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.

COMMENTS are appreciated as feedback is the driving energy of blogging - And if you like this site please pass it along to a friend. Thanks!

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Male Mallard Near Twin Bridges

30 March 2013
Usually my photos never capture the feet of a swimming duck but today, where the North East River passes under what was called 'Twin Bridges' in my youth and emerges on the last stretch of tidal waters, even though the waters had a muddy tinge they were clear enough to see his webbed feet propelling and turning him in his maneuvers as he searched for food.  Still under the bridge Mrs (plain dull brown) Duck was persuing venues of her own and only showed herself when I had folded my camera away.

Two Male Hooded Mergansers - Laphódytes cucullátus

28 March 2013
When I first glimpsed these two swimming amidst some other ducks I could tell they were different but wasn't sure if they were Bufflehead or maybe even Wood Ducks.  But they are definitely a pair of male Hoodies.   A previous post of the Hooded Mergansers on 18 January 2013 showed all female - perhaps they don't form mated bonds as other ducks seem to do.

from wikipedia - "their preferred habitat for breeding is in swamps and wooded ponds of the northern half of the United States and southern Canada. They prefer to nest in tree cavities near water, but will use Wood Duck nesting boxes if available and unoccupied. They form pairs in early winter. The male leaves the female soon after she lays her eggs, leaving her responsible for all incubation. After hatching, chicks leave the nest with their mother within 24 hours; they are already able to dive and feed themselves, although they remain with their mother for another five weeks."


26 March 2013

Fair Dawn Over Black Hill

26 March 2013

Elijah - Morning Run

26 March 2013
Elijah quickly tires of my ambling around the yard and goes into his wolf-chase-mode charging at good speed around the yard, the house, the wood-rick for several minutes before charging me, going for my groin, or ankles and giving me shivers of what if he were to be serious - I'd be ripped asunder.  I believe that in this photo that he has three legs off the ground with his right rear leg firmly planted for the turn (you can see the paw just behind his upper left leg).

Blue Heron Snow - II

snow was general all over the county. It was falling on every part of the dark central river of the Chesapeake, on the forested hills, falling softly upon the Whittaker Barrens and, farther eastward softly falling into the dark mutinous Atlantic waves. It was falling, too, upon the Blue Heron, stoically standing their day on the waters 

[w/apologies to James Joyce where-ever he may be]

Blue Heron Snow

25 March 2013

Pixelation - It's Not New

24 March 2013

Portions of an ancient (about 5 A.D.) floor with the scene being composed of many small colored stone tiles.  These floors were originally in the homes of wealthy people in the middle east but both natural trauma and destroying wars demolished the buildings and eventually they were covered by centuries of deposition of earth.  In about 1932 The Baltimore Museum of Art gave assistance in the way of money and volunteers to help in the archeological digs to help expose the ancient ruins and these fabulous works of art.  In thanks for the help a number of sections of the flooring was given by the owning country to The Baltimore Museum of Art

Balzac - by Rodin

24 March 2013

I've Been Thinking A Lot Lately

24 March 2013

The Baltimore Museum of Art

24 March 2013
We drove to Baltimore today to wish our son a happy birthday and spent a couple of hours with he and Claire at The Baltimore Museum of Art.  The fierce Lion seemed to be snarling down at us as we rounded to the Visitors Entrance.

Planning Ahead!! ?

September 2008
Well they say that you get what you pay for - in this case I did it myself, and as I was shingling toward the old rusted chimney stack I was struck with the sudden thought -"I've got to take that stack out to do this job right".  And I did although I was worried about the just shingled portion below the stack.  I covered the shingles with a big old covering of some sort and then went up to the garage attic and heaved it completely out. It slid down and over the scaffolding without scuffing the shingles at all. 

Town of Rose Blanche, NFL

July 2012      © smck

21 March 1806 - Birth Date of Benito Juárez

Considered the "George Washington of Mexico", Benito Juárez was a Zapotec born in the mountains of Oaxaca.  His trials as "Father of his Country" were greater than those of his North American counterpart for he not only had to defeat an invading foreign army but also he had to contend with political rivals for most of his public life.  At 20 years of age he was elected to Mexico's congress under the dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and quickly became in opposition to Santa Anna.  Benito had to flee for his life to New Orleans.  When Santa Anna was overthrown Juárez returned to Mexico and declared himself president.  Refusing to pay foreign debts caused France to invade Mexico and have Austrian archduke Maximilian crowned Emperor.  Then the president of the U.S. complained to the French that their troops in Mexico violated the Monroe Doctrine.  Within a year or so the French tactfully withdrew their troops upon which Juárez and his supporters defeated Maximilian and his troops.  Juárez then returned to Mexico City and served as president for five years.

Wind Blown Whirly Bird

21 March 2013
Today the wind was gusting up the river and ruffling the Great Blue Heron's feathers as he took his fishing position on the pier.  What a stately bird.

Spring Equinox

Spring Equinox 2013
Even though the old temp is hovering in the 30s [that's a few degrees above zero for the rest of the world out there] today, the turtles trying to sun themselves in the overcast can't be all wrong - even if they are doing the reptile equivalent of shivering - for my daffodils are blooming strong and the grass is showing green. 

- and as a tid-bit of trivia, in days gone by the spring equinox was the beginning of the new year for most of the world