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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Shadow With Refraction

Eastern Redcedar - Juniperus virginiana

A long time ago when the Cherokee people were new upon the earth, they thought that life would be much better if there was never any night. They beseeched the Ouga (Creator) that it might be day all the time and that there would be no darkness.
The Creator heard their voices and made the night cease and it was day all the time. Soon, the forest was thick with heavy growth. It became difficult to walk and to find the path. The people toiled in the gardens many long hours trying to keep the weeds pulled from among the corn and other food plants. It got hot, very hot, and continued that way day after long day. The people began to find it difficult to sleep and became short tempered and argued among themselves.
Not many days had passed before the people realized they had made a mistake and, once again, they beseeched the Creator. "Please," they said, "we have made a mistake in asking that it be day all the time. Now we think that it should be night all the time." The Creator paused at this new request and thought that perhaps the people may be right even though all things were created in twos... representing to us day and night, life and death, good and evil, times of plenty and those times of famine. The Creator loved the people and decided to make it night all the time as they had asked.
The day ceased and night fell upon the earth. Soon, the crops stopped growing and it became very cold. The people spent much of their time gathering wood for the fires. They could not see to hunt meat and with no crops growing it was not long before the people were cold, weak, and very hungry. Many of the people died.
Those that remained still living gathered once again to beseech the Creator. "Help us Creator," they cried! "We have made a terrible mistake. You had made the day and the night perfect, and as it should be, from the beginning. We ask that you forgive us and make the day and night as it was before."
Once again the Creator listened to the request of the people. The day and the night became, as the people had asked, as it had been in the beginning. Each day was divided between light and darkness. The weather became more pleasant, and the crops began to grow again. Game was plentiful and the hunting was good. The people had plenty to eat and there was not much sickness. The people treated each other with compassion and respect. It was good to be alive. The people thanked the Creator for their life and for the food they had to eat. The Creator accepted the gratitude of the people and was glad to see them smiling again. However, during the time of the long days of night, many of the people had died, and the Creator was sorry that they had perished because of the night. The Creator placed their spirits in a newly created tree. This tree was named a-tsi-na tlu-gv {ah-see-na loo-guh} cedar tree.
When you smell the aroma of the cedar tree or gaze upon it standing in the forest, remember that if you are Tsalagi {Cherokee}, you are looking upon your ancestor.
Tradition holds that the wood of the cedar tree holds powerful protective spirits for the Cherokee. Many carry a small piece of cedar wood in their medicine bags worn around the neck. It is also placed above the entrances to the house to protect against the entry of evil spirits. A traditional drum would be made from cedar wood.
Does the author believe this? Well, lets just say that there is a piece of cedar in my medicine pouch and I wear it always. The Creator did not make the people because of loneliness, but because the Creator wanted to show generosity and love to the people. Accept the blessings and the gifts given and always give thanks for them




Leaves In Thought

Big Blue

stopped to film the grand clouds at the 'old dredge hole' - long since turned into a marina area, restaurant destination etc - and this guy was there posing for me (but I didn't tip him)

Still On The Tree Tops

Yardarm - II

Well The Sun Is Over The Yardarm, eh?

Over the yardarm

Q From Nora Kelly in Canada: Do you know the meaning and origin of the phrase when the sun has crossed over the yardarm? I have heard it said when it’s lunch time and okay to have an alcoholic beverage.

A That’s the usual meaning among landlubbers, though I’ve heard of some who tend to use it for the early evening, after-work period from about 5pm onwards. It turns up in various forms, of which the sun’s over the yardarm is probably the most common, but one also sees not till the sun’s over the yardarm as an injunction, or perhaps a warning.
The yardarms on a sailing ship are the horizontal timbers or spars mounted on the masts, from which the square sails are hung. (The word yard here is from an old Germanic word for a pointed stick, the source also of our unit of measurement.) At certain times of year it will seem from the deck that the sun has risen far enough up the sky that it is above the topmost yardarm. In summer in the north Atlantic, where the phrase seems to have originated, this would have been at about 11am. This was by custom and rule the time of the first rum issue of the day to officers and men (the officers had their tots neat, the men’s diluted). It seems that officers in sailing ships adopted a custom, even when on shore, of waiting until this time before taking their first alcoholic drink of the day.
Though the days of sail are far behind us, the expression has a surprisingly wide currency still, especially in North America. Despite its apparent antiquity, it wasn’t recorded in print until the end of the nineteenth century.

