nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

a woodland stream in southern Alberta

with 2 comments


When we were children, living in Alberta, Mom and Dad took us for drives on the weekends.  Usually, we explored the prairie roads or the landscape of the South Saskatchewan River.  Sometimes, though, we sought the wooded areas of southern Alberta. 

A place we visited more than once was a small wooded stream in the Cypress Hills.  We called it ‘Greyburn Gap’, probably after the nearby community of Greyburn’s Gap.  The site had a picnic table and shelter, woods to explore, and the little stream. 

The Cypress Hills area is an eroded plateau, rising above the Alberta and Saskatchewan prairies.  It was left unglaciated during the last ice age and has a flora and fauna much different than the surrounding prairie.  Part of the Cypress Hills is protected as the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

Elkwater Lake and the wooded landscape of the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park as they appeared in 1967

My parents were raised in Nova Scotia and were accustomed to the forests of the Atlantic Provinces.   The Cypress Hills, and the woods of Elkwater Lake, where we had a cabin, must have helped them feel more at home in Alberta. 

mixed woods of Elkwater Lake area (2002)

our cabin at Elkwater Lake (1967)

 

Greyburn Gap, Alberta

~

I remember    a brook threaded through the trees like string   

black water in the gap between gossamer and fern

a fence to mark its moving   a fallen fir

to tangle its water    our hands

trailing in the eddy

~

a jug of root beer   sunk to the neck   to move the brook’s cold shiver

into our summer bodies

~

 

 © Jane Tims, 2011

Written by jane tims

August 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Jane
    your poem is excellent … as always “a jug of root beer sunk to the neck to move the brook’s cold shiver”excellent line. The camp looked awesome … I really could have picked your Dad’s brain to pick up his building skills. -Denis

    Like

    JD

    August 26, 2011 at 7:55 am

    • Hi Thanks for the praise. The camp was built partly on pillers because of the sloped site. One of my proudest childhood moments was when Dad let me fill one of the pillers with rocks before he poured the cement. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      August 28, 2011 at 10:35 am


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