Welcome to the last summer Mom-Day Adventure! Mom and I will still be meeting up through the fall, but as I'm returning to work on Tuesdays as of next week, this is our last one on a Tuesday. What a wonderful way they have been for us to connect and explore some of Victoria's most beautiful places! They've been the highlight of my summer, for sure.
I took a lot of pictures (shocker), so grab a mug of tea and get settled.
What to wear? It was sunny, cloudy and windy - everything but rain, which we thankfully avoided.
- Silk/cashmere sweater - Banana Republic, thrifted; last worn here in August with bold brights
- Umbrella skirt - SP, Lazy Susan's; last seen here (3rd outfit) in April for a Mental Health Shop
- Shoes - Homers; last worn here in July for another Mental Health Shop
- Jacket - Danier Leather; last seen here in June for the Training Day of Indolence
I wanted to wear orange for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (which is on Thursday, link here
'cause I love), but as I'm off that day, I won't be out in public, so I'm wearing my orange now to honour that.
I look forward to wearing this awesome sunflower brolly skirt every season.
Sunflowers are an end-of-summer flower, anyway.
And we've definitely been having some rain!
We've entered Leather Weather season.
I love my leather jacket collection (I have a rainbow!) and always look forward to wearing them.
I knew we'd be going for lunch after our walk.
All done up - I looked like this most of the time we were out.
This was perfect, although I was slightly chilled. Pfft, I'm tough, I can handle a little chill.
I've had this scarf for over a decade - I love the colours.
- Silk scarf - Marc Rozier, Paris, consignment
- Leather gloves - consignment
I grilled Mom about the terrain so that I could wear appropriate shoes. These got a bit of mud and dirt on them, but they cleaned up fine.
Gold and orange bling:
I usually pack away many of my orange and gold accessories, in favour of pewter and bronze and copper for the cold months.
- Eelskin belt - Yves Saint Laurent, vintage 80s, thrifted
- Orange cuff/ring - Italian, vintage 60s, vintage mall
- Bracelet - thrifted; Sidney
- Necklace - Givenchy, vintage 80s, vintage fair
- Orange Lucite/steel ring - Calvin Klein, thrifted
- Gold hoop earrings - 5th anniversary gift from L
I rushed around getting ready until Mom buzzed me - looks like we both got the Leather Weather memo!
Her white leather jacket is also Danier and has navy on white polka dot lining. She looks so good in jewel colours - this sapphire blue is a stunner.
We drove to Hillside Mall and parked the car. A woman in the parking lot came over to tell me I looked "so springy!" We saw her again later and waved hello.
We entered a residential neighbourhood full of streets named after English poets, to a section of Bowker Creek (link here
, all links 'cause I love).
Bowker Creek runs from the northern part of Victoria through some of its most urbanized neighbourhoods, under the mall, across a school, past a major hospital, through the municipality of Oak Bay before it gets to the ocean.
In some places, there's just a trickle of water.
This small section is exposed, but much of it is underground, diverted through pipes.
From this little bit, we walked a few blocks through the North Dairy neighbourhood.
Mom grew up in Victoria (as did her parents), and remembered that most of this area was filled with apple orchards when she was a kid. See the tree laden with fruit? The sign says not to pick them - private property!
The apple trees that still exist are remnants of these orchards, and still bear fruit.
I liked the motorcycle parked under this tree in someone's front yard. Pick those apples!
Most of the houses in this neighbourhood were built in the late 50s/early 60s, a time of huge urbanization here.
There are lots of Garry oaks and rocky outcroppings.
And we've reached the Bowker Creek Greenway.
Trail etiquette - so Canadian.
The creek was bigger here.
We followed it to this park, which is right beside Shelbourne Street, a very busy byway.
I have walked past this park along Shelbourne but had no idea it was connected to a creek.
I liked the fish in the sidewalk.
And dragonflies too!
As we rounded a corner, we came to a bridge.
This mom and her kids were watching the leaves racing along the water.
So much greenery.
With the ever-present gurgle of water.
And the sound of the dry leaves rustling in the wind.
The light was bright, then it was dim, as clouds scudded across the sky.
I would love to visit here in spring to see everything blooming.
I'm sure it's just as lovely.
Mom and I paused midway across this bridge to take pictures.
I have a thing for twisty branches.
Looking straight down to the water.
We saw a lot of people as we were out, but they mostly seemed to be local to this neighbourhood. This has to be one of Victoria's "secret" parks.
On the other side of the bridge is Browning Park, a stewardship area, which means that people volunteer to help restore the area to a more natural state (about it here
Removing invasive plant species (like blackberry canes) is a big part of it.
I took a quick detour further down the path.
I probably should have kept off the muddy areas, but whatever.
Mom checked out the info sign.
The neighbourhood houses back onto the park area.
A helpful map with Mom's helpful finger.
My little blue arrow are the two areas where Bowker creek is.
I liked this round mural on the ground.
