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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Ducks at Dusk

 On the way home as the sun wended below the horizon I spotted this collection of ducks at the old dam site where the fast flowing waters of North East Creek were still keeping ahead of the cold weather.  I often imagine what it must be like to be at home in the natural world in rain and cold, snow and wind, icy waters, thickening ice, diminishing food, and all those slings and arrows of the outrageous world around them. 

And While I'm At It - A Nice Barn Shot

 these last few postings all started when I stopped to catch the photograph of the hawk high in the tree along the road - so just before getting back into my old F-150 I filed this lovely old barn before our county-paving-over-the-country-side with developments does it in.

Old B&O Line - (different angle)

Old B&O Line - Just To The Right of 'Tight Underpass'

Tight Underpass

Before He Flew

Water Fall in Scotland

- from facebook - see link:


Through The Branches

Taken along Leeds Road (I think I'm right) just before the railroad under pass

Dead White Oak - Fuel For The Wood Stove

Still light out although the sun is low in the south-west so I come back down with my camera to record the afternoons work on an old dead white oak that I had been planning on taking down for several months now.  The small 'dry creek' (dry in the summer but running strong after storms or weak like today from the continual bouts of mild precipitation) was what had held me up - in my mind more than anything - for the old tree was leaning across it such that no other throw was possible.  Even though I had notched the tree on the leaning side and then sawed at a slight angle from the back through to the so called hinge so that the tree would fall properly, there was a weakness in the wood which caused the tree to break through above the hinge pivot.  Luckily the tough tight sinews of wood held as they did and there was no sudden 'blow back' of the entire tree - my luck in things is small in the scheme of things but I didn't even come close to being cranked badly by an amok tree.

Octoraro Creek - Railroad Bridges III

Cool Gull

stopped by the town park to photograph the concentration of water fowl on the exposed flats at low tide - lots of shots but only liked this solitary gull fly-by - it was cold and windy so I think my heart was more on getting back into the truck than it was on getting good photos

What's Up?

Neighbors Pond At Dusk

Conowingo Dam

So while I was already within a mile of so of this major dam on the Susquehanna River when photographing the old railroad bridges across the Octoraro Creek I decided to see if perhaps there might be an eagle or two in attendance for fish.  But alas the only thing I spotted (and was able to get a not so hot photograph of) seemed to be a circling Black Vulture.  However the dam is of major interest in the county and the state for a lot of people so here is one view of same.

Octoraro Creek - Railroad Bridges II

Octoraro Creek - Two Railroad Bridges

for some interesting reading on the two railroad bridges seen here check the following link:

I have posted some photographs like these before - but the light snowfall made me want to get a few pictures of the glorious large bridge and the smaller adjunct once again


I see that somebody from Austria is perusing my blog - thanks for stopping by. 
I'm not absolutely certain but I believe this is a first (but then I could have missed checking in the past)



added commentary to 'The Eagle Has Landed'
and added the Netherlands to 'Visitors'

Bees Out On This Balmy Winter Day

 Today was almost balmy for a winter's day - 25Jan'15  @49°F  (@9.4°C) - and Carol's hive which has seemed dormant for days on end responded with a mid-winters cleaning of those workers that have succumbed and a general buzz that to an anthropomorphic mind would seem to be a joy de vie of the day.  At any rate we both were glad to see the burst of activity that insures us that the hive is alive and doing well.  

If Winter Comes . . .

Visitors By Country In The Last Week Or So

listed in order from most number visiting to least
(since my blog only gives me the top ten countries there may be other countries that I do not know about)

United States 
Czech Republic
United Kingdom
Hong Kong
                                 Netherlands - (just noticed this evening) 

North, Up River

The Eagle Has Landed

Bald Eagle – Haliaeetus leucocephalus

With a wing span up to 8 feet the bald eagle is a very large bird having a range over a very big portion of North America.  In 1798 on the 20th of June the U.S. Congress adopted the bald eagle, then called the American eagle, as our national emblem.  It is fairly well known that Benjamin Franklin opposed the choice but the Bald eagle still stands today as our symbol.
The eagle in my photograph was perched fairly high in a tree near 272 as I was driving homeward in Elk Neck.  At this time of year with the leaves off the deciduous trees he readily caught my eye. Pulling onto the shoulder of the road I easily got this one nice shot - but as I set my camera to take multiple shots in case he flew, away he flew.  I can’t complain but next time I will be a little more cautious and have my camera at the ready.

Twin Bridges Growing Old

Second Growth and Cloud

Through The Tangle

Methodest Church From Twin Bridges

Just A Little Wave To Say Hi

Winter Blues

Twilight At The Pond

Turkey Vulture – Cathartes aura

When I was growing up the Turkey Vulture – or 'buzzard' as it was colloquially called  – was the only large carrion bird in our local area.  But in the last fifteen to twenty years or so the Black Vulture – Coragyps atratus, has moved farther north from its southern range of the east coast to become the dominant group of the vulture family here rather than the occasional straggler – due I think to the accompanying global warming that is affecting the whole world.  

The Turkey Vulture is easily distinguished by its’ red head when one is close enough to see it (as in this photo taken on McKinney Town Road).  In flight the Turkey Vulture is somewhat larger with long – about six feet – somewhat narrow wings that enable it to soar seemingly effortlessly for hours on end. The Black Vulture has shorter, stubbier wing so that even though it soars a lot it still has to flap its’ wings much more often.  Also the Black Vulture gathers in larger groups than the Turkey Vulture, often soaring in high tight circles above some carcass down below.  

These birds of carrion serve a vital purpose quickly clearing decomposing carcasses that would otherwise linger for ever – think about the deer that are constantly struck by vehicles along the rural and urban highways.