nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘covered bridges’ Category

in the shelter of the covered bridge – Malone Bridge

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As I prepare for my fall book and art sale, I have tried to bring some of my pencil drawings into acrylic-world.

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One of my favorite covered bridge drawings depicts a tree of green apples against the backdrop of the Malone Covered Bridge near Goshen in Kings County, New Brunswick. The Malone Bridge crosses the Kennebecasis River where it is hardly more than a stream.

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From this drawing, I have done ‘apple tree, Malone Bridge’. I think this is my personal favorite of all the paintings I have done. The painting is acrylic, 18″ X 18″, gallery edges, using Paynes Grey, Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White and Burnt Sienna.

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September 24, 2016 ‘apple tree, Malone Bridge’  Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

September 30, 2016 at 7:00 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

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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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

on my bookshelf –  A Photo Tour of the Covered Bridges of New Brunswick by Ray Boucher

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As I make revisions to my poetry manuscript ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’, my collection of books about covered bridges in New Brunswick provides needed reference material. Ray Boucher’s book A Photo Tour of the Covered Bridges of New Brunswick looks at the 64 covered bridges present in the province in 2008. Today only 60 of these remain.

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Ray Boucher. A Photo Tour of the Covered Bridges of New Brunswick. Kissing Bridge Publications, 2009.

A Photo Tour takes the reader county-by-county to discover New Brunswick’s covered bridges. Many of the bridges are shown in more than one photo and photos were taken in every season. I particularly like the photos showing a bridge from up or downstream.

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Now gone from this record of 64 are the Adair Bridge (North Becaguimec River #1) (lost to fire in 2009), the Aaron Clark Bridge (Canaan River #1) (lost to flooding in 2014), the Stone Ridge Bridge (Keswick River #6) (lost to fire in 2008), and the Mangrum Bridge (Becaguimec River #3) (lost to fire in 2011). My version of the book has notes added in red to indicate the 2014 and 2008 losses. The historical value of this book is the photographic record of these four bridges as well as those still standing.

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Each photo is accompanied by facts on bridge length and date of construction, and interesting notes and anecdotes on the bridge and the photographer’s visit. Since my husband accompanied me on my visits to the covered bridges I am writing about, I liked reading that this book was also a husband and wife effort!

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I was able to buy a copy of this book on Amazon.ca … my collection of books about covered bridges is growing!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

on my bookshelf: New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges by Helen Coldrick

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One of the ‘must haves’ in a collection of books about covered bridges in New Brunswick is Helen Coldrick’s soft cover book New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. It includes drawings and information on the 70 bridges that existed in 1992. Today there are only 60 covered bridges in New Brunswick and Helen’s book is one way of seeing some of what we are missing.

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Helen Coldrick. New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. Neptune Publishing Company Limited: Saint John, 1992.

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In her book, Helen includes 30 of her black and white drawings of various covered bridges and construction features. I love these drawings because I can see the artist’s process in the lines: her way of using shadow and white space, and her approach to portraying the reflections in water. The drawings also show the setting of each bridge and in some cases, the dramatic landscape of the river beneath.

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Drawings in the book include bridges now lost: the Aaron Clarke Bridge (lost to flooding in 2014) and Iroquois River #4 (no longer standing).  The book also includes a listing of the covered bridges in New Brunswick in 1992. I think one of the values of the book is its snapshot of the situation in years past. The New Brunswick government keeps a list of today’s covered bridges but finding information on those no longer existing is more challenging. Helen’s book shows us what some of these lost bridges looked like and tells some of their stories.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges includes a general history of covered bridges in New Brunswick, and a description of covered bridges by county. The book also includes lots of information on bridge construction, including pages on trusses, abutments, bases, sidings, entrances, windows and walkways, and roofs.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges is available for $7.95 from Nimbus Publishing (www.nimbus.ca). If you are interested in New Brunswick, covered bridges, history or architecture, or if you just like books with lovely drawings, this would be a great addition to your library!

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Copyright  Jane Tims 2016

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on my book shelf – New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges

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As part of my project ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ I have collected books about covered bridges in New Brunswick. One of my favourites is a small book of photos of the 62 covered bridges existing in 2010: Brian Atkinson. New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. Nimbus Publishing: Halifax. 2010.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges is a compact hardcover, small enough to take along on an adventure spent visiting our covered bridges. The bridges are arranged by County and easily found in an index. Directions to each bridge are provided. Some of the entries include anecdotes about the bridge and all list the year the bridge was built.

The best elements of the book are Brian’s photographs. They are clear and set each bridge in its surroundings. Some are taken from unusual angles, either from an upstream or downstream vantage point. One is taken beneath the bridge! Although some offer enticing glimpses through the bridge’s entrance, none show the inside of the bridge.

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Brian’s book includes an introduction outlining the history of New Brunswick’s covered bridges. He includes information on the construction of the bridges and the origin of the signage advising folks to ‘Walk Your Horse and Save A Fine’!

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Included in the book is a preface which points out how many of our bridges are in out-of-the-way places … many New Brunswickers have never seen the most quaint and lovely of our bridges. As Brian says of one of the bridges: ‘… as pretty a spot as you can find for letting an afternoon slip by …’.

As the book tells us, in 1900 there were 4000 covered bridges in New Brunswick, in 1944, 320 and in 2010, only 62. Today, as a result of flood and fire, only 60 remain. My advice – take Brian’s book and head out for an expedition to make your own discoveries about this wonderful part of our built history.

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New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges is available through Westminster Books in Fredericton, your own local bookstore, or Nimbus Publishing

https://www.nimbus.ca/?s=New+Brunswick%27s+covered+bridges

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

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