nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘shelter’ Category

the worry in weather

with 4 comments

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On Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Snowman waited on our back deck for the Nor’easter to begin …

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We are coming to the end of the rains associated with this week’s storm, a Nor’easter that brought snow, ice pellets, sleet and a lot of rain.  In our area, we had about 45 mm of rain, but some parts of the province had over 100 mm.

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Many people in New Brunswick are coping with flooded basements as a result of all the rain.  After our flooded basement experience in 2010, I spent the last couple of days in worry – hoping our drainage issues are fixed and making endless trips to the basement to make sure we had no water on the floor.

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Today I am grateful – we had no problems with flooding.  Our space is safe and we are warm and dry.

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Last night, on the back deck in the dark, after all the rain, Mr. Snowman lay on his back. The rain took most of the snow but he is still smiling. He knows more snow will come!

 

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 12, 2014 at 7:49 am

snowflakes

with 13 comments

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I woke on Saturday morning to the easy fall of snowflakes.  A good day to write Christmas cards.  Amazing how a frail curtain of flakes can create a personal, comforting space.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 8, 2014 at 7:44 am

february chill

with 4 comments

memories of a walk on a cold night …

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spaces in the dark

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white on the pasture

interrupts the night

clings to cold twilight

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footfalls

beside me

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a black horse

assembles from shadow

ponders the snow

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your coat

folded around me

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the horse lifts its head

knows where deer hesitate

where wings brush against barn boards

where I stand in the snow

and shiver

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never so warm again

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chill spaces around me

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no feathers to fly

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm

Posted in shelter

Tagged with , , , , , ,

snippets of landscape – vernal pools and the spring migration

with 17 comments

At the edges of our Grey Woods are several places where ‘vernal pools’ form.  As a result, these spring evenings are alive with the peeping and croaking of various frogs and toads.

‘Vernal pools’ are temporary accumulations of water in depressions.  This water may originate from snow accumulations or from rising water tables.  The word ‘vernal’ comes from the Latin ver meaning spring.

Although vernal pools are ephemeral, they create habitat for many animals, including insects and amphibians, often at critical life stages.  Amphibians such as Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica), Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum), and Blue Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma laterale) depend on vernal pools for laying their eggs and development of tadpoles.  Other amphibians you may encounter in a vernal pool include Spring Peepers, Grey Tree Frogs and Bull Frogs.

During a rainy night in late April or early May, you may be fortunate enough to observe the early spring migration of Wood Frogs and other species as they make their way to breeding locations.  These frogs have remained all winter in hibernation and have unthawed in the early spring rains.  Unfortunately, many must cross roads to get to the ponds and vernal pools where they will lay their eggs, and many become casualties of their attempts to cross the road.

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an uncertain spring migration

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if it rains

the night road

leads home

to lowlands

and hollows

vernal pools

north of the highway

swollen with rain

~

mists crawl

towards me

vignettes

sweep the windshield

frogs cross the roadway

follow ancestral memory

blurred by rain

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some nights

the tail-lights ahead

are my only family

red streamers on wet pavement

tadpoles from the eggmass

grow legs

absorb their tails

follow the road

~

I watch

the phone poles

the potholes

the hidden driveways

the headlight echo on trees

frog legs

crushed on the pavement

mailboxes with uncertain names

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the centre line is a zipper

seals the left side

to the right

the coming home

with the leaving

frogs plead

from the wetlands

never saying goodbye

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Published as: ‘an uncertain spring migration’, Spring 1997, Green’s Magazine XXV (3).

revised

© Jane Tims  2011

~

warm room

with 8 comments

We had another snow storm last night.  In our winter climate, can anything compare with being settled in a warm room with a cup of tea, perhaps reading a good book, and listening to the storm throw handfuls of ice-pellets at the window glass?

As I write this, I know everyone is not so fortunate.

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within

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winter lays a cheek against the glass   pecks at the window

rattles the door

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the room is a yellow lattice   on the snow   a frail package

of warmth   firelight   a quilt     the pages of a novel

kneading paws

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field mice and ermine etch    fleet trails in the thicket   breathe

in the velvet space beneath the fir

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kettle and cat are purring

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~

 

©  Jane Tims  2000

Written by jane tims

March 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

witch’s broom

with 8 comments

In the Balsalm Fir tree over our shed is a strange growth, like a dark mass of short deformed branches.  This dark mass of branches is known as a ‘witch’s broom’.

A witch’s broom is a common term for an abnormal growth caused by the action of an agent such as a mite, virus, insect, or fungus.  The agent causes a branch of the tree to grow from a single point, resulting in a mass of twigs and branches resembling a nest or broom.  Many kinds of plants can have a witch’s broom deformity, including many tree species.

Animals, including the Northern Flying Squirrel, use the witch’s broom as a nesting place.  The Northern Flying Squirrel is the big-eyed squirrel invading our feeders every night  (see ‘spacemen in our feeder’ under the category ‘competing for niche space’ for December 23, 2011).

Witch’s brooms occur frequently … we have at least three in our grey woods.  They lend an air of mystery to the woodland.  People used to believe a witch had flown over the place where a witch’s broom grew.

If anyone knows of another name for the witch’s broom, please let me know.  Years ago, we visited a small farm museum in northern Maine and an example of a huge witch’s broom was displayed in the shed, labelled ‘horrah’s nest’, but I have been unable to find this term used elsewhere.

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wood witch

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burdened by snow

a tree falls

tumbles a witch’s broom

the witch set free

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a hex on the snowfall

slate where the dog walks

cuts her feet

soft rubies in every track

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a hex on the room

cold as I left

now warm

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too warm

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© Jane Tims  2001

 

Written by jane tims

January 2, 2012 at 9:08 am

tracks in the snow

with 6 comments

On Tuesday I went for a walk in the grey woods.  Snow fell just before Christmas, so my walk turned into a quest to see who else had been walking (or running) in the woods. 

I found many tracks, large and small.  Mice had made their cylindrical tunnels, and occasionally had run across the surface.  At some places, you can see where their tunnels suddenly go subterranean…

Sometimes several paths converge at a sheltered area beneath a fallen log, like a woodland bus terminal…

There were lots of squirrel tracks, often ending at the base of a tree where their paths move into the treetops…  

Squirrel tracks crisscrossed with those of deer… 

I followed the trail of two deer deep into the woods, thinking they were long gone since the tracks were filled with a slight dusting of snow…

This made me a little careless, and the next thing I heard was a high-pitched snort and squeal of warning and the bounding of hooves through the woods.   I got a good look at two beautiful deer, but the camera was not ready.  I did capture the very fresh track of one of the retreating deer.

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tracks in the snow

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ephemeral proof

I follow the beacon

of a stash of spruce cones

stock-piled at the base

of a crooked tree

careen from a foe

slip beneath a log

dive into a hole

secret hollow 

a pause to still

thud thud of my heart

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©  Jane Tims   2011

 

Written by jane tims

December 30, 2011 at 8:36 am

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