A New Era

Posted: 21st December 2012 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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I awoke this morning to no fire, no brimstone, no asteroid hurtling it’s way toward earth at breakneck speed…  really, it was a little underwhelming after all the hype surrounding the end of the world.  With the realization that our imminent demise was not forthcoming, nor did it even appear that I had even caught a bit of a cold overnight allowing me to take a sick day, I was faced with the stark realization I’d better plan for the rest of my life.

Ross Bay Cemetery - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Cemetery – Victoria, BC, Canada

As the holiday season approaches I always seem to take on a retrospective look at things that have happened over the last year and try to see what can be learned and what can be celebrated from another year of life experience.  This year takes on an extra dimension of interest with the Mayan Calendar date of December 21, 2012, and all the expectations that came with it.  You’re reading this now, so obviously the world is still spinning and we’re all still here.

So, why are we featuring images of a cemetery today, you may ask?  This is a good question, and if you bear with me, there’s a reason.

In today’s post we’re featuring several shots that Mrs. Toad and I captured one day in the late summer as we were exploring one of Victoria, BC’s iconic spots.  The Ross Bay Cemetery is one of the first established in the area, and hosts many of the cities most prominent members and founders.  These folks were responsible for colonizing and settling this new land, and eventually played a role in what has eventually become Victoria as we know it now.

Ross Bay Cemetery - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Cemetery – Victoria, BC, Canada

Death is part of life.  No way around that, I am afraid.  But it’s also much more than just that.  It’s part of the big cycle and in some ways you can also look at it as a part of renewal as older generations make way for new ones.  It’s no coincidence that many of our cemeteries take on a park-like setting over time as new life springs forth.  This all forms part of the bigger metaphor for life.

Ross Bay Cemetery - Victoria, BC, Canada

Ross Bay Cemetery – Victoria, BC, Canada

So, as the holiday season is once more upon us and we reflect back upon the last year and all the joys, treasures and accomplishments that have transpired, it’s time to think ahead to a new year full of hope and to appreciate all the sacrifices that have been made by one and many to make this years dreams come true for us all.  Beauty and magic are all around us, embodied in this wondrous place we all call home.  Through the appreciation of what was required to get here and an optimistic outlook for the future we find that not only did the world not come to a crashing end on this day, but in reality a new era of hope was born.  One that allows and encourages us to put our best foot forward in life and do the very best we can for our family, our friends and the society we find ourselves living within.

Today I am thankful.  I am thankful for all who came before us and the legacies they have left behind.  I am thankful for my wonderful family, a constant source of joy and love in my short life.  I am thankful for the opportunities in front of me, to grow as a person, as an artist and as a community member.  And finally, I am thankful to be here with you all, enjoying this ride we all call life.

This is likely our last post before Christmas and we’d like to take this chance to thank each and every one of you for all your friendship, support and encouragement.  We wish everyone the best of the holiday season and hope that you find yourself surrounded by family, friends and love as we all usher in a new era.  Please don’t hesitate to leave us any comments or thoughts you may have as we really love to hear from all our visitors!




  1. Great post Toad, I too have been in a reflective mood of late and have been thinking along these lines for my last blog of the year.
    I really hope you, Mrs Toad and the Tadploes have a great Christmas

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very kindly, my good friend. Your thoughts really mean an awful lot to us here, we sure do appreciate them! We really wish you and your family the best of the holiday season, too, best wishes from us to you!!

  2. As I visit a few cemeteries semi regularly, this one certainly is on that list to (the number of about 3 or 4 x a year). The names and stories here enhance our knowledge of the local history. Also, for a guy with camera there is a lot of detail to get into. The beautiful photographs above show both detail and size and the text sets one to thinking about these matters, and thinking about all of this I wish you, Mr Toad and the beautiful Mrs Toad, the happiest of Christmases and a 2013 that brings you both success and happiness.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Joseph! Having a chance to have met you this year is a definite highlight for us and we hope to see you again in 2013! Best wishes to you and your family for the best Christmas ever, Joseph! You’re in our thoughts this week and we’re sending you our very best wishes!!

