nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘the landscape of home’ Category

my new garden fountain!

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Enticed by a Facebook advertisement, I purchased a small, solar-powered water fountain for my deck garden.  It floats in a bowl (although it could also be put in a birdbath or larger pond) and uses the sun’s energy to send water into the air. If the sunlight is direct and non-stop, the spray is forceful and continuous. On our deck, where the light is dappled by all the leafy trees, the flow is sporadic but fascinating to watch in all its variety.

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Lots of fun and realizes my dream of having a simple fountain to enjoy! I purchased the fountain at Next Deal Shop here for about $50 including shipping but I notice they have sales from time to time.

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Enjoying summer! Hope you are too!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 10, 2017 at 11:00 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

blueberry red

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The Isaac’s Way Summer Art Auction #27 in Fredericton, New Brunswick has ended! And my painting ‘morning sky’ has sold for the full price of $260. I am so pleased since the charity is to provide for MUSIC lessons for kids-in-need.

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My painting in the next Art Auction (runs September 25 to late January, 2017) is perfect for fall. It is entitled ‘blueberry red’ and depicts a blueberry field near Stewarton, New Brunswick in late autumn when the blueberry leaves turn a brilliant red.  The painting is 24″ wide by 20″ high, acrylic with gallery edges. I am donating 50% of the proceeds from my painting to the charity. I hope you like it!

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September 10, 2016 ‘blueberry red’ Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

changing communities

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Last week we went for a drive to the Cornhill Nursery in Kings County to buy a new cherry tree for our yard. Afterwards we took a drive to visit some of the old communities in the area. One of these communities, Whites Mountain, was a rural farming community with 17 families in 1866 (New Brunswick Provincial Archives). By 1898 the community had one post office, one church and 100 people. Today the community consists of a few farms and residences, perched on a steep hillside overlooking the hilly landscape of northern Kings County.

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On the road descending Whites Mountain, Kings County, overlooking the broad Kennebecasis Valley (September 2016)

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One of the most interesting sights on our drive may also be evidence of the farmsteads formerly in the area.  Although Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia (L.) Planch.) is native to North America, in this area it is usually associated with human habitation. In the thick woods north of the community, we found Virginia Creeper in profusion, covering the surface of the trees.

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Although there is only forest here now, perhaps the ancestors of these vines covered barns and other buildings in the area.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

 

 

getting ready for fall – orchard green

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Thirty years ago, we planted a young Wolf River apple tree in our side yard. I wanted to create an orchard where I could walk in the shade and gather fruit in fall.

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For years we took good care of the orchard – three apple trees and a cherry. In spring I have inhaled the sweet fragrance of apple and cherry blossoms. In spring I watch the blossoms burst open like popped corn. I listen to the bees gathering their nectar. Watch the apples ripen and grow. Some years I make apple jelly, some years applesauce. In the fall I watch deer under the trees, eating their fill of apples.  One year a deer challenged me for ownership of the Wolf River tree, pounding his hoof into the ground with a loud, reverberating stomp.

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A few years ago, our interests turned to other things and the orchard was left to go its own way. The cherry tree continued to bloom but produced no cherries because it is ‘self-unfruitful’  and needs another cherry tree. Two of the apple trees succumbed to the shade and died. The Wolf River tree survived, but grew tall and gangly, trying to reach the sun that peaks over the roof of the house.

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Now, priorities have shifted. We are interested again in the ‘orchard’ and have plans for its future. In the next weeks we intend to cut down the dead trees. A friend has agreed to prune the Wolf River tree when the season is right, to bring its branches within reach.  I will buy another cherry tree so we can finally have cherries.

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To seal the plan for the orchard, I have done a portrait of the apples as they grow plump in late summer. Painted in acrylics, 11″ x 14′, gallery edges, with Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Yellow, Titanium White, Paynes Grey and Burnt Sienna.

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August 26, 2016 ‘orchard green’ Jane Tims

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 29, 2016 at 7:00 am

Isaac’s Way Art Auction and Sale – ‘morning sky’

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On May 27, 2016, the 26th Art Auction and Sale at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton, New Brunswick will come to an end. Only a few more days to own some reasonably-priced art and contribute to a charity for children. For a look at the paintings still available, visit http://isaacsway.ca/art/.

