Esquimalt’s Natural Park

Connell takes a ramble across some undeveloped parts of Esquimalt and to the top of High Rock Park. From the Victoria Times Colonist, March 28, 1931- Everyone knows the charm of Esquimalt’s waterfront. Fortunately the golf-links have preserved a large portion of it to which the public has access. With but the narrow harbor entranceContinue reading “Esquimalt’s Natural Park”

Breath of Spring in January

Connell returns to the Lansdowne slope paying particular attention to the winter bird life along the way. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, January 25th, 1942- Frost and snow have gone for the present, at least, and today has been a delightful foretaste of spring. A light rain in the morning gave way to one ofContinue reading “Breath of Spring in January”

Some Wayside Notes in Town

Join Connell for a wander through woodlands and meadows on the edge of a newly suburbanized section of Fairfield. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, Dec. 10th, 1939- The sky is overcast with soft grey clouds broken by warm yellow, and in the air there is a softness and mildness as of veritable spring; but theContinue reading “Some Wayside Notes in Town”

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”

Changed and Changing Countryside

Connell takes a nostalgic look back at the built and natural landscapes of Victoria and Saanich as they were during his first years on the West Coast in the early 1900s, with a focus on the region around Cedar Hill Cross Road and the Shelbourne Valley. From the Victoria Colonist, August 20th, 1939- “Believe itContinue reading “Changed and Changing Countryside”

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)”

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”

In February Showers

In this article Reverend Connell takes a walk among the firs and oaks of a still-forested section of the old Hudson’s Bay Company lands on the Lansdowne slope, near the Saanich/Oak Bay border, almost exactly 80 years ago. His reflections on the historic landscape and the abundance of introduced species of flora and fauna thatContinue reading “In February Showers”

February Grey and Green

Reverend Connell paints a visceral portrait of the hills and farmlands of Strawberry Vale and the Colquitz River valley in late winter. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, February 22nd, 1942. The bus as it runs along Burnside Road gives a broad view of dark sloughed fields with a background of dark timber. It is surprisingContinue reading “February Grey and Green”

 Old Orchards by the Colquitz           

In the fall of 1941 Rev. Connell set out to find the remains of a heritage orchard on the banks of the Colquitz River. His narrative weaves together the environmental and settler histories of the area. From the Victoria Daily Colonist, Oct. 12, 1941. I have just returned from a visit to the Provincial ArchivesContinue reading ” Old Orchards by the Colquitz           “