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!

I've Been Side Tracked For A Bit

I will be posting regularly again in a day or two - sorry about the paucity of posts but between our bee problems and travel I have had no chance to snap and upload any photos or pithy comments (ha ha as they say) - sigh Norvell

The Admore, Legacy, Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

a quick note with a fuller review later - I was disappointed, not badly as this is a very good whisky,  but the 40 %  Alc/Vol smoothed out the drink as compared with 'The Traditional' at 46 % (see my review - found in the listings to the right) and I really grew to like the 'burr' of The Traditional' - however it (Legacy) is a really decent whisky that you can serve with verve to friends that blanch at some of the 'volcanic' whiskies that are highly rated. - and right in my  own personal ball park.

The Heat Wave Is Really Stressing Our Bee Hives - III

I even gave the 'marbel' water-feeder a bit of shade - they buzzed about for a few moments but then one got the idea and the rest followed,

The Heat Wave Is Really Stressing Our Bee Hives

The Heat Wave Is Really Stressing Our Bee Hives

The last seven to ten days of temperatures in the mid to high nineties F - along with humidities in the 80s 90s range has not only affected us humans but it is really stressing the bee hives up and down the coast. An old friend in New Jersey who raises bees called me when he saw my earlier 'bearding' photos and told me to call him and in the course of the ensuing conversation when I described the usually normal behaviour, he told me that our hive was over heating and probably melting wax (the bees were hauling out dead or dying larvae) GET SHADE ON THEM IMMEDIATELY was the advice.  The photos here and maybe to follow show my effort this morning to both head off a similar occurrence on the non-bearding hive and to do damage control for the bearding hive.  It catches the sun earlier in the morning by about an hour (strange and so close together) and then gets the sun as long as the other for the rest of the day AND in addition has a metal covering at the top which supposedly reflects the sun and heat but it gets unbearably hot to the touch (I plan to paint it white when we get through this present problem).  Although he suggested 'brushing' the bearded bees into a bucket and then dumping them in the top Carol and I decided to wait a bit longer - and I have already observed the top of the beard bees crawling in and onto the top inner cover now that I have raised the outer cover and shaded it.  Stay tuned.

Talissker Single Malt Scotch Whisky 10 year old

this is not a review per se, but I have been doing a little internet island hopping while sipping my usual small cut glass tumbler filled about two fingers deep - with maybe a refill coming up -  of 'Talisker's 10 year old, that I just opened.  it is one of my all-time favorites and someday, lottery willing,  I will be trying one of the pricey many years old of the same distillery but for now this truly outstanding 10 year old malt shows its real strengths compared with some of the fine blended malts that I have favored for a while due to cost considerations - the smoothness of this lovely coloured drink lets the bite of the nicely higher alcohol content - 45.8 % ABV - do its job without destroying the abundance of flavours in the background - to me that means a mildly – almost a perfect mildly - sweet honey flavoured peat smoke to  tease my tongue with the antiqueness of a rich browny background of an old pub that I visited once in Ireland and finishing with a quiet calm day at a kelp covered beach with the faint iodine flavours giving savour to the day – then the finish of this great whisky comes on as you breathe in the peppery last notes for the longest time – there is no argument against Michael’s 90 rating – unless perhaps you want to move it a tad farther toward a strong 92     norvellhimself

Crab Feast At Black Hill - III (or is it IV or V, at any rate some more of the evenings good times

Crab Feast At Black Hill - II (or is it III or IV, at any rate some more of the evenings good times

the best crabs this year than I've seen and eaten in years - firm crisp shells, full meated and great flavour and I ate more than three for the first time in the same number of years - and all agreed these were great - with  the down home side dish of corn-on-the-cob, white corn, also good for the less than dyed-in-the-wool crab eaters as well as for those who don't do the crab thing

It's Storm Clouds Roiling

Shades of Day Are Falling

Honey Bees Bearding - II


the 'beard' is slowly dissipating - might be the newly added space 



It's called bearding, as the bees seem to form a fuzzy beard on the hive and hang out in a cluster. Almost all of the time this is totally normal, and even a good sign. You will see this in strong colonies as the population is at its height and as the bees are storing and ripening honey at a blinding pace. To keep the honey at correct temperature and allow for airflow in the hive, a small to large number of adult bees will hang out in the front, helping the internal temperature to stay cool. You might even see some fanning of their wings, pushing air into the hive on the hottest days. 

