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Butchart Garden
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Glowing Embers

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Victoria's Butchart Gardens, Part 5: Begonias, Hummingbirds and More! (+10 insets)

Victoria's Butchart Gardens, Part 5: Begonias, Hummingbirds and More! (+10 insets)
Trip Talk: We Will Need Another RV…
So Steve Went to the Largest RV Show on the West Coast!

Steve and I are serious about going on the road full-time, but what that also means is that we need a better RV (Recreational Vehicle). We've learned so much since we got our RV and a critical point is that we have a "weekender", not a "full-timer" RV. Industry companies have several tiers for each of their models and they vary DRASTICALLY in quality. The businesses themselves are also vastly different in policy, quality, and customer support. From the frame to every last detail, a trailer can be a "low price-point" build that is utter and complete garbage (not that first-time shoppers would have the slightest clue!), all the way up to substantial and extremely high quality across the board. However, RV companies are notorious about hiding bad workmanship behind the shiny exterior. It may be hard to believe but spending more money does not mean you are guaranteed a better RV. Steve and I learned that even the most luxurious RV can be a total lemon because every single RV is hand-made by an industry starved for a workforce which is ultimately a hodge-podge of labor which ranges from literally "never-held-a-hammer" to wizened professional. In other words, each trailer must be scrupulously inspected from top to bottom and anyone who plans to get an RV seriously needs to do their homework before buying. Bottom line: these companies are all about making money and most don't care if they're putting out actual road hazards as long as they make bank. Buyer beware.

This being said, we found out about a 10-day RV show here on the West Coast and thought it would be the perfect opportunity for Steve to get some serious first-hand research done. The hope was to narrow down the choices and figure out which trailer(s) would be right for us as a full-time rig. We decided it made better sense for me to stay home with Steve giving me the important details, so this past Sunday he drove down to the show and on Monday he started his research.

The California RV Show was totally overwhelming! Over 1,000 RVs of all sizes, shapes, price-points, 37 dealers selling them, and bunches of other companies selling all things RV-related. You'll want to click on the link above if you want a tiny idea of what that crazy place is like. Let's just say that Steve's eyeballs have been rolling around in his head from the enormity of it all!

Steve went with a job at hand so he didn't look at anything that didn't fit in our criteria, and even still, it took him two whole days of looking, scrutinizing, hours of talking, and figuring out what made sense for us.

However, after all those long and exhausting hours of focused energy, Steve has been successful in his research! There are a couple of different models from a pair of companies which meet our needs and now it's just going to be a matter of time. Much needs to happen before we get a different RV but finally we have a real understanding of what's out there, which companies are total crap, and which are more trustworthy than others. Even though we have plenty of RV dealers around here, it's been amazing to see, first-hand, the offerings from just about every last RV company out there.

Yesterday Steve spent his last day at the show with his sister, who just recently bought a new (used) trailer to replace her old one. They had a great time looking around and checking out all of the fun trailers and options out there. And this evening Steve will be home! Hooray! :)

Today's Pictures

The begonia in my main image was part in one of the hanging baskets that we found in the main courtyard inside Butchart Gardens. So outrageously colorful, don't you think?! I think this is called "Glowing Embers" and certainly comes by the name perfectly! Until we came to this park, I had absolutely no idea that begonias came in so many varieties! They are truly remarkable flowers. :)

Inset 1: here's another glorious banana leaf. Just can't get enough of these beauties!

Inset 2: such a lucky shot of this bee in a purple haze!

Inset 3: this is another one of the hummingbird pictures that turned out well!

Inset 4: did anyone say, "breathtaking begonias"? Sheesh…what a bunch of divas. :D

Inset 5: I'm such a sucker for pond lilies! I believe this is Nymphaea 'Andreana'

Inset 6: another jaw-dropping begonia, this time in variegated red and white!

Inset 7: this golden echinacea was just one of dozens that glowed brilliantly in the sunlight!

Inset 8: I noticed movement when I was leaning in to take a picture and look what I found! This is a Northern Alligator Lizard! :D This species is also found in Oregon but I think the only kind on our property is the Southern Alligator Lizard.

Inset 9: a single lavender blossom against the bokeh of a pair of cream-colored zinnias!

Inset 10: a small army of lemon-colored marigolds looks out on a vista of beautiful flowers as far as they can see!

Pam, have you ever been to an RV show or a really huge RV lot? They are so overwhelming! When I was a kid my grandparents would take us kids to the San Francisco Sports and Boat Show every year and I remember going into every single RV and boat, pretending that I was picking out the exact one I would have as my own. What about you? Did you do that as a kid? I have to say…it's pretty exciting when it's for real! :) It's our plan to eventually end up on your doorstep with our new on-the-road home so you can see it for yourself! :) *sending all my love*

Explored on 10/10/19; highest placement #4.

