Tag Archives: sharing community

Street Library Parade

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Street Libraries have been in the news for a few years now. I’ve shown a few that I’ve run across (see the end of this article for a list of past posts). They’re so sweet, I’ll often stop to photograph them when I spot ’em. After my last article, I’d planned to write a couple more as I’d run across 2 new little libraries in our ‘hood. But then I kept finding more… and more. So I reckon it’s just time for a post of all the other little libraries I know of (& add to it as I find more.)

There are several Little Free Libraries on the southern slopes of Mt. Tolmie.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I reckon the folks who protect this door-less library are pretty kind to put the books into plastic boxes during the rainy season.

I quite liked how our neighbours created a library that matched the colours of their house. A year or two later, the house was sold & demolished. The little library disappeared shortly after. Maybe the new home that is built here will get a mini-me little library, too?

There’s one at Doncaster Elementary.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Another on the way to my dentist on Finlayson.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There’s even one at the Church where my garden club meets.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Fernwood is on my cycling route to get downtown. It’s a friendly community with several Free Little Libraries.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by svseekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSEekins
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I especially like the one just north of the Belfry Theatre.

The folks on Ten Mile Point even supplied fresh water for the dog bowl. ūüôā

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Cycling along the Lochside Trail through the Blenkinsop Valley, I found this Little Free Library. It’s especially nice of these folks to supply a path over the ditch & seats to rest on.

SP showed me this one in Vic West.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

This one is near Bow Park. I wonder if the construction crew built the Little Library at the same time as the house so they could match materials?.

These are from Oak Bay.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Others are even more colourful.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
Photo by L.Hume

Even a restaurant at Fort & Foul Bay Rd has a library

This one is from Langford.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by L. Hume

Another friend took these when she decided to donate her spare books to Little Free Libraries instead of selling them to the 2nd hand bookstore. I think she searched them out via a local map of Little Libraries.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.Mcmillan
street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by S.McMillan

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest

I’m pretty sure she’s dropped some books at this library, too. It’s in her neighbourhood & she’s the one who first showed it to me.

It seems we come across new little libraries every couple of weeks. Someone has even thought to put in a Little Food Pantry.

What will be available to exchange on our next walk?

3-31-2021

My sister found this street library in Rio Terrace, Edmonton, Alberta.

street library, book sharing, book exchange, public art, free little library, take a book, public art, Edmonton, Alberta
photo by P L Dipanfilo

Why did the creators choose to make a van? Are they old hippies? Or do they have fond memories of reading books while on vacation in a groovy van? Check out the license plate. ūüôā

6-30-2021

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P.S.  Here are some of the street libraries I’d already found:

Prince’s Pine

Typically I curse steep switchbacks. They are exhausting!

blooming evergreen prince's pine, sub-shrub, Chimaphila umbellata, occidentalis , pipsissewa, umbellate wintergreen,, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Now, I have reason to appreciate them.¬† One trail in Strathcona Park is so steep that the inside slope is only an arm’s reach away.¬† I have close-up views of the tiny plants that don’t usually catch my attention.¬† ¬†I stop, puffing for a few moments, taking in the forest’s carpet of mysteries.

blooming evergreen prince's pine, sub-shrub, Chimaphila umbellata, occidentalis , pipsissewa, umbellate wintergreen,, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

At first, the evergreen plant, Prince’s pine, escapes my notice.

But then, my eyes spy the wildflower buds – such a delicate pink!

Further along the path, I find specimens in full bloom.¬† And some already setting seed — in early June.¬† ¬†ūüôā

blooming evergreen prince's pine, sub-shrub, Chimaphila umbellata, occidentalis , pipsissewa, umbellate wintergreen,, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The tiny, waxy-looking blossoms are such a contrast to the deep woodland duff of the understory.   Enchanting.  (There must be faeries nearby.)

I delight in the flowers while mourning that Chimaphila umbellata is probably not suited to our own garden.¬† (Yes, our garden is well-drained, but it’s shaded by Garry oak– not conifers.)

Back at the campsite, the mini-shrub is confirmed by Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (my wild plant Bible).¬† ¬†Woo Hoo — one more native plant in my repertoire.

blooming evergreen prince's pine, sub-shrub, Chimaphila umbellata, occidentalis , pipsissewa, umbellate wintergreen,, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

It’s not until a wintery February morning, while attending Seedy Saturday that I meet Andy McKinnon, co-author of my treasured plant ID book.¬† ¬†He teaches me this science word for today.

Mixotrophic.

Prince’s pine is mixotrophic.¬† It has a friendly relationship with the fungus in the ground.

blooming evergreen prince's pine, sub-shrub, Chimaphila umbellata, occidentalis , pipsissewa, umbellate wintergreen,, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Like many plants, through photosynthesis, Prince’s pine produces sugars (its food).¬† It shares those sugars with fungi.¬† The fungi, in return, offer up access to nutrients from the soil.
Friendly, eh?
But wait – there’s more…

Prince’s pine & this fungi take their relationship a step further.

blooming evergreen prince's pine, sub-shrub, Chimaphila umbellata, occidentalis , pipsissewa, umbellate wintergreen,, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The fungi in the soil also connect to another plant (other than the Prince’s pine).¬† Through this threesome, the Prince’s pine can get sugars from this other plant.¬† ¬†Neighbours helping neighbours in times of need…. all through a fungi trade route.
(That’s Mixotrophic)

Isn’t Nature amazing?