Bearding is often a totally healthy sign of a colony working at its peak. It can be a sign of a strong colony with a large population, all in service to their single purpose: overwintering successfully with enough honey stores to survive. Each hive is different and not every hive will display the same amount of bearding. For instance, we have 4 hives in our backyard with colonies all installed this past spring, and no two are alike at this point  in the season. Two show significant bearding, one a bit of bearding, and another, none at all. Things to bear in mind when witnessing this are: genetics and overall health of individual hives, how long the colonies have been hived, and how much room they have to keep storing food supplies. 

The first thing you want to ask yourself when you see bearding is: do my bees have enough room? That is, depending on your hive type, do they have enough space to keep building and filling comb in the form of a honey super or box, or more empty bars to build comb upon. Likely you will know the answer already due to regular monitoring, but if you don't, you will want to make sure your bees have room to expand and keep storing.

Another aspect to consider regarding space is: have your bees been throwing swarms? If the answer is yes, they are likely out of room and have been out of room. Their productivity and ability to create enough stores for themselves is being thwarted by a lack of room for expansion. In both cases, give them more space. 

In the case of a horizontal top bar hive, harvesting is often required to provide your colony more space. If the hive is filled from end to end with comb, it's the only way (other than splitting) to give them room. Don't be scared to do this!

(If you have a top bar hive and know your bees still have space to build comb and store honey but they are continually throwing stores, your bees could be honey bound. For more on honey bound top bar hives, look for an upcoming post, or shoot us an e-mail/call!)

Honey Bees 'Bearding' - the hive boxes prompted us to add a new top box this a.m.


Medicare Sounds Good To Me

How to Treat a Stroke in the 17th century — The Treatment of King Charles II of England.
On February 2nd, 1685 King Charles II of England suffered a fit of apoplexy (had a stroke) while being shaved by his barber.  He fell into convulsions, at which point the court physician was called immediately.  The court physician quickly performed the emergency treatment for a man who had just suffered a stroke.  He took out a penknife and bled out 16 ounces of blood from King Charles to “balance his humors”.  After the bleeding he was given an enema, which was re-administered 2 hours later.  When the King came to he was weak and could not speak.  Upon word of his stroke, 14 of the finest physicians in London arrived to treat and cure the kings illness.  Each doctor had his own theory of medicine and his own special treatment for stroke.  The following treatments of King Charles II are well recorded, and closely details the methods and methodology of 17th century medicine.
  • As well as the 16 ounces of bloodletting at first, King Charles was bled another 8 ounces daily.
  • “To free his stomach of all impurities”, he was made to drink strong emetics (drugs that induce vomiting) containing heavy metals such as antimony and zinc sulphate (both are poisonous).
  • His head was shaved, and covered in blistering agents such as mustard and camphor.  The theory behind this was that the blisters would force bad humors lower into his body where they could be bled out.  A red hot poker was also applied to encourage more blistering.
  • He was given daily enemas containing “sacred bitter power, cream of tartar, syrup of buckthorn, rock salt, and orange infusion of the metals supplemented by antispasmodic julep of black cherry water”
  • He was made to sniff sneezing powders made of cowslip flowers and spirit of sal ammoniac.  It was thought the sneezing would relieve pressure on his brain.
  • He was given numerous laxatives.
  • A mixture of pigeon droppings and burgundy pitch were applied to his feet.
  • He was given a tonic containing 40 drops of the essence (ooze) of a human skull “from a man who had died a most violent death and was never buried.”
  • He was fed powder from a crushed stone taken from the stomach of a goat from East India.
On February 6th, 1685 King Charles II of England died of the age of 54.
Thus is the sort of thing that I think about when people tell me “I was born in the wrong century”.

'borrowed' from Father Izzy-isms            http://fatherizzyisms.tumblr.com/

Doorway - to the real world

I have posted this before but I like to think about this from time to time

Diffusion - All around us

Can't Tell If This Is Mackerel - or Cod

Canopy Feeder

will add more information here later today - I hope

Mrs Wren