nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘exploring New Brunswick’ Category

wildflowers – Bladder campion

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One of my favorite roadside flowers is the Bladder campion, Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke.  The flowers are white, with five deeply lobed petals. The flowers protrude from an inflated, papery calyx, greenish, purple-veined and bladder-like. This time of year, the flowers are almost past.

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I love the scientific generic name Silene, derived from the name of a Greek woodland deity. Another common name for Bladder campion is maidenstears.

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The leaves of Bladder campion are edible, used raw in a salad or cooked in a stew.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 4, 2017 at 7:14 am

wildflowers – Canada lily

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A drive this time of year through Grand Lake Meadows, along the old Trans-Canada Highway, will show you one of our prettiest wild flowers — Lilium canadense L., the Canada lily.

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The flowers are a glimpse of orange in vast fields of greenery. The flowers are down-ward pointing, reminding me of a chandelier of light. They bloom from June through August in the moist wetlands of this part of central New Brunswick.

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As the meadow winds flip the flowers upward, you can catch a glimpse of the dark red anthers and the spotted interior of the petals.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 2, 2017 at 4:43 pm

those don’t look like French fries!

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This time of year in eastern New Brunswick and elsewhere, the potato fields are flourishing and many are in bloom.

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I am so grateful for those potato fields. I love French fries, so much so that I limit my intake by making promises to myself and my son (something like: I promise to eat French fries only once per week for the next three months. I usually stick to these promises because I make them for a specific time.

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I love other potato products. I make great potato salad (potatoes, Miracle Whip, onions, bacon bits, mustard, green relish, pepper and basil). We also eat potato and leek soup regularly (a great hot-day supper). And, of course, potatoes are an ingredient in every stew I make through the winter.

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But although we love potatoes, do we ever appreciate their very pretty flowers? Like so many things, we fail to see their beauty unless we look.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 26, 2017 at 7:19 am

a touch of Monet

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Last week, on a drive to Plaster Rock, we passed a pond along the Saint John River filled with water lilies (Nymphaea sp.).

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Lovely. Calming. And reminiscent, in the way they lay on expanses of open water, of Monet’s water lilies at Giverny.

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When I think of water lilies, I also remember Edgar Allan Poe’s short story Silence – “And the water lilies sighed unto one another….”

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So to add to these greats, I have my own snippet from my poem ‘Bear Creek Meadow by Canoe’ (published in Canadian Stories 14 (82 ), Dec 2011 ):

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dignity quiets our paddles

hushed voices heed

the diminishing echo

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pliant as stems of pickerel weed

we honour the whisper

of wild rice

the edgewise touching

of nymphaea and nuphar

amphibian eyes

in the harbour-notch of lily pads

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we are threaded by dragonflies

drawn by water striders

gathered in a cloak of water shield

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

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

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