nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for November 2013

a moment of beautiful – an ice lantern

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the space: our living room on a winter evening

the beautiful: an ice lantern with cranberries and periwinkle vine

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As Christmas approaches, candles are among my favorite decorations.  For the past few years, I have made ice lanterns (also called ice candles).

I use a square plastic container that freezes well.  In the center, I place a paper cup weighed down with rocks.  Then I fill the outer ring with cranberries and greenery (this year I used the green vines of Periwinkle, Vinca minor, from our garden).  Then I fill the ring with water.

This goes in the freezer, or in colder weather, out on the porch.  Once the water has frozen, I put hot water in the paper cup, to free it from the ice.  Then I run cold water over the outside of the bigger container to free the ice lantern.  I light a tealight or flat candle and put it in the center space.

The shimmering ice lantern will last several hours.  These lanterns will also last a long time outside in cold weather.

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ice lantern

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Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

November 29, 2013 at 6:57 am

a closer look at trees (days 48, 49 and 50)

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One of the natural history lessons learned during my trip to California concerned the oak.  On a trip to ‘Safari West’ near Santa Rosa, our guide pointed out the scarred trunks of various trees.  The bark was embedded with acorns!  The Acorn Woodpecker places the acorns in holes in the bark of these trees, storing them for a later source of food.  The storage trees or ‘granaries’ are used over and over through the years!

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acorns planted in oak by woodpecker

acorns planted in a ‘granary’ tree by the Acorn Woodpecker

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Perhaps as a result of seeing so many new tree species in California, I have looked more closely at the trees I see in Street View as I cycle ‘virtually’ along the Cornwall coast.  Identification is usually difficult since the images do not show details.  However, occasionally a leafy branch is close enough to see the leaves clearly.  So far, I have seen the Common Ash, the Field Maple, and the English Oak.  In the image below, you can see the lobed leaves of the English Oak.

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English Oak

lobed leaves of an English Oak along the road to St. Anthony (image from Street View)

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48 and 49 and 50

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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7-48  November 21, 2013  30 minutes  3.0 km  (from Mawgan to St. Martin)

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November 26, 2013  'oak on Fords Hill'   Jane Tims

November 26, 2013 ‘oak on Fords Hill’ Jane Tims

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7-49  November 23, 2013  35 minutes  3.0 km  (from St. Martin to Helford)

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November 26, 2013  'maple and oak near Helford'   Jane Tims

November 26, 2013 ‘maple and oak near Helford’ Jane Tims

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7-50  November 25, 2013  30 minutes  3.0 km  (from Helford to St. Anthony-in-Meneage)

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Oak and Ash along the road to St. Anthony (image from Street View)

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

jet-lag (days 46 and 47)

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I had a great time during my week in California, but it has been hard to return to my regular routines.  The four-hour time shift left me out of sync.  For about ten days after arriving home, I was constantly sleepy, napping at odd times through the day.  I also had a hard time regulating my eating and for a few days, breakfast was a three course meal (doesn’t make sense since in California, I would still be sleeping).

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I slacked off my biking as well and after only two 30 minute sessions in 10 days, I woke one morning to find my knee in pain and almost locked into a bent position.  Besides its other benefits, I think the stationary biking keeps my knee flexible and lubricated.  I started biking again every two days and now my knee is back to ‘normal’.

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46 and 47

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7-46  November 13, 2013  35 minutes  3.0 km  (from Port Navas to Constantine)

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Being able to climb stairs easily is important, especially since I wanted to try out this set of stone stairs along the road in Cornwall …

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November 21, 2013 ‘stone stair near Constantine’ Jane Tims

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My experience with jet-lag has shown me how much easier it is to just hop on my stationary bike and see the Cornwall coast via Street View.

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7-47  November 19, 2013  30 minutes  3.0 km  (from Constantine to Mawgan)

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The route for the last few days of my virtual travel has taken me across the inlets of the Helford River.   This is interesting to me since I worked on waterways for so much of my career.  I also saw a flock of ducks on the water of the Mawgan Creek, also worthy of a look since Street View captures so little wildlife.

