nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘exploring New Brunswick’ Category

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

waterfalls of New Brunswick – a reading by Nicholas Guitard

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On Thursday evening this week, Nicholas Guitard will be reading during our church’s Authors Coffee House. Nicholas Guitard is the author of Waterfalls of New Brunswick (Gooselane, 2009). He is also author of The Lost Wilderness: Rediscovering W.F. Ganong’s New Brunswick (Gooselane, 2015).  Ganong was a famous 19th and 20th century naturalist and geographer who is responsible for much of the understanding of natural history, place names and geography of New Brunswick. You can get copies of these books here and here.

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If you are in the Fredericton area, you would certainly enjoy this reading. There will be photos of some of New Brunswick’s best waterfalls, as well as refreshments and a chance to talk to Nick about his work. Hope to see you there!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Bald eagle

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On a drive along the Saint John River south of Oromocto, we were happy to get great views of two Bald Eagles.

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an uneasy gathering on the river ice …

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watching for dinner …

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017 

Written by jane tims

April 12, 2017 at 7:15 am

spring comes to the Saint John River

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We have waited eagerly for spring here in New Brunswick. With late snow storms and temperatures still in the minus degrees Centigrade, my day lilies are just peeking through the grass at the edge of the snow.

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There is still ice on the river with windrows showing the last snows …

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but the ice is gradually receding, revealing vast strips of blue water …

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Every year, my husband and I watch for our own harbinger of spring …. the return of the Canada geese to the river. We went for a drive last week to find many examples of geese feeding in the bare fields and along the river edges.

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We saw geese in several fields along the way, but our best view was on a side road to one of the river’s many concrete wharves …

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prediction of spring

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necks of geese

are the steep upward

curve of charts showing:

—— longer , brighter days

——- larger areas of meltwater

——— warmer expressions of sun

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

April 3, 2017 at 7:00 am

an intelligent world of blue

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Yesterday, we went on a drive along the Saint John River from Oromocto to Jemseg. We hoped to see some birds or other wild life. But we didn’t even see a crow!!!!

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However we did see the world painted in a sweet-toned shade of blue … the ice on the river, the long shadows on the meadows and the sky. I was reminded of Douglas Adams and his tribute to hooloovoo ‘blue’.

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A Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the color blue.

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy    

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

March 3, 2017 at 7:57 am

mustard electric

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More painting going on. Trying to capture some of our dramatic New Brunswick landscape.

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This summer we drove through the rural countryside near Millville and loved the brilliant yellow mustard fields.

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This painting is called ‘mustard electric’, 24″ by 20″, acrylic, gallery edges, painted with Hansa yellow, Ultramarine blue, Titanium white. When I had it in the living room, it was impossible to ignore, its blast of yellow lingering in the peripheral vision!

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September 10, 2016 ‘mustard electric’ near Millville, N.B. Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

September 28, 2016 at 7:02 am

uphill and down

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While doing a search for a particular plant we know grows in the area, my husband and I took a side road through rural Victoria County in New Brunswick. We drove from Route 109 (near the top of the map), south through Upper Kintore and Lower Kintore, to Muniac, a distance of about 23 kilometres.

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(Map Source: New Brunswick Atlas, First Edition)

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Kintore was settled in 1873 and named for the town of Kintore near Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1898, Kintore was a railway station and had a post office and a population of 75. (Source: New Brunswick Archives)

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church and school house in Upper Kintore 2016

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Interesting to me was the very well-cared-for one room Upper Kintore School, built in 1877.

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Upper Kintore School built 1877

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Our drive took us uphill through Upper Kintore, along Big Flat Brook (a tributary of the Tobique River). The road peaked at Lawson Hill and then ran down, through Lower Kintore. Again, the road followed a watercourse, the Muniac Steam (a tributary of the Saint John River). As we drove we talked about the road — the earliest roads took the easy way, along the brooks. The southern part of the road was banked by steep rocky roadcuts.

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the Muniac Stream near Lower Kintore

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Since I am interested in the plants children might encounter on their way to school, I was happy that this is the time in New Brunswick when most of our roadside wild flowers are in bloom. We saw Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia serotina Nutt.), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.), Bedstraw (Galium sp.), Daisy (Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum L.), Bladder-Campion (Silene Cucubalus Wibel) and Meadow Rue (Thalictrum polygamum Muhl.). Quite a bouquet! I have to remain aware that some of these plants have become very weedy and invasive since the early 1900s and may have been hard to find in the 1800s. For example, in the photo below, just above the Black-eyed Susan, you will notice a plant of Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa L.). In New Brunswick, Wild Parsnip is a invasive species, probably introduced by Europeans in the 18th century as a food source.

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Black-eyed Susan along the road

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Do you have any favorite rural drives through communities with interesting histories?

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

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