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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Grand Judique Ponds

Port Hood Island

Port Hood Island is a small island and community of the same name located in the northeastern part of St. George's Bay, a sub-basin in the eastern part of the Northumberland Strait, adjacent to the west coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is named after the community of Port Hood immediately to the east on Cape Breton Island. Before this name, the island was known as Smith Island.
Originally, Port Hood Island was connected to Cape Breton Island by a sand spit. It housed a booming lobster cannery, however, during a winter storm in the late 19th century, the thin sand spit connecting Port Hood Island was washed away. In the late 1950s, a road was constructed from the (then) main fishing wharf of the mainland to the fishing wharf on the island but it did not stand up to the weather and washed away shortly after completion. Rocks that made up the road still remain and now form what residents call the "Breakwater".
The island was originally settled by Protestant Loyalists, giving contrast to the Catholic majority in the Port Hood area. In the 1950s Port Hood Island had approximately 28 families, mostly fishermen and small lot farmers, along with a one-room school which handled grades 1-8/9, after which students boarded in Port Hood and attended Port Hood Academy. The island church enjoyed the services of the Port Hood minister who also served Mabou.
Currently the island is mainly lived on during the summer months, with about half the residents having prior connections to the area. One of the previous permanent residents died in the summer of 2003, and there are now only two people living on Port Hood Island all year long.


Colin's Old Field Eroding Away

Eyeless in Gaza at the Shore with Waves...

Mary Ann's Cove

Single Malt Pig – actually 'How To Raise A Whiskey Pig'

A friend of mine (I’ll call him Brian for the while) sent me a clipping of an article from the October issue of POPULAR MECHANICS entitled ‘How To Raise a Whiskey Pig’ (p20).  And for those of you like myself, not quite a vegetarian but put off from eating the flesh of poor animals raised under modern standards of quantity at any cost to thought of consideration of the living conditions of those animals and the use of antibiotics as growth enhancers at any cost to the proliferation of ‘super-bugs’ that have now outstripped out ability to fight them with our ‘magic-bullets’ (as they said in the innocent days of the 30s) of vaccines, [wow long clause, eh], the thought of animals raised in small quantities in humane conditions that might actually taste great lead me briskly into this interesting article with its’ somewhat humorist twist.  You should read the article in its one page entirety to get the full well written impact but for now a quick synopsis.

Scott Bush, founder of Templeton Rye had the great idea to raise a batch of pigs on ‘spent’ rye mash to possibly get the unique flavor of the rye whiskey in their meat.  He hired a specialist (doctorate in swine nutrition) to determine just how much spent mash would be suitable for proper nutrition in the daily diet of the pigs – a breed called Duroc that they jointly decided upon as being best of choice.  Starting with 9 week old little piggies they fed them the crafted menu for 20 some weeks till they were each around 210 pounds and then turned them into marketable meat for upscale restaurants.  Top Chef winner Stephanie Izard who cooked one at her Little Goat Diner cheerfully says that there is nothing in the taste to indicate that there was 20% rye mash in their diet – but that indeed the meat was flavorful with guests commenting that the pig was the best they had ever eaten. 
So score one for small scale farming and one for trying an unusual feeding technique to jointly turn out a best in show.

Light On Water

This Way There Be Treasure

The Incredible Shrinking Man


After sunset – and before the night -
when red tinged purple fills the dome of sky,
one can trace the imperceptible change of light
from the faded golden promise of sun on high
to the east where the black creeps in.
But not to signify the end.
Change it is that draws our eye from that mystic silhouette,
where all somber ochered hues have reached blackened fingers
against the grieving evening – ahh! sad nostalgia is that color, wet.
For night too signifies the friend
that gave us the diamond brilliance of black velvet
strewn with baubles of stars
                                                                                   and then the moon.

have posted this poem before but it fits this photograph well