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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Red Kayak - Green Shores

When slicing time 
the town almost returns
to the ancient shores 
as yoga thought 
dims the sounds of now



An Olive Fire - Robert Service

An Olive Fire
An olive fire's a lovely thing;
Somehow it makes me think of Spring
As in my grate it over-spills
With dancing flames like daffodils.
They flirt and frolic, twist and twine,
The brassy fire-irons wink and shine. . . .
Leap gold, you flamelets! Laugh and sing:
An olive fire's a lovely thing.

An olive fire's a household shrine:
A crusty loaf, a jug of wine,
An apple and a chunk of cheese -
Oh I could be content with these.
But if my curse of oil is there,
To fry a fresh-caught fish, I swear
I do not envy any king,
As sitting by my hearth I sing:
An olive fire's a lovely thing.

When old and worn, of life I tire,
I'll sit before an olive fire,
And watch the feather ash like snow
As softly as a rose heart glow;
The tawny roots will loose their hoard
Of sunbeams centuries have stored,
And flames like yellow chicken's cheep,
Till in my heart Peace is so deep:
With hands prayer-clasped I sleep . . . and sleep.

Eagle Chick - after the parent pair flew off it seemed as if the 'chick' like all children ceased to keep a low profile - at least I saw the one

Rainy Day Barred Owl - setting out the dull light of this rainy day

tucked into this middle-aged holly tree waiting out the rain


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio glaucus - II

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly, Papilio glaucus - female as indicated by the blue markings on the tail

The Piper Has Been With Me For A Long Time

Barred Owl, Strix varia - the original spotting

Barred Owl, Strix varia - II

I had spotted the owl whose photo I posted yesterday and was so intent on getting his photograph before he flew away that I missed this other owl (mate??) that was much closer but somewhat hidden by foliage, and when walking slowly forward but toward the side (hoping the motion somewhat away from directly toward the first bird would not seem threatening) I did spook this lovely large guy which flew a little deeper into the wood then landed facing me.  I used the 24x zoom to get the photograph, then cropped it to the present size which explains the lack of good detail - but I still like this amazing Barred Owl.

Barred Owl, Strix varia - I feel certain that I have posted photographs of this owl before misidentified as a Barn owl

yes - I just checked it out and it was both on 18 March and 19 March - sorry about that but I flub up every now and again on things like that but I try to get them rectified when I know about it - in this case it was just my mind thinking about my posts as I looked through one of my bird books and came across the owl section. 

The Old Mill Home

Plain Titmouse, Parus inornatus ???

The 'Plain' Titmouse supposedly ranges in the southwest of the United States but this guy has no real shadings of colour and is also decidedly - half inch to an inch - smaller than the eastern 'Tuffed' Titmouse so I will make my call for the 'Plain' Jane species

Osprey, Pandion haliaetus

  I could possibly be wrong as Osprey generally fly over water and hover when they spot fish while Eagles often roost while scanning water but neither photograph gives enough detail to make positive identification.  I do know that there is an Osprey in this broad general vicinity that hovers for awhile then roosts to rest up it seems - and digitally enlarging the photograph gives no more clue than here.  Relative estimated size and the previous sightings of roosting Osprey give me the impetus to call this in favor of the Osprey - if I later get more information that contradicts this I will update this post to reflect that information.
Feeding Behavior - Flies slowly over water, pausing to hover when fish spotted below; if fish is close enough to surface, the Osprey plunges feet-first, grasping prey in its talons.
Eggs - 3, sometimes 2-4. Creamy white, blotched with brown. Incubation is by both parents but mostly by female, about 38 days. Young: Female remains with young most of time at first, sheltering them from sun and rain; male brings fish, female feeds them to young. Age of young at first flight averages about 51-54 days. 1 brood per year.
Young - Female remains with young most of time at first, sheltering them from sun and rain; male brings fish, female feeds them to young. Age of young at first flight averages about 51-54 days. 1 brood per year.
Diet - Almost entirely fish. Typically feeds on fish 4-12" long. Type of fish involved varies with region; concentrates on species common in each locale, such as flounder, smelt, mullet, bullhead, sucker, gizzard shad. Aside from fish, rarely eats small mammals, birds, or reptiles, perhaps mainly when fish are scarce.
Nesting - Courtship displays include pair circling high together; male may fly high and then dive repeatedly in vicinity of nest site, often carrying a fish or stick. Nest site is usually on top of large tree (often with dead or broken top) not far from water. Also nests on utility poles, duck blinds, other structures, including poles put up for them. May nest on ground on small islands, or on cliffs or giant cactus in western Mexico. Site typically very open to sky. Nest (built by both sexes) is bulky pile of sticks, lined with smaller materials. Birds may use same nest for years, adding material each year, so that nest becomes huge.