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!

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 Strangler

28 May 2013     © smck

Scarred Tree Trunk

28 May 2013
This, the original photograph of a scarred tree trunk, I edited with Picasa in the posting Out of the Blue yesterday, 29 May '13

Out of the Blue

How the Ural mountains were created,eh?
Just messing around with Picasa

Scarlet Tanager ??

28 May 2013    

I am not certain but I believe these are snapshots of  a female Scarlet Tanager (Pir√°nga olivace√°).   I was some distance away when I took the photographs - and these scenes are computer croppings to enlarge the bird.  The size and coloration are very similar to the book description and the beak seems to be right for the Tanager.  Years ago when I first moved here there were Scarlet Tanagers (as well as Baltimore Orioles) every summer but for a long time now I have never seen either bird.  Hopefully it is the Tanager nesting nearby once again.  

Visitors This Week Ending 27 May 2013

Very welcome visitors this week include Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the U.S.

and today we have Japan
p.s. check out the translation button at the top of the left column

One Eye Open

April 2013
Some animals, like these two ducks, sleep with one eye open and functioning to detect possible danger.  While one-half their brain sleeps the other half processes incoming data.


24 May 2013

Green Leaves Blue Ball

24 May 2013
A little artifice goes a long way

Small Hawk That Hangs Around The Wood

20 May 2013

Reading Books

I was browsing my own blog and noticed that my listing of books that I have read is about a year or more out of date - I read voraciously, many 'light' novels, some supposedly more serious or thought provoking than others, and lots of non-fiction from history to the physical world and how we think about it with popular books on mathematics being my favorite 'real reading' relaxation.  So I might delete the present listing and start posting current reading with my review - or take - on same.  No doubt it will be as sporadic as my reviews of good Scotch whisky.  The Scotch review are slow to appear because I do not drink a lot, just the occasional finger or two, a few times a week.  While the book reviews will be slow because even though I read more books than I drink my occasional tot of the peaty malt I find it more time consuming to put 'pen to paper' on my feelings about the good read.  

Corporate Coelacanth

Corporate Coelacanth

Who works there?
- in boredom all enthralled
Ah! The Man With Electronic Hoe,
eats white bread, 
             watches plasma tv, 
                                 glides on petroleum wings,
but the stupor of the mind still imbues within.
For Serfs we were and Serfs we are 
 and Freeman seldom found.
                (Save off the coast of Africa where one – long thought extinct -
was hauled, screaming, up from the debts)

 © smck


17 May 2013

Visitors This past Week Through 22 May 2013

Welcome Brazil, Columbia, France, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Moldova, and Turkey - hope you become regulars - other regular visitors this week include Canada, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S.

and today we have Slovenia, Poland and Egypt
p.s. check out the translation button at the top of the left column

Wren In A Hemlock

18 May 2013         © smck

I had just returned from a walk through the wood with Elijah when I heard a half-familiar bird song quite loud in the over hanging Hemlock - I still am not sure if it was Mrs Jenny Wren or not as another small bird flew rapidly away as I crawled under the overhang.

Ephemeral Blue Heron

20 May 2013


20 May 2013

About a hundred yards (little less than 100 meters) from the geese on the river but up a small tidal side creek the mallard pair (well a male mallard and a possible hybrid) and several of the little ones gave me the wary eye as I snapped away

Goslings At The River

20 May 2013

Visitor Update - 22 May '13

Welcome Brazil, Columbia, France, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Moldova, and Turkey - hope you become regulars - other visitors this week include Canada, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S.

and today we have Slovenia
p.s. check out the translation button at the top of the left column

Great Blue Heron

20 May 2013

Mossy Roof

19 May 2013

19 May 2013

Our neighboring town across the river is pleasant and quiet and while my wife hosted a meeting of the book club I and my faithful Elijah went out for a drive there in the greyness of the wet day.  This well tended small house situated in front of one of the marinas gave me pause with it's covered roof.  I have seen it before and always admired the homey beauty of the moss.  This day I also noticed some small lifting of the shingles (on the left) and wondered if such a well tended little cottage would have to have the roof repaired.  I photographed it while I and the roof still carry on.

Welcome - New Visitors and Old

Welcome Columbia, Moldova, Israel and Malaysia - hope you become regulars - other visitors this week include Canada, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S.

p.s. check out the translation button at the top of the left column

White-tail Deer - Odocoileus virginianus

18 May 2013
Taking my trusty friend Elijah for a walk through the back wood I was looking, amazed, at the quick growth of the fern near the small wood rill when a doe leaped from her bed in the fern, leaped over the fallen tree and then turned and looked back at me, giving me enough time to snap a quick woodland photo.

Screech Owl

Photo and caption by Graham McGeorge
This photo appeared in National Geographic Travel 2013 photo contest - I think it is incredible!!!  For more information go to:


A Heronry of Ardea herodias

18 May 2013

The Great Blue Heron’s range is located throughout Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America, and many territories in North America. These include Alaska, British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They prefer to live near bodies of water, both fresh and salt varieties. This species is commonly found among marshes, mangrove swamps, flooded meadows, edges of lakes and shorelines. Nesting takes place in tress and bushes near these sources of water. Their diet consists of shellfish, insects, rodents, amphibians, reptiles and small birds. The current conservation status of the Great Blue Heron is Least Concern.

May Babies

17 May 2013

17 May 2013

Four on the Floor

May 2013
I never find a four leaf clover when trying to see them - it's always a corner-of-the-eye thing when I'm doing something else in the yard


@ 1961
We called our lovely daughter Zelda - not from Fitzgerald but as a contraction of Griselda which in turn was a shortened phrase of Griselda Grump which we called her when she got grumpy when we would not answer her endless questions - she talked in sentences at any early age and most of these were questions without end.  Like most people with a special family term or endearment , she, now grown, goes by a contraction of her given name.

I believe that this photo was taken when she was about two and a half years old.

Idus Martiae

La Morte di Cesare (1798) by Vincenzo Camuccini

The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:
  • Kalends (1st day of the month)
  • Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
  • Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)
The remaining, unnamed days of the month were identified by counting backwards from the Kalends, Nones, or the Ides. For example, March 3 would be V Nones—5 days before the Nones (the Roman method of counting days was inclusive; in other words, the Nones would be counted as one of the 5 days).

Days in March

    March 1: Kalends;
    March 2: VI Nones;
    March 3: V Nones;
    March 4: IV Nones;
    March 5: III Nones;
    March 6: Pridie Nones (Latin for "on the day before");
    March 7: Nones;
    March 15: Ides

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Wood On Wool


The Balvenie Port Wood 21 Year Old - II

13 May 2013     ©smck

13 May 2013     ©smck

13 May 2013     ©smck

Here are a few photos of The Balvenie miniatures in a package of three - 12, 15, and 21 year old - that I mentioned in my review of 06 May 2013 - front of package, back of package and the then the now empty 21 year old miniature. -

13 May 2013     ©smck

- and here the 21 year old miniature is juxtaposed next to a 750 ml bottle of the lovely CAOL ILA - which I hope to review in due course - to give some perspective as to their respective sizes

Please bear in mind that the miniatures are certainly an expensive way to buy good Scotch whisky but they do serve an admirable place in letting one try an  expensive Scotch without investing a large sum of money into the unknown.

For the review on The Balvenie, Port Wood 21 year old please see the 06 May 2013 posting.