nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘exploring New Brunswick’ Category

ice-falls in New Brunswick

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An ice-fall along highway #102 in New Brunswick

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One of the sad things about the end of winter is the demise of our ice-falls in New Brunswick. Along the roads, where there are streams intersected by road-cuts, we often have a build-up of ice as it drips from the top of the cut. Some of the ice-falls are spectacular and all are dazzlers in the sun. For more about ice-falls in my blog see here.

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From my reading, I know that ice-falls begin as ‘frazil ice’, a suspension of small ice crystals adhering to soil, rock or vegetation. As meltwater flows over the surface of the frozen ice-fall, new layers are built and a cross-section of the ice will show bands of ice. 

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In New Brunswick, some ice-falls are climbable, and some create caves under the curtain of ice. A famous New Brunswick ice-fall is the Midland Ice Caves near Norton. https://www.explorenb.ca/blog/icecaves

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one warm hand

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icicles seep between

layers of rock frozen

curtains separate

inner room from winter storm

glass barrier between blue

light and sheltered eyes

memory of water flows

along the face of the rock

one warm hand melts ice

consolation, condensation

on the inward glass

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(published as ‘one warm hand’, http://www.janetims.com, March 10, 2012)

Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

signs of spring

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Here are few of the signs of spring we saw on our drive last weekend:

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a skunk running through the apple orchard …

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pussy willows …

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muddy roads …

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beer cans and other returnables, released from their cover of snow …

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and a New Brunswick can-and-bottle collector out for walk …

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Happy Spring!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 9, 2018 at 7:01 am

Pokiok Falls

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Pokiok Stream, about 2011

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On one of our family summer excursions across Canada, my parents stopped along the highway in New Brunswick to see the Pokiok Falls near Nackawick. I remember the white churn of water below me, so steep it looked like the water was falling into a pipe. In 1967 the Mactaquac Dam submerged the falls and now they are only a memory, visible on old post cards and in photo albums.

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For a fictionalized account of the changes resulting from the building of the Mactaquac Dam, read Riel Nason’s excellent coming-of-age book ‘The Town That Drowned‘ (Goose Land Editions, 2011).

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Pokiok Falls

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my mother held me at the railing

to see the Pokiok

plunge

from highway

to river

granite pipe

roiling water

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later, when the dam went in

they moved the churches

to higher ground

so the church bells

wouldn’t gurgle

when they rang

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now the river slips sideways a notch

to fill the round drowning of the falls

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water cannot fall within water

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I cried when I left

I hadn’t seen the pokioks

I said

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

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

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