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My painting in the 26th Art Auction and Sale is a landscape of the Saint John River as viewed from the Nerepis Marsh. It is entitled ‘across the bay’ (24” wide by 20” high, acrylic on canvas, unframed with gallery edges).  The current bid is $100. I donate 50% of the proceeds to Isaac’s Way Kids-in-Need. To make a bid on this or other paintings, just drop in at Isaac’s Way in Fredericton or call 506-474-7222.

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My submission to the next (the 27th!) Art Auction and Sale is of a brilliant sunrise behind our grey woods.  The painting, entitled ‘morning sky’, is 24″ wide by 20″ high, acrylic with gallery edges. This auction will run from May 27, 2016 to late September 2016.  The proceeds from the auction will go to sponsor Kids-in-Need for music lessons and I am donating 50% of the proceeds from my painting to the charity.

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May 10, 2016 ‘morning sky’ Jane Tims (24″ X 20″ acrylic)

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 13, 2016 at 7:00 am

one room school houses – hiding in the landscape

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Last Friday, we took a drive along the west side of Grand Lake, in the Youngs Cove area of Queens County, New Brunswick. We were searching for old one room school houses. As far as I know, there is no list for these buildings in Queens County, New Brunswick, although a list does exist for nearby Kings County.

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I had seen one old school in the Whites Cove area, so we began there. This school was operated as a local craft store for a few years but is now a private cottage. The one room school is in good shape, painted bright red. The round plaque in the gable of the roof says 1837. The building had two front doors – one for boys and one for girls.

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Whites Cove school house

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We then continued toward Chipman, taking old roads when possible. I know that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, each small community (each Parish) had its own school, so we watched for the tell-tale design of the one room school house – a small, rectangular, one-storey building with a steep-sloped roof and rather high side walls. Each school had two or three tall rectangular windows on each side and one or two front doors. Some New Brunswick schools had a small anteroom or vestibule on the front. The bell-tower common on school houses in the United States was not typical of one room schools in New Brunswick.

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We followed the road along the shoreline of the peninsulas extending into Grand Lake. In particular, we were watching for the older homes that show what the community may have looked like a hundred years ago.

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As we came over a hill, we first saw the Rees school house. It had some of the characteristics I describe above. However, I am new to one room school hunting, so I was not really certain this little building had once been a school. And then my husband pointed to the sign on the small road opposite the building – School House Lane. The school house was being used as a cottage and was in poor condition with broken windows and a crumbled brick chimney. But I was happy to see the original stone foundation, a straight roof line, a large flat stone as a threshold, original clapboard on the front of the building, and evidence of the original vestibule.

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Rees school house

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Thrilled by our discovery, we continued to the next community and followed a side road. Almost immediately, we saw the Cumberland Bay School, announced by a sign above the door. It was a typical school house design, built on a hill. There was a rock foundation (with some brick) and a straight roof. The building was in good shape with evidence of regular maintenance and use, perhaps as a hall. A cold wind was howling and I felt sorry for the kids who must have come to school in all kinds of bitter weather.

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Cumberland Bay school house

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After seeing three school houses, we felt like pros. We took the next road along the shore, toward Cox Point, and found a school house outside the community of Range. It was set back from the road, used in conjunction with a family cottage. The roof was straight, the side windows were intact  and the shingles were in good repair.

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Range school house

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I was delighted with our drive – we had discovered three school houses we did not know about! I also got a feel for some of the characteristics of these buildings and how they fit into the local landscape.

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Old Schools in Youngs Cove area 2016

a map showing the old school houses we found … you can see a pattern emerging … I expect there were once school houses in some of the other communities indicated on the map

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Why am I interested in this topic? My interests in landscape, the environment and history all come into play. I am also beginning to think about my next poetry project and have decided to explore the idea of school houses in the landscape.

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To do this project, I will think about the setting of the school house in the community and how topography (hills and lakes and rivers), vegetation (fields and forests, orchards and big old swinging-trees) and other built landscape (bridges, churches, stores and farms) would have influenced the students, teachers and members of the community.  Visits to old schools, some talk with people who remember attending these old school houses and reading at the Provincial Archives would give me lots of material for my writing.

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Do you have examples of old one room school houses in your area? Did you attend school in a one room school house? I would love to hear your stories!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

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