Holger Hagen, Jean-luc Drouin, ROL/Photo, Sylvain Wiart and 61 other people have particularly liked this photo

44 comments - The latest ones
 Thorsten (T.S-B.)
Thorsten (T.S-B.) club
Wow, these are wonderful red flowers and you're presenting them in a great way.
9 months ago.
 Nicole Merdrignac
Nicole Merdrignac club
Excellent . Nicole. HFF.
9 months ago.
 Roger (Grisly)
Roger (Grisly) club
Another wonderful series of images and interesting narrative Janet
9 months ago.
tiabunna club
A beautiful set of images, Janet, particularly the main one. I guess that, not surprisingly, the van industry seems the same over here as you describe. Our neighbours recently bought a new one and found they faced the same issues.
9 months ago.
 Peter Castell
Peter Castell club
A superb image with wonderful light and a lovely colour Janet
9 months ago.
 Dominique 60
Dominique 60 club
superbe janet !!
9 months ago.
 Fred Fouarge
Fred Fouarge club
topper met pips
9 months ago.
 Malik Raoulda
Malik Raoulda club
Comme d'habitude,une merveille et un plaisir pour les yeux ...
Les Pips sont d'une beauté remarquable.
HFF. et Excellente fin de semaine.
9 months ago.
 William Sutherland
William Sutherland club
Amazing shots!

Admired in:
9 months ago.
 Pam J
Pam J club


9 months ago.
uwschu club
Wieder ein sehr schöner Ausflug in die Natur. Jetzt weiß ich endlich, woher die Hummingbird Gitarre ihren Namen bekommen hat.
Hummingbird Gibson
9 months ago. Edited 9 months ago.
Kawasirius club
Admirable photos et macros des merveilles de ce jardin botanique !
Pas facile le choix d'un VR dans les salons ! Je vous souhaite un bon choix !!!!
Bonne fin de semaine, Janet ! HFF !
9 months ago.
©UdoSm club
A beautifully series...
9 months ago.
sasithorn_s club
Remarkable series and PiPs, Janet! Such breathtakingly beautiful images!
9 months ago.
 Claudia G
Claudia G club
Une jolie mise au point, couleurs et lumières, les PiPs sont belles aussi !
9 months ago.
Ruesterstaude club
Wunderschöne Details sind das wieder, liebe Janet, und so vorbildlich erklärt! Ich streue Asche auf mein Haupt, weil ich bei meinen Vogel-Bildern so nachlässig war. Ich hab das jetzt nachgeholt. Bitte verzeihe mir!
Liebe Grüße,
9 months ago.
 Jaap van 't Veen
Jaap van 't Veen club
Beautiful light and colours.
Have a nice weekend.
9 months ago.
9 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
That's a wonderful composition, Janet ! Wish you a very nice day, my friend !
9 months ago.
 Helmer Lortz
Helmer Lortz club
Great as ever!
9 months ago.
neira-Dan club
magnifique !!
9 months ago.
 Eunice Perkins
Eunice Perkins club
Fabulous images again. No. 3 is my favourtie. How I wish we had humming birds over here!. That is a fantastic shot that deserves a reward.
9 months ago.
 * ઇઉ *
* ઇઉ * club
A remarkable series, Janet!
Your search seems adventurous and you'll hopefully find the optimal RV.
Have a great weekend!
9 months ago.
 Nora Caracci
Nora Caracci club
exquisite first one and superb series !!!
9 months ago.
Nora Caracci club has added

Please post your superb photo in the Admin. Choice Photos thread at Amazing Details.
9 months ago.
 John Cass
John Cass club
Beautiful image, nice light and colours, lovely PiP's ----> Have a nice weekend Janet.
9 months ago.
 Dean Morley (on and off)
Dean Morley (on and… club
All beautiful images, Janet, and I especially like the selection of gorgeous flowers. My favourite of all is your super shot with the feeding hummingbird. Have a lovely weekend. :-)
9 months ago.
╰☆☆June☆☆╮ club
Good work.
◦•●◉✿ Have a great weekend✿◉●•◦
9 months ago.
 Keith Burton
Keith Burton club
A perfect choice for your main image Janet..............it's absolutely stunning..!! I love all the images in the PiPs as well............it's just so difficult to describe how beautiful they all are!

The bee image is exquisite...........i love the detail and colours and the wonderful hazy bokeh. The echinacea image deserves a special mention........just your style and perfectly captured. I love the position of the in-focus flower, it's unusual but it works very well and also showcases the out-of-focus background very nicely.

