nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

planting trees at our cabin

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Last weekend, we planted about 30 Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedlings at our cabin property. There are lots of trees there already, but we are thinking ahead.

We bought our seedlings at the Irving Tree Nursery in Sussex, $.50 each. We planted them with the help of a metal dibble stick made especially for planting young trees.

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Here is a photo of our cabin, taken from far away, on the other side of the lake in early spring. Lots of tree there already, you say? You can never have too many trees!

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We still have more trees to plant, including some Red Pine and Eastern White Cedar. Great time spent outside where the black flies are never very bad!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 22, 2017 at 1:15 pm

waterfalls of New Brunswick – a reading by Nicholas Guitard

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On Thursday evening this week, Nicholas Guitard will be reading during our church’s Authors Coffee House. Nicholas Guitard is the author of Waterfalls of New Brunswick (Gooselane, 2009). He is also author of The Lost Wilderness: Rediscovering W.F. Ganong’s New Brunswick (Gooselane, 2015).  Ganong was a famous 19th and 20th century naturalist and geographer who is responsible for much of the understanding of natural history, place names and geography of New Brunswick. You can get copies of these books here and here.

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If you are in the Fredericton area, you would certainly enjoy this reading. There will be photos of some of New Brunswick’s best waterfalls, as well as refreshments and a chance to talk to Nick about his work. Hope to see you there!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

morning birdcalls – Northern Parula

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After a hot day, a cool night. This morning, our windows are wide open and a Northern Parula is busy in our grey woods.

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His distinctive call – ‘whirrrr-zip’ – has an upward lilt at the end. I can catch only a glimpse of him, certainly not long enough for a photograph.

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The Northern Parula is a small warbler with a bright orangy-yellow upper breast. He builds his nests of Old Man’s Beard lichen (Usnea spp.) – there is lots of this lichen hanging from the trees in our grey woods, so of course he is here!  This is a watercolour I did of him last year.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

spring flowers – service berry bushes

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At this time of year, many ditches and fields in New Brunswick are filled with Serviceberry bushes in bloom. Their delicate white flowers only last a short while but later, in summer, we will be able to pick sweet Serviceberries.

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the shad are running

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after hard rain

and thin wind

between cold front and warm

riverbanks overflow

and for dinner we have fiddleheads

potatoes and shad, served

with last summer’s Serviceberry jam

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Serviceberry bushes are torn fish nets

holes poked through with fingers

white petals scattered over mossy stones

on the river shore

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Published as ‘the shad are running’ in within easy reach, 2016, Chapel Street Editions

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Reading at Westminster Books, Fredericton

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Looking for something interesting to do on Thursday evening this week? Bring your imaginations and curiosity to enjoy an hour of readings and refreshments at Westminster Books.

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I will be reading from my new book “Meniscus: Crossing The Churn”, a science-fiction adventure. And Zach Hapeman will read his quirky, sometimes sinister, poems for the young at heart. Zach is the author of the poetry collection “A Crack in the Door”.

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At the reading we will have:

Gel-head punch – green like the transparent aliens on the planet Meniscus!

Life-sized stand-ups of a Gel-head and a Dock-winder, another alien on Meniscus.

A bit of ‘beelwort’ to ‘slip into your pocket’ (don’t worry, it’s only cardboard!!!) – these will be used for three prize draws during the evening.

Prizes include a small but charming painting called “alien moons” and an adventure game called “Forbidden Desert”.

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Hoping to see you there!

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Copyright Jane Tims (a.k.a. Alexandra) 2017

making stand-ups for my book launch

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On Thursday evening at 7PM, I will be reading at Westminster Books in Fredericton, with Zach Hapeman, poet-for-the-young-at-heart and author of ‘A Crack in the Door’ (Amazon books).

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I’ll read from my new book ‘Meniscus: Crossing The Churn’. I have a few surprises for my audience, including life-sized stand-up cardboard aliens.  I also did a set of smaller aliens to include in the Westminster Books display window.

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First step: Obtain the cardboard. My very helpful husband brought home two big cardboard boxes from Leons Furniture in Fredericton. A big thank you to Leons! The boxes, originally used to protect table tops were the perfect size (6′ by 4′)!

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Second step: Select a couple of drawings of the Gel-head and Dock-winder aliens from my book. Gel-heads are named since their skin is a transparent green gel – muscles, skeleton bits and even some organs can be seen through their skin! The Dock-winders have very long necks, tattooed to keep track of their exploits. They are called Dock-winders because when they invaded earth, they attacked from the sea and their necks resembled the dock piers sailors use to tie up their boats!

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Third step: Transfer the drawing outlines to the cardboard. To do this I created a grid on the drawing and a scaled grid on the cardboard. Then I just drew a scaled outline using the grid-lines.

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Fourth step: Paint the cardboard figures. Manipulating the cardboard during painting was the hard part. I just used my exercise ball to elevate and steady the figure. I was afraid the cardboard would bend, but no mishaps occurred!

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had to add pants to my Gel-head alien … even on planet Meniscus, you need clothing!

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Fifth step: Cut out the figure. I used a skill knife and carved away small segments at a time. Then I touched up the edges with black paint.

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Sixth step: Reinforce the back of the figure, especially bendy parts like arms legs and necks, with wooden skewers and glue.

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The Results: Here is a photo of the smaller stand-ups in the window of our local bookstore Westminster Books, Fredericton. Janet North (owner) and staff have been so good to me. The store is hosting the launch of my book on Thursday May 18, 2017 at 7 PM. If you live in the Fredericton area, Zach Hapeman and I would love to see you there!!!! My aliens would love to see you too!!!!

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Copyright Jane Tims (a.k.a. Alexandra Tims)  2017 

spring wildflowers – Trout Lily

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On a drive to Sussex yesterday, we found Trout Lily blooming in many ditches along the back roads.

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Trout Lily is an herbaceous colonial plant, covering slopes in rich, moist hardwoods. The plant is also known as Dog’s Tooth Violet, Yellow Adder’s-tongue, Fawn-lily, and in French, ail doux. The yellow lily-like flowers bloom in New Brunswick in May. The leaves are mottled in maroon and green. The young leaves and bulb-like ‘corm’ are edible but should only be gathered if the plants are abundant, to conserve the species.

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trout lily

(Erythronium americanum Ker)

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On a hike in the hardwood

north of the Dunbar Stream

you discover Trout Lily profusion

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Mottled purple leaves overlap

as the scales of adder or dragon

You know these plants as edible

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the leaves a salad, or pot-herb

and, deep underground, the corm

flavoured like garlic

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You fall to your knees

to dig, to gather, and

hesitate

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examine your motives

You, with two granola bars in your knapsack

and a bottle of water from Ontario

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(published as ‘trout lily’ in “within easy reach“, 2016, Chapel Street Editions)

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

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