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Edition #640  Friday, December 15, 2017

Butchart Gardens at Christmas

One of the most popular and perennial tourist attractions in Victoria (actually Brentwood Bay) is the world famous Butchart Gardens. Formerly the site of a quarry and cement plant, it is now an exquisitely maintained garden paradise.

The gardens, started over one hundred years ago by the Butchart family, have always been an important anchor in the local economy. Over the past century, thousands of Victoria residents including students have earned a decent wage while employed at the gardens, and millions of tourists from all corners of the globe have passed through their gates.

While the peak season for Butchart is unquestionably in summer, there are enough events and attractions during the winter to entice us to pay a cold weather visit. Here the house band plays brassy versions of well-known Christmas standards.

Glowing warmly against a dark stand of trees is the Rose Carousel and Annabelle's Cafe offering cappuccino and hot chocolate.

I don't know how new the carousel is at Butchart Garden but I had never seen it before.

I've always been a fan of the carousel ever since my first Dominion Day in Ocean Falls. I selected Rudolph with his nose so bright as my ride for the evening.

Mind you, these modern day carousels sure go a lot faster than the ones I remember.

Without question the multicolour highlight of Butchart Gardens at night is the Sunken Garden.

Here is a view of the same area from a slightly different angle as it appears in springtime. Note the two tall trees flanking the pathway.

This striking bronze dragon was a gift from The People's Republic of China in 2015.

This red tree reminds Andrew of one of the scenes from the movie Avatar.

Keeping in step with the Christmas season they have created their own interpretation of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Here's your partridge in a pear tree.

And your turtle doves.

The hens are unquestionably French.

I hope the calling birds have a good cell phone plan.

The five gold rings were certainly glowing.

Here's one of the six geese a laying.

The swans a swimming were quite a distance away.

All those maids for just one cow?

Nine ladies dancing were a lot easier to photograph than the lords a-leaping (in this case represented by ten frog silhouettes popping up randomly behind a distant wall).

The eleven pipers piping were a creepy group. The final twelve drummers drumming were perched on the arches over the exit road and impossible to photograph.

This light display reminds us 2017 was the 150th year of Canadian Confederation but we must remember the true story of Canada precedes Confederation by tens of thousands of years.

The well-known and well-loved bronze boar fountain figure is a copy of the Florentine masterpiece nicknamed Il Porcellino by the Baroque master Pietro Tacca. Copies of the original, such as this one, can be seen in dozens of countries.

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Answer to Last Week's Salvation Army Quiz

We received eight correct answers to our last stamp identification quiz. That means a $8.00 donation to Salvation Army.

Here's the portion of the stamp we asked you to identify

Here's the answer - Canada #1263, the 38c Air Training Plan issued in 1989.

The Salvation Army Quiz

We show you a minute portion of the design of a postage stamp. You have to determine which stamp it is. Send us an email with your answer.

We hold a contest almost every newsletter. For every correct answer we will donate $1.00 to our favourite charity, the Salvation Army. Click here to go to the The Salvation Army International Home Page to see what services they offer to communities around the world.

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Edition #646
Thursday, September 27, 2018

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Edition #640  Friday, December 15, 2017
Butchart Gardens at Christmas
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Edition #638  Friday, November 3, 2017
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