nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

lost communities – an old flower garden

with 4 comments

Do you ever see an old flower garden, no house in sight, growing alone, expanding and reseeding where it can?

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On our drives to find old one room school houses in the landscape, we often find bits of domesticated flowers, indicating a home once flourished there. Sometimes these old gardens are all that is left of a rural community.

 

I have seen first hand, how many small rural communities in New Brunswick are little more than memories.

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A good example of this is Fredericksburg near Stanley in York County. Today it is a pleasant rural landscape with three or four homes. In 1866 Fredericksburg was a farming settlement with approximately 12 families. This information comes from an information-packed website from the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick: ‘Place Names of New Brunswick: Where is Home? New Brunswick Communities Past and Present’. By typing the name of a community, you can discover information about original land grants, the size of a community in the eighteen hundreds, how many families lived there, the population and whether there was a post office, store, or church.  http://archives.gnb.ca/exhibits/communities/Home.aspx?culture=en-CA

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I am sorry these are not better photos, but the colour among all the green shows the remnants of a flower garden that someone once loved.

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Musk Mallow (Malva moschata) …

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Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) …

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Some more Foxglove and blue Bachelors Button (Centaurea cyanus) …

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Lupin  (Lupinus perennis). I don’t know the identity of the white flowers, but they make a lovely overall ‘bouquet’!

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Have you seen any abandoned flower gardens? Do you wonder what stories they would tell?

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

August 24, 2016 at 7:38 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – final manuscript

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In the last weeks, I have been working towards completion of the book-length manuscript for ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’. It includes poems and drawings about the plants and animals living in and around some of the covered bridges in New Brunswick.

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Earlier this summer I was lucky enough to win a mentoring package from the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. I chose a talented, award-winning local poet to work with me on the manuscript and during the early part of the summer, with her expert guidance, I made revisions to the poems. She focused my attention on word choice, clarity and ‘showing not telling’. She also helped me with a handful of poems I thought were not salvageable and now some of these will make it into the manuscript!

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In the last few weeks, I have worked on revisions, ordering of the poems, and, hardest of all, my footnotes. Since the poems are about the remaining covered bridges in the St. John River watershed, I want to include some basic information in the footnotes as well as notes I made during my visits to each bridge. I have also worked on the drawings I will include in the manuscript.

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pickerel weed - Canal Bridge

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The process of preparing a manuscript is long and certainly goes beyond the fist few lines written on the page way back when this manuscript was just an idea. But if the way is about the journey, this has been such a memorable experience.  Best of all, I have been lucky to make the acquaintance of many of New Brunswick’s covered bridges. Last Thursday, as we returned home from a visit, we saw a double rainbow in the sky and I was able to snap a shot as we waited to take our turn crossing the covered bridge across the Rusagonis River (the Patrick Owens Bridge):

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double rainbow over the Rusagonis #2 Covered Bridge in Rusagonis August 19, 2016

double rainbow over the Rusagonis #2 Covered Bridge in Rusagonis, New Brunswick – August 19, 2016

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

August 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

within easy reach – next reading!

with 6 comments

Hi Everyone.

I  am happy to let you know about an upcoming reading event!

The reading will take place on August 25 (Thursday) at the Attic Owl Reading Series in Moncton (Café C’est la Vie) at 7 PM.  I will be reading from my book within easy reach. Novelist Elaine McCluskey (http://www.elainemccluskey.ca/) and musicians Travis Furlong & Dave Smith will also be there!

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jane reading at Attic Owl

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This is my second reading at the Attic Owl. On January 28, 2016 Carol Steel, Lee Thompson and I shared the stage. I know the crowd is attentive and the food is so good!

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Hope you can drop by to listen and say hello!

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Jane

 

 

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

August 19, 2016 at 7:31 am

getting ready for fall – high bush cranberry

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Another painting to accompany my fall book and painting sale. These are high bush cranberries growing along the St. John River. The painting is done in acrylics, gallery edges, 12″ X 10″, Chromium Oxide Green, Paynes Grey, Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Red Medium and a touch of Burnt Sienna. The subject matter of high bush cranberries was a suggestion of one of my blogging friends!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

August 17, 2016 at 7:13 am

getting ready for fall – hops vine

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I have completed a few more paintings in the group I’ll take to my fall sale. This one is of the wild hops vine we found in Victoria County.  It is acrylic, gallery edges, 12″ X 10″, painted with Titanium White, Paynes Grey, Chromium Oxide Green, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Light and a touch of Iridescent Copper.

