nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘covered bridges’ Category

new book about covered bridges in New Brunswick – coming soon!

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In New Brunswick, we love our covered bridges. They are part of our history … a walk inside a covered bridge gives you access to  one of the best ‘written’ pages you will ever read, the carved and scribbled notations of a century of passers-by.

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My new book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ (published by Chapel Street Editions) is a tribute to the value of our covered bridges as part of our landscape and ecology.  In the book are 73 of my poems about plants and animals living in the vicinity of the covered bridge.  Many of the poems are about the ways humans use the spaces inside the covered bridge.

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in the shelter of the covered bridge’ includes poems about 35 different covered bridges, most crossing the St. John River or its many tributaries. There are also poems about a few bridges in Charlotte and Westmorland Counties.

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My book is also illustrated with 21 of my drawings of covered bridges and the animals and plants that live there. The cover illustration is from my painting ‘apple tree, Malone Bridge.’

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I hope you will buy a copy of my book! I will keep you posted on the publication date and availability!

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If you would like to win a paperback, postage-paid copy of ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ enter the draw by leaving a comment here on any post of my blog from now until I get my 500th follower, sometime within the next few weeks or days.  You can also enter by leaving a comment on any posting of my blog on my Facebook page. One entry per commenter per post.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

fishing under the covered bridge

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In the community where I live, there is one covered bridge, the Patrick Owens Bridge, otherwise known as Rusagonis River #2. At one time there were at least four covered bridges across the Rusagonis Stream.

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The photo below was taken in 1964 and shows my husband as a boy, fishing under the covered bridge on the North Branch of the Rusagonis Stream. In the photo, he is fishing with a home-made pole. That bridge was gone by 1978 when I first moved to New Brunswick.

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I have always loved covered bridges and I am pleased to announce that my new poetry book “in the shelter of the covered bridge” will be out later in 2017, published by Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock. The book is a compilation of my poetry about plants and animals living in the vicinity of some of the covered bridges in New Brunswick. The work was funded by artsnb and includes some of the poems that won the Alfred G Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition in 2016.

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in the shelter of the covered bridge” will include poems about many of the covered bridges in the St. John River valley and is illustrated with my own pencil drawings. I’ll let you know as soon as it is available!

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choke-cherries Becaguimec bridge.jpg

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

New Brunswick’s covered bridges … kissing bridges

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A covered bridge is also known as a ‘kissing bridge’ – a place where a couple can steal a caress in privacy.  A covered bridge has always been a good place to leave a message about affection for one another.

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During our covered bridge visits, we’ve seen lots of examples of these messages …

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At least two notations of love in the MacFarlane Covered Bridge (Ward’s Creek #2) …

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Ron and Trish, 2014 and WR and EE, years ago … MacFarlane Bridge

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And another way of linking two sets of initials in the Marven Bridge (Belleisle Creek #2) …

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A heart links J G and CW on the Marven Bridge

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‘Just Married’ in chalk in the Moores Mills Bridge (Trout Creek #5) …

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a chalk message in the Moores Mills Covered Bridge

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And, back in the MacFarlane Bridge, an incomplete notation.  Who did LANA love?

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LANA + in the MacFarlane Covered Bridge 2015

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Copyright  2017  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 1, 2017 at 7:31 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – Plumweseep Bridge, New Brunswick

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Plumweseep Bridge (Kennebecasis River #9) built 1911, not far from Sussex …

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The covered bridge in its setting … surrounded by trees, river running beneath, a field of ripened grain in the foreground, the rolling hills of the Kennebecasis Valley in the background.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

last days of a covered bridge … French Village Bridge

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More sad news for New Brunswick’s covered bridge heritage …  In the past months there has been lots of discussion about the fate of the French Village Bridge, also known as Hammond River #2, near Quispamsis, Kings County.

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Built in 1912, the French Village Bridge is one of only 60 covered bridges remaining in the province. In October, 2016, the bridge was severely damaged when a loaded excavator broke through the decking and undercarriage of the bridge.  Although the government began repairs, rot was discovered in the sub-structure. After holding public meetings to consider options, the government recently announced the bridge would be demolished and a modular bridge would take its place.

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The covered bridge is endangered in New Brunswick. In 1900, there were about 400 covered bridges in the province. By 1944, there were only 320. In 1992, when we visited some of the bridges for Canada’s 125th birthday, there were 71. In 2017, as I write this, there are only 60 remaining. Loss of the French Village Bridge will bring the number to 59. Vandalism, flood, accident, fire and age claim more bridges every few years.

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The French Village Bridge is one of those included as subject matter for my upcoming poetry book in the shelter of the covered bridge. As a result, it is one of the bridges we visited to gather information on the plants and animals found there. We are also interested in the human history of the bridge, so we  took photos of the carvings inside.

 

 

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When I look at the small amount of information I have on this bridge, I am saddened and angered to know how much will be lost.  Although economic considerations are important, the loss of built heritage includes loss of community character and part of our material culture. When ‘ROGER’ and ‘B’ and ‘E’ carved their names into the beams of the bridge, they probably thought the bridge would last many years into the future.

https://janetims.com/2016/05/16/a-drawing-of-a-covered-bridge/

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

August 11, 2017 at 7:09 am

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

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