nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for June 2017

pink lady’s slipper

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This time of year, my husband does an inventory of the Pink Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium acaule) on our property.

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This year, he found 10. He only saw three last year but there have been as many as 15 in bloom at one time. We never pick them and try to keep our property natural and wooded.

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The Pink Lady’s Slipper prefers acidic soil and partly shady conditions, making our grey woods an ideal habitat. Our flowers are often a pale pink or white variety.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

June 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

beekeeping

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As we go for our drives around the country-side, we see beehives everywhere. Occasionally we see the beekeepers, covered in their protective clothing, tending to the hives.

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The hives make honey available to lovers of locally-produced sugar. They also ensure the pollination of our apple orchards and fields of blueberries.

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beekeeper

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bees smoke-drowsy   rag smoulders   swung slowly   protected thick

in net and cotton   wicking folds   into beeswax   candle flame

pours golden   through panes   in the honeycomb

streamers   sweet circles   sink into bread

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hollows of air

yeast-filled

and honey

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2.

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the bee stings

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but the beekeeper never flinches

flicks it from his fingers

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spit and mud

for a poultice

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Published as ‘beekeeper’, Canadian Stories 17 (95), February/March 2014

This poem is also part of the collection within easy reach, Chapel Street Editions, 2017

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to order within easy reach, contact Chapel Street Editions  

or order at Amazon

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

June 21, 2017 at 7:42 am

my eraser is my friend

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I spent a quiet morning drawing a new image for the fourth book in my science fiction series.

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Meniscus: Crossing The Churn and Meniscus: South from Sintha have been published. I am now waiting for editing and a proof of Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb (to be published in July). In the meanwhile, I have some time to continue work on the fourth book, Meniscus: The Village at Themble Hill.

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The Village at Themble Hill is the most tragic of the four books to date. Odymn, sometimes reckless, breaks her leg and then falls from a tree. How did she get in that tree and will she survive?

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I am the first to admit my drawings are not perfect. I have no specific training and my hand does all the work so it takes all the blame. However, I love to draw. It is engrossing and being able to illustrate my own books has helped me tell my stories.

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I begin by reading the text of the story to choose a scene I want to illustrate. I usually have the composition of the scene securely in my head as a result of the writing. Then I pose my little wooden model, find some photos to help me with the human form, and get to work. I have decided to show you the stages for a particular drawing.

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In this scene, Odymn and the Slain have decided to explore The Fault, to make sure there are no unknown ways for the Gel-heads to gain access to the new Human settlement. The Gel-heads have invaded before, carrying off prisoners and trying to murder those they leave behind.

 

The Slain pulls his map from his pack.

Yellowed vellum. Corners worn.

Ink marks gloss the edges.

The Slain’s finger follows The Fault.

 

“We’ll go scouting,”

he says. “Make certain

there are no other stair-steps

carved in rock.”

 

“No other water-climbs,” says Odymn.

 

She hears what the Slain does not say.

He tires of life in Garth —

rules, duty rosters

and expected conversation.

 

“When do we leave?” says Odymn.

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I begin with a quick sketch to establish the position of my characters. I use a 2B pencil and eraser. I think the eraser is the most useful of my drawing tools!

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Then I start to consolidate the lines and sketch in some background.

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The next step is to establish some of the shadow in the drawing. As you can see, a Q-tip is almost as important to me as the eraser!

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Odymn is always the easiest to draw. She is a bit quirky, so her facial expressions mask her beauty. The main challenges are her hair and her nose which always tries to develop a hook.

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The last thing I draw is the Slain’s head. He is a most difficult character/subject. I always get him too young or too old, too dark or too light. Sometimes he insists on looking a bit like a caveman!

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The final drawing is almost exactly the scene I saw in my head. Odymn and the Slain look a little uncertain about what they will find on their adventure. As you can see, when you use an eraser, you also need a brush to shoo the eraser bits away without smudging the drawing.

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With a few minor edits, this drawing will accompany this part of the story in The Village at Themble Hill. The Slain and Odymn will have some dangerous adventures as they travel along The Fault.

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What do you think of my process and my final drawing?

