nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘natural history’ Category

wild turkeys in New Brunswick

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As we came back from our drive in Charlotte County last weekend, we were on the lookout for wild life. And we were not disappointed.

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Down an unused road we saw twelve wild turkeys. Most, perhaps all, were females. In recent years we have seen wild turkeys more often on our various drives.

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They are fun to watch. They are quite social. Some were foraging, probably eating seeds, berries or insects; others were resting among the pink rabbit-foot clover.

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The University of New Brunswick is asking people to report the wild turkeys they see. The study will help determine the status of populations in New Brunswick.  Report sightings to the Facebook Page NB Wild Turkey Research

 

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All my best,

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

September 4, 2019 at 7:00 am

dandelion fluff

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scan0014 (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC)

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dandelion fluff

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purse lips

and puff

make a wish

scatter seeds

to wind

and follow

into sun

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Copyright Jane Tims 2019

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All my best,

Jane

 

 

 

 

Written by jane tims

August 16, 2019 at 7:00 am

Pearly everlasting

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H. 'Pearly everlasting' October 27 2018 Jane Tims

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Pearly Everlasting

Anaphalis margaritacea L.

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Pearly Everlasting

sign of summer’s passing

yet – immortelle

picked by the road

by the armload

hung from rafters

children’s laughter

runs beneath

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downy leaf, woolly stem

white diadem

perfectly matched flowers

thatched in gold

dry and old

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Linnaeus named

for Marguarite

memory sweet

paper petals keep

pale perfume

summer grace

in a winter room

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Published as:  ‘Pearly Everlasting’, The Antingonish Review 92, 1993 and at niche poetry and prose, August 20, 2012 here

Copyright   Jane Tims   2012

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 14, 2019 at 7:00 am

spring chorus – snipe

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For the last two mornings, about 9:00, about one and a half hours after sunrise, I hear a song that is not a song. A winnowing ‘hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,’ like a repeated, trailing set of high pitched notes, echoes in the grey woods. This is the mating display and call of a snipe.  The amazing thing is, the call is not coming from the snipe’s throat, but from its feathers. As it flies, the air moving through the tail feathers makes the ‘call.’ To hear this sound, visit here.

The snipe is a bird of wetlands and marshes. It has a long bill and black, white and brown feathers. There is still lots of snow on the ground but this bird seems anxious to get on with the season.

The only other birds singing this morning were the crows and our neighbour’s rooster!

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March 16 2019 'snipe' Jane Tims.jpg

Written by jane tims

March 16, 2019 at 7:21 pm

Partridge and Grouse – which are you???

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In New Brunswick, we have three birds which I confuse and name ‘Partridge‘. Remember I am a botanist and come by my bird knowledge through secondary sources.

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a ruffed grouse or a grey partridge? the first clue is habitat (the mainly hardwood woodlands)

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The Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is a bird of the woodlands (mostly hardwood) and is the bird heard ‘drumming’ in our woods in spring. Its plumage varies from pale brown to bright mahogany. It has a fanning tail and head feathers which stand up like a crown. The feathers around the neck ruff up too. Since these birds are locally referred to as ‘partridge’, there can be confusion between the Ruffed Grouse, the Spruce Grouse and the Grey Partridge.

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Ruffed Grouse crossing the Old Shepody Road in eastern New Brunswick

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Ruffed Grouse in our grey woods

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The Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) is a bird of mainly coniferous woodlands. It eats spruce and pine needles. It is a chicken-like bird with variable plumage, mostly grey and black in the male and grey-brown in the female. The bird has a fanning tail, but does not raise its head feathers the way the Ruffed Grouse does. For a good photo of the Spruce Grouse see https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Spruce_Grouse/id

The Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) is a bird of open areas and grass lands. It is a roundish bird with a brown back and grey sides and neck. The chest-area has a darker brown mark. When startled, the bird flies upwards on rounded wings. For a good photo of a Grey Partridge see https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Partridge/id

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 6, 2018 at 4:32 pm

bracket fungi

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On a drive last weekend, we saw this great example of bracket fungi growing on an old maple.

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Bracket fungi belong to a group of fungi called polypores. These produce the characteristic spore-producing bodies called conks. The shelf-shaped or bracket-shaped conks are a reproductive outgrowth of the main fungal body called the mycelium. As with all fungi, the mycelium is mostly unseen since it resides in wood or soil.

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Polypores are a significant part of the forest ecosystem because they are agents of wood decay. These fungi are efficient decomposers of lignin and cellulose.

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On a more fanciful note, the brackets of these fungi always remind me of ‘faerie stairs’, a way to ascend an ancient tree.

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bracket fungi

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in this forest

(staid

practical

grey)

could any form

construe to magic?

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fairy rings

moths in spectral flight

spider webs, witches brooms

burrows and subterranean

rooms, hollows in wizened

logs, red toadstools

white-spotted, mottled

frogs

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bracket fungi

steps ascending

a branchless tree

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(Previously published October 28, 2011 http://www.nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com )

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 4, 2018 at 7:00 am

saving the bees

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A while ago a friend of mine gave me an interesting ‘save the bees’ planting card. The white bee-shaped card is embedded with seeds. These seeds, if planted, will grow into wildflower species the bees like.

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As you may know, bee populations are struggling. Since bees pollinate plants, they are responsible for the continued success of all the plant species we rely on. The ecosystem is like a tangle of connected threads and the loss of any one connection is a loss to the system.

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Yesterday I planted my seed card in my deck box. I will let you know what grows!!! I am also a believer in leaving wild flowers to flourish on my property. I only mow once a year, I never use pesticides and dandelions are my friends.

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The Save the Bees card is from www.beebythesea.com a source of natural products . For more information about helping the bees, see Buzz About Bees at

https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/save-the-bees.html

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All my best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 2, 2018 at 6:30 pm

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