A photographic tour-de-force..!!
9 months ago.
cammino club
What a brilliant colour! Beautiful series!
9 months ago.
 Boarischa Krautmo
Boarischa Krautmo club
bad news....
but a wonderful set of flowers.
9 months ago.
 Jenny McIntyre
Jenny McIntyre club
Oh these flowers are just exceptional, Janet. The main begonia is gorgeous and I'm sure John would have appreciated having a tribute to him, being put on this super flower. Such a stunning colour too. I love begonias, and they come in so many wonderful colours. The picture of the bee is super, and the other pictures are really wonderful. You do manage to capture their beauty so well.

As for the RV convention, it does sound and look like a lovely place to stroll around and inspect the different kinds of rig. Does this mean that you are both now going to be retired, if you sell your house and travel around in an RV? How exciting for you both. It does sound a fantastic life, will your animals travel with you too? What excitement for you to look forward to,
9 months ago.
RHH club
Where do I start? The begonias are wonderful and perfectly photographed with that great light. The banana leaves are stunning. The Hummingbird ... you know what I think of that! The bee, the water lilies, the Brown-eyed Susan .... I think, though, that I like the very last inset with those layers of color and the perfect dof the best, but only by the teeniest little bit.

We are back at our sons after three fabulous days in the Upper Peninsula. The weather was spectacular and we had not been up there for many years. Must go back, though. Perhaps on a trip to Michigan we can come by way of Canada and the Upper Peninsula. There's still a lot I want to see or see again there with just the two of us.

After staying at St. Ignace (near Mackinac Bridge) Tuesday we went on to Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks. Tahquamenon is even more wonderful than I remembered with this brown water, colored with tannins pouring over the falls. We visited both the lower and upper falls and even took a boat out to an island in the middle of the lower falls.

We didn't spend as much time as I would have wished at Pictured Rocks, but saw something of them as well as Munising Falls and then went on to Kitch-iti-kipi a huge spring near Manistique. I had never seen it before so we really enjoyed that. The autumn colors were also nearing their peak and we were able to see them again - nothing like it out west.

On the way home we did some wine tasting, stopped at a place that makes cider (hard) and sampled the wares at several breweries. West Michigan has a lot of vineyards and breweries and we always enjoy visiting in the fall. Got home about supper time and fell into bed exhausted but satisfied with all we had seen and done.

I was out for breakfast this morning with a friend and saw a horrific accident on the way and just down from our son's house. An SUV had run a stop sign and gone under the trailer of a semi. The whole top of the vehicle was gone and they had a body bag out on the road. Can't get it out of my mind and can't help thinking of whomever is left behind.

Also rescued a snapping turtle. We had taken my parents for a ride and were on our way back to son's place when we found the turtle crossing the road and not wanting it to get hit by a car stopped and got it off the road (also took a few photos). They are ugly creatures and a bit dangerous if they bite you.

I have nephews (twins) who go out to the lakes in the area and catch them by hand. They've been on TV and have a site on Facebook with videos and photos of their exploits: www.facebook.com/TurtleCammandos. They're just a little crazy, I think, but they love the outdoors and that covers a lot.

Looking at huge storms and a lot of snow moving across the midwest. We are hoping we do not have to go through all that on the way home - that it will all be over by the time we leave, but this is not a good time to be going through mountain passes and snow. Better leave it at that, too. All the best to you and Steve.
9 months ago.
Ecobird club
A perfectly beautiful series of images Janet, but my preference is for your main shot. Those begonias really seem to glow in the light and really do live up to their name. The PiPs are all excellent images in their own right and opening each in turn was a a real delight for me and the colours and detail are outstanding. Good luck with finding the perfect RV for you.
9 months ago.
 Ghislaine Girardot
Ghislaine Girardot
Magnifique !!
9 months ago.
Esther club
Each photo is wonderful. I am so impressed at your skill in taking such amazing photos.
9 months ago.
niraK68 club
So beautiful
8 months ago.
Thérèse club
C’est très joli en tous cas et j’admire tous ces caractères d’imprimerie
8 months ago.
 Anke Brehm
Anke Brehm club
Wie ein leichter Tanz.
8 months ago.
 Trudy Tuinstra
Trudy Tuinstra club
8 months ago.
Valfal club
Oh Janet, what a beautiful flower so well captured! What an exciting idea to travel full time in an RV! It sounds like Steve has done exhaustive homework to find the best vehicle. Good luck in your plans, my friend!
8 months ago.
photosofghosts club
A very intense point of colour, out of the dark.
All the best
8 months ago.
 Christel Ehretsmann
Christel Ehretsmann club
I love this use of depth of field
giving the background
all its decorative importance !
8 months ago.
ROL/Photo club
WAOUhhhh excellent and++++
ave a niceW/end
and thanks Janet for your visits and compliments
8 months ago.

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