiful. These red cedars were planted in the 30s.

The roses were just getting going, and only a few were in full bloom. We have visited the gardens in the middle of summer, and the roses here are incredible. So many varieties!

Another big draw is the wonderful and secretive Japanese garden. So green and mossy and cool and lovely. There are little waterways and ponds and creeks running all through it.


This is where we hopped on the boat tour. They used electric boats which were so quiet and free from fuel smells.

This is the Butchart's house. Although most of it is now restaurant and gift shops, there is still a portion that is kept private for visiting family members. The Butchart family still owns and operates the gardens.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of these amazing gardens! Well worth the visit if you're ever in the area.

Thanks for stopping by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...