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 very 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.

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Christmas Day Evening




Sisters - forever


Sisters


Christmas Night

Christmas Day and Christmas Day Night gave full cloud cover, rain, and one hundred percent humidity but walking out with a departing guest a small opening in the clouds showed the full moon shining through for a few moments -

The Grey Squirrel Coming In For A Snack, Also


Merry Christmas Mr Chickadee


Birds Have Incredible Eyes


Watching The Bird Feeder Action From A Distance


Christmas Tree 2015

Well I just moved the furniture, vacuumed, etc and then brought the tree in and got it almost upright (when Carol gets in, we will straighten it a little better to the perpendicular).  I've given in a little to the present day but I used to cut a wild tree on the 23 or the 24th and then set it up and decorate it on Christmas Eve after the children had gone to bed.  But even if we decorate tomorrow night with the young man son home it will still be a less hectic evening - especially with a yuletide quaff or two.

It is a field grown western white fir (Abies concolor) - about 8 ft, 3 in (2.5m) high by about four to four and a half foot (1.3m) diameter at the bottom -

Missing The Village


The River's Blue, The Bird a Perfect Sight - by Du Fu
   江碧鸟逾白
山青花欲燃
今春看又过
何日是归年
The river's blue, the bird a perfect sight,
The hills green with flowers about to blaze.
I've watched the spring pass away again,
When will I be able to return?

Full Moon - nice photograph from the internet


Listen To The river

 I really like the music of Christmas - not so much the brain numbing shopping mall refrains nor either overly much many of the so called hymns though some are glorious indeed.  However today while listening to an old (1996) Celtic Christmas - II, a Windam Hill release, I was quite struck by 'Listen to The River' by Luka Bloom.
       
The fisherman used to dive into running water
And take a shining sixpence from the floor
Now he's waiting for the Salmon of Knowledge
To help him wade out from the shore

He looks down on the lake on a sunlit morning
Loves the ancient world that is within
The surface shadow is his simple warning
Transformation must begin

Close your eyes
Listen to the river
Open your heart now
Listen to the river
Close your eyes
Listen to the river

The rain pours down on Barley Harbour
As expectation fills the pier
The fisherman looks out on the horizon
The Salmon of Knowledge is coming here

Let the bells ring out in the heartland
Let all the poets come to pen
May they write in praise of celebration
The salmon goes upstream once again

Close your eyes
Listen to the river
Open your heart now
Listen to the river
Close your eyes
Listen to the river...

According to the liner notes this song was inspired as follows:
In March 1996, Greenpeace, Ireland undertook its maiden voyage; a celebration of Ireland's great river Shannon.  Luka Bloom was invited to join the voyage from the mouth to the source, as a crew member and on-board bard.  The boat was christened 'An Bradan Feasa', meaning The Salmon of Knowledge.  "Listen To The River", was inspired by this great experience. 

As I listened to the all great songs on this CD but in particular to this one song, I was struck by their choice to be included on a Christmas album - and this one in particular lead my mind to the spiritual meaning of Christmas more than much of a lifetime of pondering the inexplicable has ever done. If you get a chance to listen to this voice render effortlessly the melody of rural Ireland to the somewhat mundane words and lift them to the meaning of life, do not pass it by


Luka Bloom (born Kevin Barry Moore; 23 May 1955) is an Irish folk-rock singer-songwriter. He is the younger brother of folk singer Christy Moore 

 Kevin Barry Moore was born on 23 May 1955 in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland.[1] His parents were Andy Moore and Nancy Power, who had already raised three daughters and two other sons. Moore attended a Patrician Brothers primary school and later studied at Newbridge College, run by the Dominican Order. In college he formed the group Aes Triplex with his brother Andy and a school friend. He later attended a college in Limerick, but he dropped out after a couple of years to pursue a music career.

In 1987, Moore moved to the United States and began performing using the stage name of "Luka Bloom". He chose the name "Luka" from the title of Suzanne Vega's song about child abuse and "Bloom" from the main character in James Joyce's novel Ulysses

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Dear Stephen, (i.e. NorvellHimself)
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I do not donate large sums but I try to kick in a few times a year to help this great organization and would hope that many of you feel the same