VICTORIA -- Along the waterfront walkway between Victoria and Esquimalt, around the time blossoms began blooming, hearts started hanging.

“It’s really nice to encounter one or two of the hearts all of a sudden,” says a woman who regularly walks past them.

There are dozens of brightly coloured, crocheted hearts spread across the 2.5-kilometre trail.

“They definitely make me smile every time I see them,” says a woman walking her dog past a couple of hearts.

You can find them tied to branches and bushes. Sometimes, just one piece of yarn remains, suggesting the heart has been borrowed or befriended.

“It’s very nice that someone took the time to put them up there,” says a man walking with his family.

 But who — they all wonder — is producing this positivity?

“Its a mystery!” another man proclaims.

A mystery that stretched around the world as pictures of the hearts began to spread on social media from South Africa to Southern California and from the Philippines to Columbia.

It was a mystery, until now.

“Are those yours?” A woman walking along the path asks.

“Yes,” Andrea replies, reaching towards a branch.

“Oh my gosh!” The first woman proclaims, before saying how she’s been taking pictures of the hearts for weeks. “They’re beautiful.”

“Thank you,” Andrea replies, before tying a heart on the branch.

She says she’s hung more than 550 so far.

“I’m very precise,” she explains. “I’ll see a wild rose and I’ll hang a pink one, or maybe a violet one will go nicely with it.”

Perhaps the green ones bring bare branches to life, and yellow ones illuminate the shadows.

“I really like putting red ones on holly bushes,” Andrea adds. “Because there are no berries right now.”

Andrea says she began crocheting hearts as a way to connect with her parents during the pandemic.

“My mom is in lockdown. I’m going to send one to her,” Andrea recalls thinking. “My dad is in a different long-term facility for dementia. I’m going to mail one to him.”

Her parents were pleased. That prompted so many requests from other family and friends that Andrea wondered about sharing them around her neighbourhood.

Since then, she’s received thanks from frontline workers who frequent the walkway and requests for the heart pattern so others can crochet their neighbourhood.

“I just think of spreading love, one little heart at a time,” Andrea says. “And bringing joy to others’ lives.”

Then she shows me a picture of a hummingbird who chose to land on a branch holding one of her hearts.

It seems like Andrea is bringing joy to more than just peoples’ lives.