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Untitled

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

August 15, 2016 at 7:24 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – lichens on the Benton Bridge

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Some of the species found growing ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ are unexpected. The Benton Bridge (Eel River #2) in west-central New Brunswick offered a few surprises.

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TRIP TO BENTON 2015 078_crop

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The Benton Bridge, built in 1927, crosses the Eel River at Benton, York County. The bridge is in an open area of houses, hay fields and a picnic park. A huge lilac at the end of the bridge was busy with hawk mothshttps ( https://janetims.com/2015/06/10/in-the-shelter-of-the-covered-bridge-hummingbird-moths/) . And Stonefly nymphs, an indicator of excellent water quality, covered the boards on the side and end of the bridge ( https://janetims.com/2015/06/08/in-the-shelter-of-the-covered-bridge-stonefly-nymphs/ ). But, to me, the most interesting discovery was on the upstream side of the bridge.

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trip to Benton 2015 064

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On the north-east facing outside wall, two species of lichen grew:

Boreal oakmoss (Evernia mesomorpha) and burred horsehair (Bryoria furcellata). These are common lichens, usually found on trees in open coniferous woods or on scraggy trees in bogs. Perhaps they like the coolness and humidity offered by this side of the bridge! I am so grateful to Stephen Clayden of the New Brunswick Museum for identifying and commenting on these lichens.

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on the north-east wall

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Benton Bridge

Eel River #3

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on the shaded side of the covered bridge

the walls are clothed, furred

in lichen

boreal oakmoss

yellow-grey and goose-fleshed

(Evernia mesomorpha)

burred horsehair

bristled, toasted and tangled

(Bryoria furcellata)

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they thrive on the weathered boards

from eaves to river they follow

the runnel ways of damp

cool on the dark side of the bridge

bark and branches their usual home

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

 

Written by jane tims

August 12, 2016 at 7:15 am

on my bookshelf – Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada by Lyn and Richard Harrington

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Thanks to a friend, I have added a gem to my small collection of covered bridge books! Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada, published in 1976, gives a glimpse of days when there were over a hundred covered bridges still standing in New Brunswick.

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Scan0027

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Harrington, Lyn and Richard Harrington. Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1976.

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Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada includes black and white photos (and two in colour) of many of the covered bridges of the time, including one of the Southwest Otnabog Covered Bridge on Base Gagetown.

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These photos provide a glimpse into history: the types of signage used, the vintage cars, and the land uses in the vicinity of the bridge. Photos show the stacking of wooden lobster traps and log drives on the river. From the days when the bridges were used for private notices, there are photos of a circus poster and a painted eye glass advertisement.

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The book also includes written information on the history of covered bridges, bridge construction, enemies of the covered bridge and hopes for the future. The text covers topics such as traditions and superstitions, sources of bridge names, and anecdotes. I like the detailed story of the creation of the picnic park beside the Patrick Owens Bridge in Rusagonis.

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The Chapter ‘Hope for the Future’ is informative and somewhat sad. In the 1970s The League for Rural Renewal was seen by the author as the cornerstone for covered bridge protection and appreciation.

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Since the book was published, we have lost over forty covered bridges. On the positive side, appreciation for rural landscape is still alive in New Brunswick, evidenced by the many efforts of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. On our visits to covered bridges we have seen new roofs, mended walls and upgrades to abutments. Some of the photos in the book show deteriorated bridges now renovated and mended.

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The book provides a list of covered bridges in New Brunswick and Quebec in 1970. Although the list includes the names of 101 covered bridges in New Brunswick, the authors say 113 bridges existed in 1974/75 when they made their visits. The book also says there were 307 covered bridges in New Brunswick in 1950. Many of the names in the list are no longer familiar in today’s covered bridge lexicon: two bridges over the Shikatehawk River in Carleton County; Windgap Brook #1 in Kings County; Southwest Long Creek in Queens County; and Chemical Creek #1 in Albert County. As a point of interest, in the 1960s, there were still three covered bridges in Nova Scotia.

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The Foreword to the book is by Milton Gregg, born in Kings County, New Brunswick – cabinet minister, recipient of the Victoria Cross for bravery in World War II and Officer of the Order of Canada. He was also the founder and head of the League for Rural Renewal mentioned above.

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I was very fortunate to receive my copy of this book from a friend and I thank him again for the gift. Amazon lists the book as available through one of their associated sellers.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

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