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!

Slow Postings

Troubled Waters 
I have been having trouble with my photo program Picasa that is not yet resolved - I can still get photos uploaded, etc but it is a very tiresome process AND the help being sent by same Picasa cannot be read by Windows 10 (what a depressing version, even worse than Windows 8).  So I hope my faithful browsers will have faith while I pursue a solution.

May Elil-Hrair-Rah enfold you Richard

from BBC
My favorite book - I am not much into fantasy stories, nothing against them they just don't appeal to me in general and famous authors of famous such stories do not draw me in much to my dismay at being not so well rounded (with the exception of Harry Potter which was quite well done).

96 years old - well played

Nothing Really Changes

Li K’ai-hsien  1502-68

Hiss, hiss—the north wind blows,
knocking people down in the streets.
They have pants which don’t even cover their shins;
and they have no food at all; only dust fills their jars.
In the warm houses, what do they know of winter?
The flowery rooms have a springtime of their own!
Those dandies with their fancy pants of silk:
there’s not much you can say to them about the poor

translated Chinese poem from 500 years ago


And For My Canadian Friends

The Winter Soltice Village - also organic

Christmas Evening Gathering at The Stable - III

we always do the tree and interior decorations on Christmas Eve - and it has been like this my entire life.

Christmas Evening Gathering at The Stable - ii

Christmas Evening Gathering at The Stable

I am a devout agnostic, loving the idea of human love for the human race,  and loving the idea of structure that expresses our love for the unknown, the unknowable, and in my particular place in time and place I follow the structures of christianity (lower case as I believe it to be only myth and yearning but still like all religions at their core our built in desire to understand the mystery of it all) and here is our pieced together creche - one piece from a yard sale, several pieces from a flea market, a few figures from a marked-down sale at some retail giant but like my life the growth of the set was organic (the old sense of the word) like my life and yours - so my heart felt wishes for love and joy and peace, ever lasting peace, to you all this Christmas Evening - no matter how entwined it is with the soltice, and the druids, and with the middle ages 


Welcome Mozambique - and Merry Christmas from a devout agnostic that loves the celebration of life and our joy and searching  for the utter unknowableness of why we are here.  Please accept this comment as love to all our human race.

Female Cardinal Watching The Bird Feeder - and keeping an eye on me

The Past Falling Through The Cracks of Time

Abandoned Spring House

Whoops - Dropped My Cell Phone


Crows and Snow

The bay is packed in ice with snow from shore to shore
where the great moon tide comes in all creaking,
inexorably lifting that ponderous protesting mass.
Across the white reach the far shore stretches unbroken and virgin,
not one cabin, one dwelling, to send its’ light across to me
and the only bird here in this bitter cold of winter’s wind
Is the crow – flying solitaire with flapping scrutiny of the intruder.

But now that I have come often enough to the field and the tide
they have come to fly in pairs – slow steady beats of their wings
and we accept one another.

The bay packed with snow and ice from shore to shore
is randomly heaved into giant statuesque stroboplosions of ice sculpture
as in some slow motioned dream of crows and snow
by the living tide venting itself against the unseen living rock
 - yet I know the Smelts come soon and the Tom Cod.

Is it this visibly frozen cold that is their dream
or is it the spring to come?


the most magical bay in my first venture into the past of my youth – West Bay an arm of Gouldsboro Bay in Maine.


Cold Day At The Marsh

Marsh In December - with invasive species crowding out the cattail

Phragmites are a perennial plant with feathery plumes at the top of tall, stiff stalks. It grows in wetlands, along roadsides and along shorelines throughout the Bay watershed. Although its origin is unclear, it is widely distributed across Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australia. It was introduced to North America inadvertently in the 19th century from the ballasts of Eurasian trade ships. Phragmites crowd out native plants by creating tall, dense stands in wetland habitats.

Visiting countries to the blog this week - as of 20 December 2016

Visiting countries to the blog this week in order of most to least

United States 
(there may be more countries but google's stats only list the first ten - two of which I know are)

United Arab Emirates 

and now

Christmas At The Marsh

The Cold Snap has the river rimmed with ice and flocks of gulls and crows - III

The Cold Snap has the river rimmed with ice and flocks of gulls and crows -II

The Cold Snap has the river rimmed with ice and flocks of gulls and crows

Christmas Colour - V

Christmas Colour - IV

The Greens Come Next - from the surrounding wood and garden

Christmas Colour - III

Christmas Colour - II

Christmas Colour - I

Starting Christmas Decor



Supper Time

Grangestone Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 21 Year old - "I like her but I could never fall in love with her"

I bought a bottle of this a day or so ago, and tried it tonight.  It was in my tight-wad range in price (about $50.00 U.S.) and I was hoping that it would be good enough to warrant that price as I know of several single malts in that range that are very good - but I was also aware that for a 21 year old to be in that range that it had to be a bit sub-par.   It is quite decent and I have just finished about three fingers of same and was not disappointed but at the same time I was not elated.  This review that I have picked up off the internet sums it up succinctly, to wit:

April 23, 2014
2 / 5
Very balanced and smooth, but not very interesting.
Sweetness, honey and dried fruit on both the nose and palate, giving way to green herbs and leather. Smooth and no surprises, a profile no doubt appealing to many. The finish was disappointing, taking time to develop, never distinguishing itself and dissipating quickly.
It's a decent scotch and value, especially for regular rum or bourbon drinkers trying scotch for the first time. I would not recommend or present it to a friend that knows good scotch.
I'm sure some would disagree but I find it lacking in any defining character, too generic and seemingly engineered for the masses.
I like her, but I could never fall in love with her.
43of 57voted this as helpful.
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Comments (1)
June 20, 2014
Could not agree more. I am surprised by all of the 5 star reviews. A friend and I blind taste tested several scotches and this one came in dead last."
This seems true enough but taste is always a hard thing to pin down - my take is that I did not waste my money and will enjoy it many a cold evening BUT it is far from the top - I rate it generously at a 76.  

p.s.  the quoted review was a two star of five - some how the copy and paste screwed up.
        My rating of 76 would be a thee star +


End of The Day

Old Log Cabin Road

Deer Stand

You Know, it is still Autumn