Words and photos by Rachel Rilkoff
The wild is on my doorstep in Victoria. In the spring, it’s trees bursting with blossoms, flowers poking from the dirt on every corner, neighbourhood deer nibbling at new growth. The wild is just down the street from my home too. It’s walking ten minutes, through fairy tale meadows of gnarled Garry oaks, and finding myself on a grassy hill surrounded by swaying pines, overlooking the ocean and mountains of the Olympic Peninsula, watching the intense colours of a winter sunset. In the summer, the wild is a short drive away, all glittering ocean and bright blue skies and endless pebble and sand beaches. I seek Victoria’s parks with viewpoints in the fall, the best places to perch with coffee and watch the autumn moon rise over the blazing colours of the leaves.
I never tire of finding the wild places around Victoria, reminding me I’m living on an island with nothing but the Pacific Ocean at its back. And as the seasons change, I’m struck anew with a deep love for this coastal city that balances urban life with wildness so well.
Dallas Road, Victoria BC
Trees in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park
Beach at Witty's Lagoon
Beacon Hill Park, Victoria BC
Magnolia tree in the Fairfield neighbourhood, Victoria BC