Time for a selfie, Mom!
A good detail shot of Mom's necklace, which she bought when we went to New York together in 2007.
I guess they couldn't reach the ones past the roofline!
I love this ivy that's turned red.
On the left, a visible portion of the creek.
I love our little libraries, and was delighted to see one here.
"Words-Worth" like the poet, get it?
As we returned to the car, we could see the mall over the last bridge.
And the creek disappeared.
Mom liked "The Disappearing Creek" for this post's title. Very Nancy Drew!
I spotted a spider web situated strategically.
Do you see him?
This house had a Steward sign on their front fence.
Another dragonfly - this area must be full of them in early summer.
When I was a kid, Hillside Mall was anchored by Simpson-Sears (later Sears, which has long since closed).
I found this pic on a FB site - this was one corner of the parking lot. I LOVED those star-shaped lights! So incredibly mid-century.
The "checkered" wall is part of the original Simpson Sears building. I spy two people on the roof! The tall building in the background is in my 'hood.
Before they built the original mall, this was a big swampy field; the creek became marshland in this area. And now it's a mall full of empty storefronts.
Another little library.
Both of them were disappointing - no books for us.
As we drove to the next above-ground section of Bowker Creek, we passed Lansdowne Middle School. I've played Ultimate Frisbee here, and my dad went to school here back in the 50s.
I was astonished when Mom told me this used to be an airfield! In fact, this is the very site where the first Canadian aircraft took flight! About it here
- I had noticed the mentioned cairn with part of a propeller on it.
As we drove past the hospital (where I was born), I remembered that L and I have actually walked along the creek section before, on the way to our friends Chris and Carla's wedding way back here
in November 2019, specifically here
where I noted we walked alongside a creek.
Mom and I continued into Oak Bay (the chi-chi rich municipality).
That's their fire hall! Pretty swanky, eh? Victoria city fire trucks are yellow.
We parked and walked to the entrance of this section of Bowker Creek, just ahead near the red truck.
This is a very upscale neighbourhood.
Yes, please, I will take this house. Um, no, I do not have $4 million...
We entered the park, which had many more amenities than the mall section. An article about the restoration of this section here
- it's a 100-year plan.
The creek is much wider in this area.
Ooh, I like this part!
Mom pointed out the tunnel that the creek flows into from here.
Oh, a helpful sign - you can click the picture to embiggen. This shows the full path of Bowker Creek, from where it starts up near the University of Victoria (near our Finnerty Gardens adventure, here
It shows the "piped creek" section and the open creek areas. This is a very big part of Greater Victoria.
There were clusters of people all along here.
It was around noon, and Oak Bay High School is near here.
Looking back at the tunnel.
Mom has been here for the "Bowker Creek Paint-In," when she sat on the other side of the creek and painted while visitors wandered around.
Getting closer to the little falls.
I recognize the "ArtAlive Oak Bay" sign from my walk with Betty (here
It's "The Salmon Cycle" - cute. There are plans in the works to reintroduce salmon to this section of the creek (link here
The tunnel is nearly out of sight.
Mom and I watched the leaves as they zoomed up to the edge of the waterfall, hovered, then plunged into the abyss.
Well, not really - this is a very small drop!
Mom pointed out the massive rhododendrons.
This would be incredible when they're in bloom.
A bridge and a lamppost!
I sense a photo opportunity!
You can see how much the light fluctuated from picture to picture.
And now it's sunny!
Then, not sunny.
Another bridge, and could it be...?
I make grabby hands when I see ducks - this goes back to feeding the ducks at Beacon Hill Park when I was a kid.
Mom rested while I continued ahead.
Around the bend.
More ducks! It's a duck bonanza!
In spite of my inner child's excitement, it's not that unusual to see ducks - Victoria has a lot of them. These are just regular mallards.
I walked back to Mom.
We sat on that bench on the far left and just contemplated the world.
People walking their dogs.
The wind in the leaves.
We were surrounded by massive trees.
Looking back, time to go get lunch.
More pretty colours.
I had Mom take my picture - it's the first one back up at the top.
As we neared the car, I spotted this handsome grey tuxedo cat going about some urgent business.
"Busy, can't stop."
He dashed across a couple of yards, then disappeared.
"Have to report all these dogs."
I have to agree - there were a lot of dogs around.
We had a lovely lunch at Christie's Pub.
And then I walked home in the sun and wind, just basking in the enjoyment of the day.
While we were walking along Bowker Creek, every bench we passed had a memorial plaque on it.
"La dolce far niente" means "the sweetness of doing nothing". This was on the bench we rested at.
What a wonderful world, indeed.
And what a fantastic way to cap our summer of visiting some of Victoria's most beautiful places. Thank you, Mom - I'm so thankful we had these days together. I love you.
I had a very needy kitty when I got home.
"What about meeee? I need attention!"
And much snuggling was had!
Thanks so much for reading, my friends! I hope you enjoyed our summer Mom-Day Adventures!