Rambles Around Old Victoria
The Nature Writings of Rev. Robert Connell
This blog shares the weekly newspaper nature column writings and illustrations of Rev. Robert Connell (1871-1957) who loved, studied, and taught about the nature and history of Victoria, Canada.
Born to Scottish parents in Liverpool, England, Connell moved to Canada at the age of 17. In 1896 while living in Calgary he was ordained as a priest in the Church of England and in 1901 he moved to Victoria, BC, where he later became deeply involved in Provincial politics, serving as the first leader of the BC CCF (now NDP) from 1933-9. He taught art and botany classes at Victoria High and St. Michael’s University Schools and was a member of the Victoria Natural History and Island Arts and Crafts Societies. He was an accomplished artist and a life-long student and devotee of the natural world.
Connell takes us along on a ramble across a remnant of the swampy grasslands and oak prairies that once covered much of the Victoria region. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, Oct. 3rd, 1937- The other morning I took a stroll through one of the still vacant sections of Victoria’s old prairie. It lies north ofContinue reading “On Willows Prairie”
Here Connell ventures up and over Mount Tolmie and down onto the eastern end of Cedar Hill Cross Road, where the University of Victoria is today. He examines the botany of forest, field and hedge as well as some remnants of human history along the way. From the Victoria Colonist, September 17th, 1939- From theContinue reading “Along Country Roads by Mount Tolmie”
Connell returns to the Uplands in late summer noting some distinctive characteristics of the season, as well as recalling a First Nations historical site at Loon Bay. From the Victoria Colonist, August 27th, 1939- How swiftly the hot days transport us into the beginnings of autumn. Already the stubble fields have turned the valley slopesContinue reading “Some August Gleanings”
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