  3. Another reflective and grateful post, Mr. Toad. I too appreciate everything in my life at this time of year and 2012 has been a super one for me. I especially want to thank YOU for your tremendous support and encouragement. You are such a gift to photography enthusiasts like myself. Wishing you and Mrs. Toad and all your loved ones a magical Christmas and New Year filled with amazing photo opportunities.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      You are so very kind, Sherry, thank you so much! Both Mrs. Toad and I are sending you and your family the very best holiday wishes we can! Thanks for all your support and encouragement this year, it’s really meant an awful lot to us!

  4. avatar dragonflydreams88 says:

    . . . one of my favorite “haunts” . . . captured beautifully!! . . . love your thoughtful reflections, but no surprise there (you do have a way with words) . . . thanking you and wishing you & your all the best for the Holiday Season and 2013!!! . . . Cheers!!!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We cannot tell you how much your kind words mean to us, my dear friend, thank you! Best wishes to you and your entire family for the holiday season and the coming new year! We’re both looking forward to spending more time with you this coming year and hope the very best for you and your family!

  5. I’m of two minds about the world not ending, on one hand I’m happy to still be alive and have my family by my side, on the other hand I’m tired and could use the rest… A great set Toad, as you know I’m a fan of old cemeteries and their amazing collection of history and personality framed by beautiful landscaping. I feel good knowing that when I die I’ll finally have a nice lawn! A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and the Missus!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so, so much Howard, that is so awfully kind of you my good friend! We send our very best wishes to you and your family as well for a Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m totally with you, Howard, a rest sounds good, but at the moment we’ve got lots of work left to do so that’ll just have to wait for another… 50 years or so! 🙂

  6. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Personally I’m glad the Mayans were wrong…there’s still so much I want to do 🙂 You’ve captured these images so beautifully Toad. As you know its been a pleasure following these last couple of years. I’m proud to be able to call you “friend.” I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Toad’s posts this year and look forward to more from you and the Mrs in 2013. Merry Christmas to both you and Mrs. Toad and your family. Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      We just can’t tell you how much this means to us, Edith! Your friendship and support has been such a highlight for us this year, we feel the exact same way about you!!! 🙂 Indeed, it seems we both have so much work left undone, I am sure glad those Mayans were wrong! Both Mrs. Toad and I are very much looking forward to sharing more stories, pictures and adventures with you next year! We’re sending you our best wishes and hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

  7. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Such a lovely post and images Toad! A wonderful nostalgic feeling!! I wish the very best for you and your family, now and always my dear friend!
    Thank you so very much for all of the support you’ve given me through my journey! 🙂

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      It’s us who’ve received the gift of your friendship Rachel, thank you for all you’ve done for us this year! Both Mrs. Toad and I hope that you and your family have the very best Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and we’re really looking forward to sharing more adventures together in 2013!

  8. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Very nice sentiments Toad. There is a lot to be thankful for especially now that we have found out that the Mayans were wrong. Thank you for being so supportive of my photography this past year. I hope that you and Mrs Toad have a wonderful holiday season.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, Len, that really means an awful lot to us! It’s been all my pleasure, please rest assured. Your ongoing friendship and support here have meant so much to us, I can’t properly express my gratitude! We hope that you and your family have the best holiday season ever, my friend, and we’re very much looking forward to 2013 and all the wonders that it will bring!

  9. Hey dude,
    Cool photos 🙂
    And a huge Merry Christmas and thank you for the support you’ve shown HDR One recently by sharing our articles.

    Have a fantastic day!

    Jimmy McIntyre

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so much, Jimmy, we really appreciate your taking the time to visit and leave us your wonderful comments here! We really do hope that you had a wonderful holiday, we sure did! Best wishes, and we really hope to see you around these parts again!

  10. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Wonderful post, my friend. A very nice read which causes us all to pause and reflect for a moment. I always look back over the year to understand and appreciate what has transpired as I plan for the next year ahead..

    We have so much to be thankful for.

    Happy Holidays to you and the entire Toad Family!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so much, Jimi. It’s been a wonderful year here and one of our highlights is the strong friendships we’ve fostered, like the one we have with you. Best wishes for the season and the upcoming new year my friend, thanks for everything you’ve done for us in 2012.

  11. avatar Jim Nix says:

    nicely done, Toad!