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!

Whose Woods Are These?

Sassafras Tree and Leaves

The Sassafras Tree is the only tree to have 3 to 4 different leaf shapes on the same tree.  Looking at this photo one can see quite distinctly the three-pronged leaf, the plain straight-forward leaf, and some in which there is a two-pronged leaf with one prong subordinate being either a right 'thumb' or a left 'thumb'

When North America was first being settled by Europeans - and for a few centuries - the root of this tree was used to make the first 'Root Beers'.  This is occasionally still done today for a cool refreshing drink with a great natural flavour by those in the know and willing to work a little extra for the taste. 
Very occasionally one can still find a small craft-style soft drink company that will make and distribute 'Sarsaparilla'  

I was checking out my Sarsaparilla comment after I posted this - basically I am correct but for a full description of Sarsaparilla go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarsaparilla_%28soft_drink%29

Falling Pine II

06 June 2013

A storm came in with thunder, lightning, rain and wind a few days later and this old guy finished his journey.  When thinking about forest growth from quick growing soft wood deciduous and conifer trees to so-called climax forests of mainly hard-wood deciduous trees, the demise of this pine is just part of the larger life of the forest in general.     Ce est la vie


NASA Photo

Falling Pine

 On about the fourth of June I noticed that an old dead pine had lost the battle with gravity, broken at the base, falling into the arms of supporting trees.  My chain saw was not running well and more meaningfully my growing number of years was sending me a message that perhaps I should hold off on attempting to complete the felling and clearing of this old tree in case I had to do a sudden reflexive jump for safety when it was severed - so I let it stand for nature to take its course.

Shadow Play With Sun

Green Holly Berries

June 2013

Passion Plant - Flower

22 June 2013

Posting Slowdown

Been having a few glitches transferring photos from old computer to new one - so have been doing many more photographs locally rather than from Cape Breton (or Newfoundland and Ireland).  And have also found that what seemed like a large photo collection is not so large when they are posted daily for a year and a quarter.  But Hey! it's free and sometimes even interesting - so keep browsing and even occasionally give me a feedback, 

                                                                            Thanks for stopping by, Himself!!

Cardinal Babies Growing Fast

24 June 2013
The only hint of a Cardinal is the beak - these guys are filling the nest now - not long after this photo (the following day) they were gone - no sign of a disturbance, just gone - hope they just flew away like young birds do

Northern cardinals breed between March and September. They usually raise two broods a year, one beginning around March and the second in late May to July. The second nest is often parasitized by brown-headed cowbirds. Nests are built by the female in dense tangles of vines or twigs in shrubs and small trees. The female lays 1 to 5 (usually 3) white to greenish eggs that average about one inch in length and one-half inch in diameter. Incubation begins when the last egg is laid, and is performed solely by the female. The male brings food to the incubating female. The eggs hatch after 11 to 13 days of incubation. The female broods the chicks for the first 2 days. Both parents feed the chicks a diet of insects. Both parents also remove fecal sacs from the nest. The chicks begin leaving the nest 7 to 13 (usually 9 to 10) days after hatching. The parents continue to feed the chicks for 25 to 56 days after they fledge from the nest. After leaving or being driven out of their parents' territory, young birds often join flocks of other juveniles. They may begin breeding the next spring.  re/ Halkin and Linville, 1999

Glass Technically Is A Liquid

22 June 2013     ©smck
22 June 2013     ©smck

If these two photos appeal to you at all try setting the bottom one as your desktop background - it is more commanding than the first photo by far

Old Flasks I've Dug Up

22 June 2013

Baby Cardinals

21 June 2013
Not wishing to disturb the mother with her chicks I took two hurried shots of the babies while she was away looking for food for them - and inadvertently used the wrong setting.  I will probably replace these two photos with others another day.  This is the same 'nest of eggs' I posted on 09 June as "Cardinal Nest With Eggs.

Lovely Cape Breton Island

Pollettt's Cove

photo by Chris Surette



I was just checking in to my blog and noticed that there is a visitor from India.  Welcome to my low-key bit of output - I truly hope you find it of interest and that you return again - thanks for browsing,  signed 'Himself!'



Vintage Mugs - Made in England

18 June 2013    © smck

A Few Nibbles

17 June 2013  -     © smck
 - although I did not witness the small nibbles from this mushroom, the shape and size of the bites suggest that maybe the Box Turtle got a small breakfast this morning

Sweetbay Magnolia - Magnolia virginiana

It was raining steadily when this photo was taken

these two single flower photos were taken on a clear day - the blossoms have an incredible fragrance

Eastern Box Turtle - Terrapene carolina

14 June 2013    ©smck
"Box turtles are usually seen early in the day or after rain (it was in fact raining when this photograph was taken); they often retire to swampy areas during the hot summer months. They are fond of slugs, earthworms, wild strawberries, and mushrooms poisonous to man - which has killed many a human who has eaten their flesh.  New York Indians are responsible for eliminating this turtle from much of the area between Ohio and New England; they ate Box Turtle meat, used the shells for ceremonial rattles and buried turtles with the dead.  A few specimens are known to have lived for more than 100 years, having served as 'living records,' - with fathers then sons carving their names or other family records on their shells.  If habitat conditions remain constant, a Box Turtle may spend its life in an area scarcely larger than a football field."  -   from The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians


I’ve always been an absent minded kind of a guy but as I age it seems as if my memory might be really not working well – so on a whim I decided to memorize the decimal values of Pi (p) out to 100 decimal places to check out the old grey matter.  When I completed that task I couldn’t seem to stop wanting to ‘just do another 50’.  Well I pretty well have that damn transcendental (non-repeating never ending decimal string) out to 300 places now AND I AM NOT GOING TO GO ANY FARTHER!!

pi = 3. 14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510





         . . . .  and so on forever

The dark print numerals after the decimal place above are the first 300 decimal places, now etched in some manner into my brain – but I keep thinking that maybe another 100 or so might be OK – say 500 places – a nice round number, eh?

[examining this post this morning and saw that I had inadvertently posted without tidying up - so is it my memory or just a normal mistake, eh?]