Monday, August 8, 2016

For our second day in Victoria I visited a Butterfly Museum as I love nature. Gary decided to drop me off and visit somewhere else more of interest to him.
I was the first person to enter the museum that morning and I was welcomed by a beautiful green parrot called "Little E". He flew onto my arm and stayed with me for at least 10 mins. Our son is a parrot lover so would have loved this one as it was so friendly. Little E even gave me a kiss without piercing my lips together. He did take a fancy to my necklace and earrings so that became the time to find someone to pass him onto.
The museum was smaller than other Butterfly museums I had visited so it did not take me too long to make the rounds. I got several nice photos.

There was a lizard basking in the sunshine on a wall for all to see and pass by. He was quite unperturbed by the passers by.

I was fascinated with the lizards front and back claws. He must really be a good climber with those appendages.

I walked past a compound and there was a poor tortoise laying on its side struggling to turn itself over. The only way he managed it was due to another bigger tortoise trying to get past and flipping the tortoise into an upright position.

There was a tank with poison dart frogs in it. They were so tiny I had a hard time seeing them and photographing them.

They are brightly coloured to prevent them from being eaten as their skins maybe highly toxic. Amerindians used to use the poison for the tips of their blow darts although only 4 species of frogs are known to be used for this purpose. The Indians now use curare, a plant.
The museum also contained some exotic plants one of which was the pitcher plant, a carnivorous plant feeding on ants, termites and bees. The plants have modified leaves known as pitfall traps—a prey-trapping mechanism featuring a deep cavity filled with digestive fluid liquid.

 I finished my tour of the museum in double quick time (45 mins) and had agreed to meet Gary in 2 hours so I had time to kill. So, I went round again and again, and again. The only unusual thing I saw was a turtle trying to get out of a pond onto a log. I watched hum try 3 times and give up.
His really is scrunching his face as if it is a great struggle for him/her.
After going around 4 times, it was time to meet Gary. He was waiting for me in the gift shop and had been there for 2 hours as he could not find anything of interest to visit. So, if I had come out after 45 mins he would not have had to wait as long and I would not have had to go round and round and round.
The next day we left our hosts Leny and Bob after a very nice stay. Leny had a beautiful garden and I could not resist some photos for my memory book.

On our way to the ferry, we decided to take the scenic road and passed a most lovely garden of a private home (above photo). I just had to stop and get a photo. They must have had hundreds of begonias and bizzy lizzies/impatiens. We also got a nice view of the coast of Victoria Island.

Our next big event was riding the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver (about 1.5 hours). The ferry line had a free talk on fish that can be found in the Straight of Georgia so we decided to kill time and go to that. I am glad we did as the girl, Alex was very good and informative. She told us that sharks (up to 14 varieties), rays, rat fish, skates and orcas inhabited the Straight. We actually saw 3 orcas when the ferry slowed down for us to view them but they were too far away for my camera to get a decent photo. We also saw some seals but again they were too far away.
Our first day and only day in Vancouver was spent visiting the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first of its kind outside of China. It is an authentic representation of an age – old garden tradition which reached its peak in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Garden is characteristic of the private spaces within a Ming scholar’s residence. With its asymmetrical arrangement of rocks and plants, its winding paths and corridors, and the vistas that overlook its courtyards, the Garden emulates the rhythms of nature. Ming dynasty scholars, the elite of their time, lived and worked in their garden, sharing these enchanting spaces with friends and family of all ages. Like any home, a scholar’s garden was filled with energy, but also offered quiet moments for contemplation.

In the above photo you can see 3 "windows". These are called "leaks" as they leak in air and light and no two are the alike throughout the house.
The house was put together without using nails or screws.
 The above photo shows a wooden design put together with interlocking wedges. It must have taken a very patient person to do that.

The roof relies on the columns to take the weight and again, uses no screws or nails to hold it together.
Whilst we were there an employee came to feed the koi. He called them to him by banging on a gong placed in the water. The fish heard the gong and knew it was feeding time.
I got a nice photo of Gary in the garden.
After visiting the Chinese Garden we ventured into Chinatown which was not a very nice part of town. There were many homeless persons searching through rubbish bins, others that were high and swaying all over. We passed an alleyway and there must have been a dozen people picking through trash cans. Anyway, we had a nice meal in a restaurant recommended to us by the Gardens. We passed several shops selling wares that I had never seen before and some of them I would never dare try eating.

After lunch we drove to Stanley Park, a 40 hectare park that is on the waterfront. Our first stop was at an exhibition of totem poles.

Some of them looked quite scary as if carved to scare away evil spirits. The park had a good view of Vancouver Harbour.
Whilst I was taking my photo a sea-plane came into land, cruised around and stopped at the gas/petrol station in the middle of the water.

The Park also had some nice gardens which were hosting an Indian Wedding at the time of our visit. I would love to have taken photo of the beautiful saris but did not get a chance.

As we left the park we passed a rock in the water with a nude lady on it. Unfortunately, I cannot elaborate on her due to lack of knowledge.
We passed a group of Smart Cars for rent. I wonder if they charge you half price because you get half a car.

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