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!

Back In Stile - a comment

this blog is powered by blogger.com which can be a P.I.T.A. (my own personal acronym that avoids scatological words) at times - as in the below post of the same name which I am unable to comment on after I uploaded the photo.  And as you can tell from other posts I have often commented on same without to much difficulty - but to comment now in this second blog, to wit:

This stile was the first that I have seen in the U.S. (which doesn't mean there are none - but I'm an old dude and this is a first for me).  After I photographed the Holstein cows with their new-born calves I drove about an 1/8th mile and there it was giving access to the field over the electric fence.  Always before it was to me some bit of out-moded ancient farm utensil and now here it is still in use.

Back In Stile

©smck       27 September 2013

Chants and Cantor

At a lonely monastery on a small off-shore island of Australia the monks honored the breaking day every morning by gathering in the great hall where the head monk would stand before them and chant
Good mo-or-ning
and the monks would in turn chant
Good mo-or-ning
Then in the dusk of the evening they would again gather and the head monk would chant
Good ev-en-ing
and so too the monks in turn would chant
Good ev-en-ing
On one morning when a newly arrived monk from around the world arrived and joined in the morning chant,  evidently jet-lag affected him for he inadvertently chanted “Good ev-en-ing” in return.   The head monk without pause cantorially chanted
Some one chant-ed ev-en-ing”
to the well known tune from the musical “South Pacific”.


A new high in hits from Indonesia

New Calves

26 September 2013       ©smck

Birth - (and mid-cows)


26 September 2013     ©smck

As I was driving through the back county roads to a small farm feed sale store I caught a glimpse from the corner of my eye of a just born and walking calf and mother in the right hand field.  I quickly turned around, drove back and photographed the still unfolding event.   There were two separate birthing cows AND both attended by a companion cow!  I had never heard of this but it truly seemed as if it must be a normal event.  I will post another,( rather poor quality - camera sensor I think) photo showing the two sets of Holstein cows and their calves along with their companion cow.


I am going to post some reminiscences by thePresbyterian minister of the last few years in my adopted home of Grand River, which he had printed in a church distributed little booklet called

 Stirring The Porridge Newsletter
  A cuir mu'n cuairt a bhrochan - thall's a bhog'    Stirring the porridge here and there

of  The Framboise, Grand River & Loch Lomond Presbyterian Pastoral Charge.  Although I am not a Presbyterian I have attended various functions (weddings, funerals, musical presentations etc) there and found Rev Murdock to be one of the nicer persons that I have ever met.  To my great appreciation he included me in the mailings of the newsletter with its newsy contact of the doings of the local area.  His pleasant recollections mirrored somewhat those of my own youth in a different land and climate - perhaps they too might be of interest to you gentle reader. 

Eventually the full articles will be accessible as one continuous read through the right side bar index.


Murdock MacRae

This is the first of a two part article, which the author hopes will rekindle many pleasant memories of similar events in the lives of our readers. Part 2 will be included in the next issue of this newsletter. 


Our Home On the Hill

Whoever made the claim that a dog is a man’s best friend could not have been closely familiar with horses.  I have been.  My earliest recollections of life hold treasured memories of living on a fifty-acre farm in Cape Breton.  The home of my parents, grandparents and great grandparents graced a beautiful rural setting in a place known as North River Bridge, in Victoria County.  A winding river divided our community in two. A two span iron bridge linked both together. The community of my youth included two churches, a two-room school, and two stores, one which held the post office, a community hall and many modest farms.  Flanked by gentle hills on both sides, the river was a focal point in the lives of its residents, most of whom were of Scottish descent. Beginning near the bridge three roads reached out into the surrounding areas. These were in addition to the main road, the Cabot Trail, which linked our community, eastward to the North Shore, Smokey and Ingonish, and westward towards Baddeck and worlds beyond.   From both sides of the river small well-kept farms flung themselves away from the river banks reaching back into the dark tree-clad forests. Some of the farms on the east side were nestled along the bottom slope of a mountain range.   On west side of a long hilly range our home was located allowing us the view of at least six farms across the river as  well as several farms on the west side and a along considerable stretch of the   main highway that passed through our community. On our side we enjoyed the first rays of sunshine that later flooded the whole valley.  We also had the last snows of winter clinging to our fields and forests.  We were privileged to observe and enjoy much of rural life from our elevated place.

One delightful memory that remains vivid in my mind is that of watching neighbours mowing hay on the other side of the river about half a mile from our home as the crow flies. One could hear the sound of the mower and watch as horse and driver moved back and forth along the fields of brown top and timothy hay sprinkled in places with generous splashes of daisies.  When the horse with its mower and driver stopped one continued hearing the sound of the mower for a brief time.  Early in life we learned that light travels faster than sound, though at first we likely had no understanding as to why a motionless mower continued to produce noise.

Sailor's Delight

19 August 2013

Indian Pipe

05 August 2013
Wintergreen Family - Monotrapa uniflora.   
The translucent waxy pipes are unique - the nodding flower is white to pink, turning blackish with age.  Found in shady areas throughout Northeastern America - these were in the front yard under the spruce at Grand River Falls house.

Sundown Hue

03 August 2013

St Stephens Light House

22 July 2013        ©smck
This style lighthouse seems to be common in the Maritimes - one just like this in St. Peters, another at River Bourgeois and others I have seen elsewhere - so I would assume all are of a similar era.

Long View of Loch Lomond Road In the Distance

05 August 2013       ©smck

My first two weeks of vacation serve to get me into good cardiovascular condition - so other than looking at the view I also have some enforced excercise pushing my 20 inch hand mower.

Down To The Shore

September 2013

Bob Dillon

Timothy Leo Taranto illustrates some of literature’s greats, including David Foster Wallace and Gromit, Flan-nery O’Connor, and John Frankensteinbeck.

Quotes I Have Heard

"I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries."

Stephen King


A review of Talisker - The Distiller's Edition - should be coming here in a few days.  I tried this last night, and found it distinctly different from the regular 10 year old.