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Playfair’s Camas In Bloom

Playfair Park Camas meadow, great camas, Camassia leichtlinii garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

There seems to be a buzz about Playfair Park this spring – and it’s not just the pollinators.¬† Several people have told me about how spectacular its Camas meadow is.¬† Of course,¬†I had to check it out.

Playfair Park Camas meadow garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I used to think that Camas meadows¬†were beautiful gifts from Mother Nature, but it turns out she’s had a helping hand.¬† First Peoples farmed Camas for its food value.¬† Their work created more intense swaths of blue each spring.¬† Left untended these fruitful fields decline & are overtaken by more dominant species.

Playfair Park Camas meadow not restored garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The Camas fields that are now Playfair Park succumbed to invasive grasses and introduced species.¬† Fortunately, volunteer Colleen OBrien came on the scene around 2010 with grand ideas, determination and stamina.¬† Over many years she’s gained the respect & cooperation of Saanich Parks, and their Pulling Together Program.

Great Camas, Camassia leichtlinii garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

The Common Camas bloom (Camas quamash) was pretty much over when I arrived, but the Great Camas (Camassia leichtlinii) was in full glory. I stopped in my tracks, slack-jawed.¬† It was so much more intense than I’d expected.

Seablush, shortspur, rosy plectritis, Plectritis congesta garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

What a joy to wander the paths of this paradise.  The over-the-top spectacle of the Camas is complemented by a striking variety of native companion plants:

  • Seablush, shortspur, rosy plectritis, Plectritis congesta garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Seablush (Plectritis congesta) on rocky outcrops will grow happily at only ankle height. In a deep soil meadow, it reaches my knees in little explosions of pink joy.

  • Spring Gold, Lomatium utriculatum¬†, common lomatium; fine-leaved lomatium garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Spring Gold (Lomatium utriculatum) is the most recognized punch of color contrasting the Camas.  Even its ferny foliage contrasts the long straps of the Camas leaves.  The flat tops are great landing pads for pollinators to gather their wits until they decide where in this smorgasbord to head next.

  • Western Buttercup, Ranunculus occidentalis¬† garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Western Buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis) is the royal relative of the common creeping weed that is the bain of Seekers-Of-The-Perfect-Lawn.  This tall cousin also has a long bloom, but is welcome in my garden anytime.

  • Pacific Sanicle , Gamble weed, Pacific blacksnakeroot,¬† Sanicula crassicaulis, bloom, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Pacific Sanicle (Sanicula crassicaulis) is a sturdy plant with palm-shaped leaves at its base & small pom-pom flowers on tall stems.   Its deep tap-root reaches moisture even when the summer drought kills off other plants.

  • Erythronium oregonum, white fawn lily, easter lily, Oregon Lily garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum) blooms early, often with the first of the common Camas.¬† The white of the lily is a dramatic pop of contrast against the blue of the Camas.¬† By the time the taller Great Camas blooms, the fawn lily bloom is completed and it’s setting seed.

  • broad-leaved shooting star, Henderson's shooting star, mosquito bills, sailor caps bloom, Dodecatheon hendersonii, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon hendersonii)¬†are spectacular on their own with their delicate, cyclamen-like blooms.¬† They’re early bursts of color in rocky outcrops and path edges.¬† Once the taller Great Camas starts to bloom the Shooting Stars are easily¬†overlooked.

  • Chocolate Lily,¬†Chocolate Lily,¬†checker lily, Fritillaria affinis¬† garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Chocolate Lily¬† (Fritillaria affinis) is much larger in stature (knee-high) but its color is so muted that it’s also easily overlooked among the blooming Camas.¬† Sightings are few & far between.¬† SM spotted a patch of them beneath a tree & pointed them out, otherwise I’d have walked past unknowing.¬† Perhaps there are more around than I realized… perhaps not.

  • Yellow Montane Violet ,¬†Viola praemorsa garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
    photo by SVSeekins

    Yellow Montane Violet (Viola praemorsa)¬† is the darling of the meadow.¬† When Colleen first started the restoration, she was over the moon to find this endangered plant surviving.¬† It’s red-listed in BC. Now, because of her attention, others have taken up the cause & also work at restoring populations.

Yellow Montane Violet , Viola praemorsa garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

This piece of land has gone through many changes since colonization.¬† I’m glad that it was protected from more intense development.¬† In the 50’s the park was ear-marked for an arboretum, but that didn’t go beyond the incredible planting of rhododendron that’ve made the park famous for decades.

Great Camas, Camassia leichtlinii garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC, Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I don’t think anyone really expected that those spring-blooming Rhododendrons would ever play second fiddle to this renewed native landscape.¬† Colonization meets nature in this lovely garden.

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Other places to see Camas Meadows: