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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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!



what possesses a 52 year old man
to begat a child, he wondered.
And the answer swelling beneath his hand
kicked a message of love bonding to his heart.

Love – lyric of age upon age
is the message of the medium
for all else is dumb brute.  Love is
a rainbow of meaning from lust to God
from unborn babe to bursting naked
passion in the night.  Love flows down
the generations – father to son,
mother to child
and with unflagging hands we pass it on
a wave front passing through time and space
 and all that begs it is anathema.


I Think That I Shall Never See

When, if Ever - Don Blanding

When blood is water; when the call of spring
Falls dully on my ears; when everything
Is just one heavy monotone of gray
And dawn’s a torture, meaning "here’s a day
To live in weary waiting for the night
With sleep to blot all beauty from my sight";
When tears and love and laughter are the same;
When life’s a task and not a joyous game;
When living’s but a race without a goal;
When I am old in body, heart, and soul;
When all I know as me in me has fled;
Then, and then only, will I say, "God Pan is dead!"

I may have posted this before - but if so I still like it


Right Side Bridge Repair - (Heading In To Town)

I Know The Sun When I See It

Vagabond's House - Don Blanding

and we come to the end of this long and endearing poem - and though some thoughts are outdated in today's world of 'politically correct' there was never a malice aforethought of expression and only a loving capture of an envisionment of what might be at the end of the day

I’ll go. And my house will fall away
While the mice by night and the moths by day
Will nibble the covers off all my books,
And the spiders weave in the shadowed nooks.
And my dogs . . . I’ll see that they have a home
While I follow the sun, while I drift and roam
To the ends of the earth like a chip on the stream,
Like a straw on the wind, like a vagrant dream;
And the thought will strike with a swift sharp pain
That I probably never will build again
This house that I’ll have in some far day
Well . . . it’s just a dream house, anyway.

Bird and Cloud

Rock Dove - Columba livia

Pastel Train - Down Near 'Oyster Shells'

Mexico City - over 20 million people

Stewart's Moving His House Again

Work On The Bridge

Life At The Top

The old railroad bridge - built when I was in high school - is finally being upgraded to handle the heavy traffic coming into this once lovely little rural town due to almost uncontrollable housing tract developments in the surrounding farmlands and forested areas and a tourism that daily brings in hoards of people from across the U.S. of A.   Population scores again.

Yahoo - Google

They Own You

“Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have OWNERS. They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear.
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want; more for themselves and less for everybody else.They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.
They want obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.
It’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe, with their media, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people; white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. These are people of modest means, continuing to elect these rich people who don’t care about you.
Nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Thats what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick thats being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth.
It’s called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
- George Carlin

Narrowleaf Blue-eyed Grass - Sisyrinchium angustifolium

Invitation Homes

(via Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds - Boing Boing)
When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don’t stand a chance – but that’s OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords. Wall Street investors have bought more than 200,000 foreclosed houses in the past two years, bundling together the rents they generate into bonds that are just like subprime mortgage bonds, only without the pretense that the poor people who generate their payments have a hope of ever getting out from under their obligation to enrich the richest people in the world. Blackstone – owner of Seaworld, Hilton Hotels, and the Weather Channel – is the biggest player here, and when they come into town to buy up all the single-family properties, they price actual families out of the market. Their securitized rent payment bonds are backed by some of the biggest subprime criminals, including Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan. Hedge funds really epitomize compassionate landlording, too. When Blackstone buys in, it jacks up tenants’ rents by as much as a third and immediately begins eviction proceedings against renters who can’t pay. If there are any troubles with your payments, they assess fines against you and make you miss work to pay the rent and penalties in person. CaDonna Porter moved into an Invitation Homes property outside Atlanta with her children in September. When part of her monthly payment was rejected because she tried to use a debit card, the company demanded that she deliver the remaining amount in person, via certified funds, by 5 p.m. the following day or incur a $200 fee and face eviction. Porter took time off from work to deliver a money order in person, only to be informed that the payment had been rejected because it didn’t include the late fee and an additional $75 insufficient funds fee. In a maddening string of emails, Invitation Homes repeatedly reminded Porter that it could file to evict her unless she paid the penalties. When she finally said that she would seek legal counsel, Invitation Homes agreed to accept her payment as “a one-time courtesy.” Andrew Gallina, Invitation Homes’ vice president for marketing, says it treats all of its renters equally: “Under the law, we’re not allowed to make changes or exceptions. That’s just basic fair housing.” Invitation Homes has described its strategy as “a bet on America.” Wall Street’s Hot New Financial Product: Your Rent Check [Laura Gottesdiener/Mother Jones] This is real evil, manifesting itself thru the psychopathy of those in power. Why are we just sitting around taking their bullshit!!

Mountain Laurel - Kalmia latrifolia

The broadleaf evergreen mountain-laurel is usually a 12-20 ft. shrub, but is occasionally taller and single-trunked, attaining small tree stature. Evergreen, many-stemmed, thicket-forming shrub or sometimes a small tree with short, crooked trunk; stout, spreading branches; a compact, rounded crown; and beautiful, large, pink flower clusters. Its flowers are very showy. They are bell-shaped, white to pink with deep rose spots inside, and occur in flat-topped clusters. The leaves are oval, leathery, and glossy, and change from light-green to dark-green to purple throughout the year.
Mountain Laurel is one of the most beautiful native flowering shrubs and is well displayed as an ornamental in many parks. The stamens of the flowers have an odd, springlike mechanism which spreads pollen when tripped by a bee. The wood has been used for tool handles and turnery, and the burls, or hard knotlike growths, for briar tobacco pipes. Linnaeus named this genus for his student Peter Kalm (1716-79), a Swedish botanist who traveled in Canada and the eastern United States.

Penultimate Stanza - Vagabond's House

Then, when my house is all complete
I’ll stretch me out on the window seat
With a favourite book and a cigarette,
And a long cool drink that Oh Joy will get;
And I’ll look about at my bachelor-nest
While the sun goes zooming down the west,
And the hot gold light will fall on my face
And make me think of some heathen place
That I’ve failed to see . . . that I’ve missed some way . . .
A place that I’d planned to find some day,
And I’ll feel the lure of it driving me.
Oh damn! I know what the end will be

Unfurling Fern

This unfurling fern photograph is from mid April - but I love the water and the life anew.

Memorial Day - II

I also placed wild Laurel on my parents grave yesterday.  My father had always wanted to be buried next to his father in the Methodist cemetery but the old McKinney site there had filled so my mother and I decided to have him interred at St. Mary Annes over looking the North East River which he always admired - and of course when she died she was interred next to him. 

Memorial Day

During my childhood and through-out his life, my father always cut wild Laurel and placed it on his father and mother's graves on Memorial Day.  I try each year to do the same bringing the Laurel in memory of him doing this for two grandparents that died before I was born - William K and Sarah E. McKinney.

Eirie Canalabus

Vagabond's House - cont'd

section XIII

Pewter and bronze and hammered brass;
Old carved wood and gleaming glass;
Candles and polychrome candlesticks,
And peasant lamps with floating wicks;
Dragons in silk on a Mandarin suit
In a chest that is filled with vagabond-loot.
All of the beautiful, useless things
That a vagabond’s aimless drifting brings.

Tree Bound Big Blue

Natural Exposure

Hornet's Nest Starting

This is the Baldfaced Hornet -Dolichovespula maculata, which is actually a member of the yellow jacket group of social bees.  All yellow jackets are very aggressive in defending their territory and the stings are quite painful.  I probably will remove this nest as it is near the front entrance to our old house.  No pesticides - just a removal and hope that she will decide to rebuild elsewhere.

The Late Spring Flowered Walkway At Black Hill