Hatley Park Castle was designed in 1907 by the well known architect Sam MacLure for James Dunsmuir, son of the famous coal baron of Vancouver Island, Robert Dunsmuir. The last Dunsmuir grandchild, Dola, lived there for many years. She died under rather sad circumstances in 1966.
I never tire of the place and it’s a perfect photographic subject. Bring a lunch but hang onto it tightly. Woodland spirits like racoons and those more ephemeral, are about. Sometimes you may catch glimpses of other worlds as you wander the many, meandering paths. You can take a nap in the little grove by the stream but you must wake up shortly before the sun goes down and when the light is folding like a shutter. If the season is right, carry a dandelion puff and look through that. Try not to sneeze. You don’t want to scare away the ghosts.
sleeping sun by Nightwish
“Be hole, be dust, be dream, be wind
Be night, be dark, be wish, be mind,
Now slip, now slide, now move unseen,
Above, beneath, betwixt, between.- Neil Gaimon
I do believe the lady in the garden is Dola Dunsmuir in happier times.
More Hatley Park:
Background music: Nightwish is a folk rock group from Finland. Many of their ballads have a dark or mythological theme.