A Shelving Dead Wood Mushroom

Early Sundown In The Wood - III

Early Sundown In The Wood - II

Early Sundown In The Wood

At The Moment

right this moment 

United States
United Kingdom

sorry I missed yesterday


Peaceful Afternoon

Bolete - but not an edible I think - will do a check on this and update a little later

I believe that this is the:
Phylloporus rhodoxanthus: The "Gilled Bolete"
using both my mushroom book and looking online - but as I've said before I am just  an amateur so take care if you are thinking of eating this supposed 'edible'/


Right On Time

Old Pulteney, 43% - not bad and a good photo walk tipple

A Little late - III

A Little Late This Year - II

Mushrooms - A Little Late This Year

On My Way To Photograph The Newly Hatched Cardinals - still full sun in clearings but in the wood just occasional rays

The Cardinal Eggs Have Hatched

sorry about the 'out-of-focus' but I was standing on a stool and still reaching above my head in order to shoot downward - not wanting to be a disturbance more than needed I took the two photos and then left - if there is a next time I will somewhat adjust 'focus' in advance at an estimated distance

Chinese Poetry
The earliest Chinese poetry begins with the Shih Ching, a collection of 305 poems of varying length, drawn from all ranks of Chinese society. The title Shih Ching is usually translated in English as The Book of Songs or sometimes as The Odes. Shih means "song-words." Ching can mean "classic" or "traditional" or in the context of literature, it means "writings" or "scripture." Commentator Mao ordered the poems and assigned each one a number, and his number is still used as the primary means of refering to each poem in Chinese texts, though I have chosen to list my samples below by first lines and titles.
Some of these poems may date back to 1000 BCE. The oldest poem in this collection that can be pinpointed precisely dates back to 621 BCE, the date of the death of Duke Mu of the state of Ch'in. The various poems probably were compiled over several centuries, most of them during the Zhou (also spelled Chou) period around 600 BCE. This treasury of traditional songs is the oldest collection of poems in world literature, and it became one of the Five Confucian Classics.
In spite of the many centuries that the Shih Ching embraces, there are several traits prevalent in the poems that later became traits of Chinese poetry generally.
Traits of Classical Chinese poetry:
(1) Usually, the Chinese poem is fairly simple on the surface. Western culture, which was influenced by Shakespeare, Milton, and the Romantic poets, had a pronounced tendency to think of poems as ornate, elaborate creations made by a few men of genius. Chinese culture, influenced by the anonymity of the Shih Ching, had a tendency to think of poems as something written by common humanity for the eyes of other humans.
(2) Usually the poem deals with either agrarian imagery, courtship and marriage, or dynastic concerns. The Zhou (or Chou) dynasty was agrarian in its roots, and for its people, "their sense of beauty and order is closely related to the cycles and abundance of the agricultural year," as Stephen Owen suggests (xx). Likewise, the poems often revolve around the sorrows and joys of romance, or dealt with the heroic and legendary exploits of rulers and kings. Other poems, which probably originated in folk-songs, deal with the everyday trials and tribulations of love, life, and the family.
(3) Each poem is usually composed of lines of four syllables, usually with rhymed endings in the original Chinese. Often these four syllables appear as four pictograms. The normal form of the courtship and marriage songs is three verses of four lines each. Only a single non-fragmentary poem consists of a single quatrain, the form that later became popular in modern Chinese poetry.
(4) The poetic principle organizing the poem is often one of contrast. Often Chinese poetry will juxtapose a natural scene with a social or personal situation. The reader of the poem sees the similarity in the natural description and the human condition, and comes to a new awareness of each by this contrast. In Chinese, this idea is embodied in the terms fu, bi, and xing (pronounced "shing"). Fu refers to a straightforward narrative with a beginning, middle, and conclusion, that stands by itself. Bi, literally "against," implies a comparison or contrast, placing two things side by side. When one takes two different fu, and places them together, the two create a bi. This results in xing, a mental stimulation or "lightning" that pervades the mind of the reader, bringing new insight or awareness into the nature of the individual fu that compose the poem. Confucius stated that this xing is the purpose of poetry, that the point of a poem was to make the mind contemplate its subject deeply.
Like European poetry, Chinese poetry often relies on alliteration, repetition, and onomatopoeia to create its effects. Song #1 of the Shih Ching (#87 in the Waley anthology) illustrates this point when we contrast the original Chinese with the English translation of the poem.
Additionally, the Shih Ching contains four general subtypes of poems:
  1. Feng, (folk-songs or aires, which I find the most beautiful of all the poems)
  2. Minor Odes
  3. Major Odes
  4. Dynastic Songs

The following poem was written by Li He in the ninth century CE.
"Song of the Bronze Statue "

Gone that emperor of Maoling,
Rider through the autumn wind,
Whose horse neighs at night
And has passed without trace by dawn.
The fragrance of autumn lingers still
On those cassia trees by painted galleries,
But on every palace hall the green moss grows.
As Wei's envoy sets out to drive a thousand li 1
The keen wind at the East Gate stings the statue's eyes. . . .
From the ruined palace he brings nothing forth
But the moonshaped disk of Han, 2
True to his lord, he sheds leaden tears, 3
And withered orchids by the Xianyang Road
See the traveler on his way.
Ah, if Heaven had a feeling heart, it, too, must grow old! 4
He bears the disk off alone
By the light of the desolate moon,
The town far behind him, muted its lapping waves.

North East Creek - 2015, 19Jun'17 - is brown from rain run off just like today

Today's date in 2015 - the equipment is gone but the bridge is still in limbo

this is why the average person - myself included - dislikes the idea of government as problems seem to have no solution 

Morning (5:30 pm) Moon

spent the day driving to Baltimore to visit my son and then home in drenching rain an hour or less ago so not many photographs today - did get these in bright and early