What's It All About, eh?

Cape Breton evokes deep memories and strong emotions for me as well as a deep appreciation for the beauty of my adopted island. My hopes are that you too might find the photos evocative - maybe a view you've not enjoyed before, or an 'Oh I've been there', or if from away that you may be encouraged to visit this fair isle so that you might come to love and breathe Cape Breton as I do. One word about place names that I use - some are completely local usage while others are from maps of Cape Breton that I've purchased over the years. I frequently post travel and other photos that are of interest to me - and hopefully you.

On the right hand side bar find my take on Single Malt whiskey - from how to best enjoy this noble drink to reviews (in a most non-professional manner) of ones that I have tried and liked - or not. Also musings, mine and others, on life in general.

Photographs are roughly 98%+ my own and copy-righted. For the occasional photo that is borrowed, credit is given where possible - recently I have started posting unusual net photographs that seem unique. Feel free to borrow any of my photos for non-commercial use, otherwise contact me. Starting late in 2013 I have tried to be consistent in identifying my photographs using ©smck on all out of camera photos I personally captured - (I often do minor computer changes such as 'crop' or 'shadow' etc but usually nothing major), and using
©norvellhimself on all photos that I have played around with in case it might not be obvious. Lately I have dropped the ©smck and have watermarked them with the blog name.

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NOTE: TO ENLARGE PHOTO, CLICK ON SAME - If using Firefox also click f11 - photos will fill the screen ...... ----------------------------------- ......TRANSLATION BUTTON AT TOP OF LEFT COLUMN!

The One That Didn't Get Away (update)

About 1975
My father-in-law, ' Dick' Bullock, in charge of food services for Air Canada flights out of London, had flown in from Heathrow in London to visit with us in Cape Breton for a week or so. On his last day with us he was able to buy a so-called sea salmon that had been caught off shore in the Atlantic by fishing boats making hauls for other fish. I talked him in to going up to the large pond behind the house and posing with fishing equipment as if he had caught this lovely fish there. When he flew back, on Air Canada, he had the food crew put his fish on ice for the trip home to England. The crew all knew him well and he made a production of showing them these photos of how he had caught the salmon in the wild. It went over well and he kept up the charade until he also showed the London terminal crew the photos. I think he had to buy them all a round after he broke the joke to them.

The young boy in the bottom scene is my older son Shawn


25 February 2013
 I carved this angel from a a piece of white pine a few years ago and had planned on making more for a small income around Christmas time - but a torn rotator-cuff curtailed that activity and I have never tried another one since.  Maybe blogging this will push my starter button once more.

The Old Barn - On A Warmer Day

The bottom photo shows my great friend George MacKay standing on the scaffolding he had put up quickly (in about the amount of time that I would have been thinking what to do) on this fine day.  He cut the uprights (spruce) from a stand across the road from his home,  freighted them down around the two bridges and up my lane and then working steadily without wasted motion had her up in an hour or so.  "That will get you started", he said.  And it did.
The top photo is me starting to work my way up with the roofing deck -  a day or so later, in the middle scene, I'm almost to the top  

The Old Barn In The Winter Storm

About 1975 on Frank McDonald Road

Stages of Reroofing Garage

Getting the staging steady enough for my untutored carpentry nerve.     

Close up of the triangular bracing nailed to the side wall along with the bracing.
September 2008


Welcome Nigeria - and please return another day.

View From The Garage Roof

September 2008
 When you work on a summer place time becomes difficult to measure.  While perusing my album of photos and seeing this view from the garage roof that I was re-shingling I thought perhaps it was taken 2011 or 2010.  But the picture properties do not lie - it was as noted above.  Five year ago this summer, wow! 

As always it was the sunset that mused my eye - and now as I am typing and looking at the photo I can again hear the silence, feel the cooling of the coming evening's breeze, re-breathe the air, and evoke that strange hollow feeling of life fulfilling me and eluding me simultaneously as I lifted my eyes unto the hills.     

Not A Shore Bird

Spring 2009

A few years ago I spotted this Emu in our woods and luckily had time to get my camera and snap away.  The first shot was from a fair distance as I had no idea if an Emu was hazardous or not.  However he seemed basically uninterested in me as I gradually came closer getting some nice close-up photos.  Amazingly this bird is almost invisible in the woodland background - just like a deer - until the eye suddenly spots him.  Considering that his native habitat is not of North America temperature woodlands it is impressive how he blends into the background.   This Emu, escaped from a captive farming venture just a mile or so away along with others, most of whom were recaptured, somehow eluded the owner for about three years at the time the photos were taken.   His movements up and down our wooded peninsula were spotted from time to time and would make minor local news in the county paper.  Unhappy to say, I have never seen or heard of him being seen since.  Quite likely some hunter took him down in a sporting shot, ending his existence of living peacefully and occasionally bringing joy to people like myself.  

Getting A Bit of Wood In Before The Rain

18 February 2013
Physical therapy on my neck is really working well - still not 100%, but it's much more like fun again.

A While Back When I Was Running

My brother snapped this Polaroid shot some years ago when I was planning on applying to Saucony, I believe it was,  for their senior (as in over 50) writer's position in a running magazine.  Shortly thereafter I bummed up my right leg and had to quit running distance.  I still have dreams about running hill and dale and loving it.  The greatest compliment I ever received was someone telling me that I was the only smiling runner they had ever seen.  I miss running miles through the woods to this day.

Ever Different Sunset Skies

18 February 2013

Flowers, NFL - view toward Labrador

July 2012
I blogged a slightly different version of this on 12 Dec '12, but cannot help putting this view up again as it is one of my favorite scenes of all times.

Late Afternoon Overlooking Quirpon Island, NFL

July 2012
The day we visited L'Anse Aux Meadows we stayed the night near-by in Hay Cove at the Viking's Nest. (A fantastic supper that evening, maybe the best of the trip).  We took a hike from the harbour out onto a gorgeous headland where I snapped a few photos - which at the time seemed like a lot but in retrospect was way too few.  I am not positively certain but I believe we are seeing the bright sunlight of late day over Quirpon Island.

Through The Looking Glass

November 2010

Can't Wait Till Summer


Good Morning Singapore  - (do I know you?).

and Germany - and Russia 

Western Penninsula, NFL

July 2012

Rathad Chaluim

I do not know who took this photo but I love it as my younger son is called Calum.  Somewhere in Ireland I presume - and if the original photographer sees this I hope you contact me so that I can give you credit (or remove as a posting if you wish).  Himself!

An anonymous comment set the record straight about the location of Rathad Chalum - it is in Scotland as verified in his comment by the link 
http://web.undiscoveredscotland.com/raasay/calumsroad/ which is well worth perusing.

The Great Bird of River Bourgeois

August 2012
This was a lucky August day for me for getting successive photos of this wary bird.  I had driven my summer scenic tour thru the River Bourgeois area and as I headed back up onto the old route 4 (I think I have that right) I passed this small cul-de-sac  of water off River Bourgeois where Mr. Blue was wading

Friend's Sailboat - North East River

June 2012 Permalink
First time since I was about five years old that I have been on a keeled Sailboat.  We spent an enjoyable couple hours with Kevin sailing and me just joyed to be along for the ride.  I wish that I had somehow years earlier in life taken up this sport and had a similar boat of my own today.  Thanks Kevin.

just happened to remember that my daughter invited me along on a much larger sailboat some years ago that she and her husband had owned about five miles toward the far end of the shoreline at the top of the photo.