Victoria, British Columbia

Oct 01, 2017 - National Geographic Quest


Evidence is building daily and with continuing exploration we find it harder and harder to deny that diversity is the key to success. As we sailed the Salish Sea and ventured briefly into the temperate rainforest, Class Aves, better known as the bird world, demonstrated the advantages of wide differences in body morphology. Today, Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, provided further evidence.

Didn’t someone once say variety is the spice of life? Here in Canada’s garden city we certainly took that advice to heart as we partook in a wide range of activities. Walking tours, cycle rides, visits to secret gardens, museum examinations—we had choices galore. But no matter the means of investigation our discoveries followed a similar theme. An amazing assortment of floral structures and methods of pleasurably presenting them were found up and down the streets in carefully thought out plantings. The shapes, colours, and forms certainly were proof that the plant world succeeds through diversity: attracting not just our attention but that of different pollinators. 

Digging into the human history of the island as well stimulated our desire to experience more. We learned of the layers of history from the time of First Nation modifications of the land to the arrival of the Hudson Bay Company and the wild years of the gold rush days. The early colonial settlements might have seemed much more sedate on the surface if one could ignore the tales of intrigue and murders and more. Now in modern times the city continues to diversify its economy—a recipe for success.

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About the Author

Karen Copeland

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Born and raised in Canada, Karen received her B.Sc. in biology from the University of Waterloo, her M.D. from the University of Western Ontario and interned at McMaster University in Hamilton. Detouring from hospital hallways, Karen soon became a whitewater guide and published photographer, fulfilling a passion for knowledge that began with botany and led to geology and ornithology.

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