These Enchanted Woods

The tragedy of a clear-cut and burned out forest is contrasted with the healthy ecology of a unique bog forest and Garry oak woodland on the outskirts of town. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, October 16th, 1938- The charm of the forest has been sung by the poets and felt by most of us. FromContinue reading “These Enchanted Woods”

On Willows Prairie

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”

Along Country Roads by Mount Tolmie

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”

Some August Gleanings

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”

Wild Things at Beacon Hill

Connell takes a summertime ramble to Meeqan observing some of the natural and human history of the park. From the Victoria Colonist, July 4th, 1943- Fortunately there still remains in Beacon Hill Park a large part of the original tract of land more or less as it was a century ago. The fine old oaksContinue reading “Wild Things at Beacon Hill”

Midsummer in the Wild Uplands

In this article Connell walks cross country from Richmond Road to the Uplands making note of the human and the natural scenes along the way. From the Victoria Colonist, July 11th, 1943- I left the Mount Tolmie car at a little street south of Lansdowne Road: it is a “street” on the map and onContinue reading “Midsummer in the Wild Uplands”

A Nature Miscellany (On a Vacant Lot)

Rev. Connell’s observations and reflections on some undeveloped urban/suburban natural spaces in and around Victoria 81 years ago and what he found growing there. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, June 2nd, 1940- This week I am bringing together a few isolated observations with little other thread or unity than their background in a very beautifulContinue reading “A Nature Miscellany (On a Vacant Lot)”

Buttercup Time at the Uplands

From the Victoria Daily Colonist, May 10, 1942. Every Victorian knows the spring display at the Uplands when the camas and the buttercups are out in full bloom and all of that still wild part is an almost unbroken sheet of gold and purple-blue. There you have a precious bit of the past, for longContinue reading “Buttercup Time at the Uplands”

By A Nameless Stream

In March of 1943 Reverend Connell went for a ramble along what was for him a “nameless stream”- now known as Blenkinsop Creek- on what was then the edge of town. In this article he gives us a glimpse of the recent history of the area between Blenkinsop and Swan Lakes, as well as someContinue reading “By A Nameless Stream”

Across the Links to Oak Hill

Take a ramble with Reverend Connell across the Cedar Hill golf links and through the pastures and woodlands of North Dairy farm to the summit of Oak Hill overlooking the Shelbourne Valley. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, March 29th, 1942. Under a gray March sky and with a pleasant coolness in the air for walkingContinue reading “Across the Links to Oak Hill”