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

 

time on the shore

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On this Father’s Day, I remember times spent with my dad.

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When I was a kid, he would take us to the shore near Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, to look for chunks of iron pyrite (fool’s gold) in the rocks.

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time on the shore

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spit of sand

grains in an hourglass

poured through gaps

in a cobble sea

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waves advance

try to tangle me

wash me, turn me

like a sea-smooth stone

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but I know about tides

I move myself inland

each hour

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3.

he watched whales blow here

saw sea horses dance

filled his pockets with sea glass

pitied the sandpiper

sprinkling tracks the waves erase

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I hear the hiss of air

the echoing wail

small stallions prance on my toes

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I close my eyes

forget to move

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he takes us prospecting

we wedge into crevasses

keen for pyrite gold

cube within cube

embedded in stone

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we always forget the hammer

we chip and scratch with fingernails

reach across rock

dare the waves

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a sanderling cries

quit quit!

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shorebirds

befriend me

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a dowitcher sews a seam with her bill

bastes salt water to shore

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the sanderling shoos back the tide

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terns

plunge into the ocean

and complain they are wet

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Published as: ‘Time on the Shore’, Canadian Stories 16 (89), February/March 2013

Part of manuscript ‘mnemonic‘ winner of the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick 2016 Writing Competition

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

June 18, 2017 at 2:42 pm

goslings

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On our drive last weekend to the Spednic Lake area, we saw this sight along the road by North Lake …. three Canada geese and their goslings …. two rather unevenly sized families.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

June 16, 2017 at 7:05 am

in search of Thornton W. Burgess

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Last weekend we took a drive to the western part of the province. Our goal was to see Bolton Lake.

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I have heard that there was once a cabin on an island on Bolton Lake used by Thornton W. Burgess during his summer visits to New Brunswick. Thornton W. Burgess (1874 to 1965) was a conservationist and children’s author who wrote adventure stories featuring all the denizens of the wild wood – he wrote more than 170 books and many stories including The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat (1914), The Adventures of Sammy Jay (1915), The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse (1915), The Adventures of Grandfather Frog (1915) and so on. I particularly remember Mother West Wind’s Neighbors (1913) because it brought lots of the characters together.

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Our drive took us along East Brook Road, off highway #630 in western New Brunswick, in the area of Palfrey and Spednic Lakes.

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Bolton Lake is at 8 o’clock on the map … we followed the East Brook Road (upper road marked in red from right to left) and then the Parker Lake Ridge Road (marked in black along the left edge of the map)

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The road is well-used but rough and I had a few ‘moments’ as my husband navigated the potholed and sometimes inundated road.

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the road is the northern boundary of one of New Brunswick’s protected areas

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it always looks worse than it is …. a beaver dam blocking a culvert caused this flooding on the road

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our conversation as we drive is augmented by my warnings … “bump!”, “big rock!”, “really big rock!” as if my husband couldn’t see these himself! … there was lots of road maintenance going on – culverts replaced and washouts resolved

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We were surprised but wildlife sightings were scarce on our trek. We saw moose, deer and coyote tracks, bear and coyote droppings, and lots of beaver lodges but no one was out and about on such a hot and windy day.

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a moose track in the sand of the road

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We had been to Bolton Lake in 1990 and were amazed to find that almost thirty years has made a huge change. The road from Parker Lake Ridge Road to Bolton Lake has completely grown over.  So Bolton Lake will keep its secrets and its history for now. We will have to content ourselves with a vista from Pemberton Ridge along the Forest City Road … the lake in the distance is one of the many waters comprising the Spednic Lake – St. Croix River system along the US/Canada boarder. Bolton Lake is hidden in the trees and valleys on the right hand side of the photo.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

lupins lean

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Yesterday our drive in western New Brunswick was dominated by two things: the wind and the roadside wildflowers.

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Buttercups, bunchberry, bluets and lupins fill the ditches with bloom. The lupins  (Lupinus sp.) dominate – mostly purple and blue, but occasionally white, pink or even yellow. The wind was blowing so hard, you could use the flower heads and leaves to measure wind direction!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

June 12, 2017 at 8:42 am

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