January visit to Victoria BC


Happy new year!

Only one more week of enduring Ottawa’s freezing temperatures until I’ll be on a much needed break in Victoria! On the top of my list is a trip to the Victoria Public Market, something I’ve been excited about since the plan to create a market in the Hudson building was announced last year. The market looks amazing and it’s only a few blocks from my house. I’m especially looking forward to visiting Cowichan Bay Seafood; the Victoria Pie Company, and La Cocina de mama Oli.

In the spirit of New Year’s, I’ve created a list of things I need to / would like to get done this year:

  • Paint the house and garage.
  • Put a new roof on the garage.
  • Build a small shed to store firewood.
  • Turn the attic into a beautiful, livable space and install a washroom.
  • Rebuild our compost bins.
  • Prune the apple trees, the pear tree, and the fig tree.
  • Do something about the kiwi vines that are taking over the Southeast corner of the property.

Our house: 1970’s edition


I came across this wonderful photo of our house on the Hallmark Heritage Society’s website. It was taken during the 1970’s, so my dad would have been living in the house as either a renter or an owner. The Hallmark Heritage Society’s website has some fantastic pictures of older houses across the city — I spent a few hours looking at photos of houses in Fernwood and North Park.

I also looked at photos of some of the beautiful houses on Caledonia that were torn down for development over the past few decades — it’s sad that they are gone, but wonderful that a record of these old beauties is available online.

Here’s a link to the Hallmark Society’s website; I hope you have as much fun checking out your neighbourhood as I did! www.victoriahistory.ca

Weekly curiosity: Mystery bones


I’m not sure what species of animal these bones belong to, or what we are going to do with them, but for now they live on a little wooden bench in our living room. There’s something nice about a stack of bones — clean, simple and beautiful.

Peaches on the tree

“Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.”
― Alice Walker


Weekly curiosity: Cougar skull


This is one of the coolest specimens in our collection: a cougar skull. It’s in good shape, but it’s missing its canine teeth. If its missing it’s canines, then what are those two large, pointed teeth? They are prosthetic canines made out of… Papier mâché. Which is a fancy term I am using for toilet paper and water molded into the shape of a tooth.

I love this skull and I wish I knew a little bit more about it — where it came from and how old the cougar was. A lot of the specimens in our collection were gifts given to my dad, which means I don’t know a lot about their origins. Many were gifts from his students, others from friends, and others from friends-of-friends who heard about the dude with the crazy skull collection.

One of the oddest gifts my dad received was a walrus baculum — I’ll let you google that for yourselves. Maybe it’s worthy of a weekly curiosity post of its own!

Weekly curiosity: Boar(?) skull


I love the weathered look of this skull. Gray and covered with lichen, it looks like it has an interesting past. Where did it come from? Who found it? And what type of animal is it — a boar? A hog? Something else?

If you can help me identify what kind of animal this skull came from, please leave a comment!

Weekly curiosity: Horse skull


This cool old horse skull has been in our living room for as long as I can remember and it’s one of my favourite skulls. It’s beautiful and massive and it has gorgeous teeth. I love it.

This is the first in my “weekly curiosity” series of photos. Every week I will feature an object from our house — you can expect photos of biological specimens, artifacts from the early days of Victoria BC, skulls, religious iconography, and works of art.

I hope you find these photos interesting, don’t hesitate to comment if you have any questions!

D.I.Y. Fungi

Grow Mushrooms for Food, Medicine & Earth Renewal

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