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7-46 ducks on Mawgan Creek

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A short distance farther along, the road crosses another branch of Mawgan Creek.  It was a good subject for a watercolour, so I tried to capture the reflections in the water and the contrast between the soft vegetation and the hard stone bridge.  In a lazy mood (more jet-lag???), I decided to use a spatter technique to give some interest to the scene.  I got a little carried away with the red!

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November 18, 2013  'Mawgan Creek'   Jane Tims

November 18, 2013 ‘Mawgan Creek’ Jane Tims

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I coped so badly with my ‘jet-lag’ experience, I now have renewed admiration for those who must travel constantly because of their work.

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I’d love to hear about your experiences with ‘jet-lag’.

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

California #3 – the Pacific Ocean

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When I went to California, I wanted to do four things: see my brother and my sister-in-law in their new home, drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, see Star Trek Academy (or its eventual location) and stick my toe in the Pacific Ocean.  The first three were easy, but seeing the Pacific and touching it were two different things.  We saw it almost immediately from the plane.  Then we walked along Fishermen’s Wharf, watched the boats bobbing in the quay, walked among the Bay fish at the Aquarium and travelled on the Bay Cruise around Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge twice.  Beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, I experienced some of the power of the Pacific Ocean.  As you cross under the Bridge, the water turns very choppy and churns and twists and swells.

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Once we got to Calistoga, my brother gave us his car for the day and my son and I headed across the winding roads of the Calistoga hills.  Thanks to our GPS and my son’s piloting skills, we reached the coast with little problem.  The waves were gorgeous – big white breakers on a blue ocean and a blue sky in the background.  Surfers were riding the biggest of the waves.  However, we couldn’t seem to find a way down to the beach that wouldn’t wreck my knees, so we contented ourselves with the view.  Then we ate at the ‘Tides’ restaurant, at a seat near the window directly over the water.  It was so close we both felt as though we were moving!

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Our last stop was at Goat Rock.  After a snail’s pace and a harrowing descent of very twisty roads, we reached the beach, but after reading the signs (they said it is the most dangerous beach in California for undertows), we decided to content ourselves with walking in the deep sand.   As we turned from the ocean to return to Calistoga, I wondered why I was not disappointed at not getting my feet wet.  The answer … I intend to return again and I’ll poke my toes in then!!!!

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Since my son has all our photos, I will share some photos and my painting of the Atlantic Ocean (Lawrencetown Beach) from my visit this spring with my other brother.

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November 16, 2013  'Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia'   Jane Tims

November 16, 2013 ‘Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia’ Jane Tims

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 22, 2013 at 7:40 am

California #2 – loving limes

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Since I am a botanist, it is no surprise – one of my favorite experiences in California was seeing the vegetation.  Lime, orange and lemon trees were everywhere.  One of the best lime trees was in my brother’s yard.  It had more limes than leaves!  It was en route to their new restaurant, 1226 Washington, opening soon in Calistoga.

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November 15, 2013  'loaded with limes'   Jane Tims

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 20, 2013 at 7:29 am

getting ready for Christmas #1

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For me, November began with a hurried Halloween and a week-long trip to California.  Once I returned, I promised myself full attention to getting ready for Christmas.  At the risk of behaving like the stores who run Christmas music in November, I am going to share some of my Christmas projects.

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This activity is fueled somewhat by Pinterest.  I discovered it quite recently and find so many creative ideas there!

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My first project was a paper garland for our entry.  Cardinals and white ribbon.

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

November 18, 2013 at 7:41 am

the colour of November #2 – wood for the winter

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November in New Brunswick can be bleak.  Before the snow is on the ground, the colours are dominated by browns and greys.  Like the browns and greys in our woodpiles.

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We have several woodpiles.  These include ranks of large round wood, cut and split into stove lengths, and stored in our shed.  We also have spruce and fir kindling, chopped fine to start the fire.  In the garage is a pile of smaller round wood, mostly the limbs trimmed from our maple trees.  This smaller wood will be the base for our fires, a way for the flames to step from the kindling to the bigger wood.

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Nov. 14, 2013  'wood for winter'   Jane Tims

Nov. 14, 2013 ‘wood for winter’ Jane Tims

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

November 15, 2013 at 7:38 am

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