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Rebecca Rosenblum to Headline First Festival

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Word Feast: Fredericton's Literary Festival

Rosenblum, Rebecca_cr_Mark Raynes Roberts Website Photo by Mark Raynes Roberts

Rebecca Rosenblum, Toronto author of the new novel So Much Love (Penguin Random House, 2017), and recently a finalist for the 2017 Amazon.ca First Novel Award, will headline two events, delivering the first annual Word Feast lecture on Friday September 22 and reading from her novel on September 23.

Rosenblum is also the author of two award-winning collections of short fiction, The Big Dream and Once, which was named one of Quill and Quire‘s 15 Books That Mattered in 2008. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Journey Prize, the National Magazine Awards, and the Danuta Gleed Award.

Word Feast: Fredericton’s Literary Festival will also feature authors from Vancouver to St. John’s, Newfoundland, including Griffin Prize and Governor General’s Award winning poet Don McKay. Many New Brunswick authors also join the lineup, including Riel Nason, Allan Cooper, and the recent winners of the second…

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Written by jane tims

August 13, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Posted in guest posts, Uncategorized

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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

A moment of beautiful: Lily-of-valley

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This afternoon, as we arrived home from a day at our cabin, I caught sight of a Lily-of-the-valley flower leaning against this rotting log. So lovely and such a sweet smell!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

June 2, 2017 at 6:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

on my bookshelf – Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada by Lyn and Richard Harrington

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Thanks to a friend, I have added a gem to my small collection of covered bridge books! Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada, published in 1976, gives a glimpse of days when there were over a hundred covered bridges still standing in New Brunswick.

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Scan0027

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Harrington, Lyn and Richard Harrington. Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1976.

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Covered Bridges of Central and Eastern Canada includes black and white photos (and two in colour) of many of the covered bridges of the time, including one of the Southwest Otnabog Covered Bridge on Base Gagetown.

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These photos provide a glimpse into history: the types of signage used, the vintage cars, and the land uses in the vicinity of the bridge. Photos show the stacking of wooden lobster traps and log drives on the river. From the days when the bridges were used for private notices, there are photos of a circus poster and a painted eye glass advertisement.

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The book also includes written information on the history of covered bridges, bridge construction, enemies of the covered bridge and hopes for the future. The text covers topics such as traditions and superstitions, sources of bridge names, and anecdotes. I like the detailed story of the creation of the picnic park beside the Patrick Owens Bridge in Rusagonis.

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The Chapter ‘Hope for the Future’ is informative and somewhat sad. In the 1970s The League for Rural Renewal was seen by the author as the cornerstone for covered bridge protection and appreciation.

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Since the book was published, we have lost over forty covered bridges. On the positive side, appreciation for rural landscape is still alive in New Brunswick, evidenced by the many efforts of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. On our visits to covered bridges we have seen new roofs, mended walls and upgrades to abutments. Some of the photos in the book show deteriorated bridges now renovated and mended.

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The book provides a list of covered bridges in New Brunswick and Quebec in 1970. Although the list includes the names of 101 covered bridges in New Brunswick, the authors say 113 bridges existed in 1974/75 when they made their visits. The book also says there were 307 covered bridges in New Brunswick in 1950. Many of the names in the list are no longer familiar in today’s covered bridge lexicon: two bridges over the Shikatehawk River in Carleton County; Windgap Brook #1 in Kings County; Southwest Long Creek in Queens County; and Chemical Creek #1 in Albert County. As a point of interest, in the 1960s, there were still three covered bridges in Nova Scotia.

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The Foreword to the book is by Milton Gregg, born in Kings County, New Brunswick – cabinet minister, recipient of the Victoria Cross for bravery in World War II and Officer of the Order of Canada. He was also the founder and head of the League for Rural Renewal mentioned above.

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I was very fortunate to receive my copy of this book from a friend and I thank him again for the gift. Amazon lists the book as available through one of their associated sellers.

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

time for picking berries (and a good read)

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One more day to get a chance to win my painting ‘berries and brambles’ … Just buy my book within easy reach from me or my publisher. www.chapelstreeteditions.com

Written by jane tims

June 29, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

passage of time

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One of the poems in my new book within easy reach recalls a walk I took with my husband and our discovery of wild strawberries growing in profusion in a clearing in the forest.

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'wild strawberries'

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Old Man’s Beard     

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Usnea subfloridana Stirt.

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you and I

years ago

forced our ways

bent through the thicket

of lichen and spruce

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                        Usnea

caught in your beard

and we laughed

absurd!

us with stooped backs

and grey hair?

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found a game trail

a strawberry marsh

wild berries

crushed into sedge

stained shirts

lips

and fingers

strawberries

dusted with sugar

washed down with cold tea

warmed by rum

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today

an old woman

alone

lost her way in the spruce

found beard

caught in the branches

and cried

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Published as ‘Old Man’s Beard’, The Fiddlehead 180, Summer, 1994

Post also published at www.janetimsdotcom.wordpress.com

©  Jane Tims  2016

Old Man's Beard (Usnea)

Old Man’s Beard (Usnea) is a lichen found growing in coniferous woods. The common name comes from its matted, stringy appearance. Lichens are made up of two species, an alga and a fungus, living symbiotically.

 

Written by jane tims

April 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

in the shelter of the covered bridge – Baker Brook #2

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Of the 60 covered bridges in New Brunswick, most are in the southern part of the province. Last week we went to see the three remaining covered bridges in Madawaska County in the north-western part of the province.

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One of these was Baker Brook #2. It crosses the Baker Brook west of Edmunston and is no longer in service. The bridge has been protected in a small park with a parking area. Bird boxes, flags and hanging flower baskets show there is local stewardship of the bridge.

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Baker Brook #2 in Madawaska County, New Brunswick

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The Baker Brook #2 bridge was the essence of quiet. As we entered the bridge, the only sound was the patter of rain and the trickle of water under the bridge.

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I don’t get many photos of myself, but this is a good one – I am ready to take notes on the plants and animals I see in the Baker Brook # 2 covered bridge … these notes and my photos and memories become the basis for future poems

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The bridge is set against a backdrop of tranquil hills and fields. A deer watched us from a hayfield at the north end of the bridge. A white-throated sparrow called once and a crow made a few comments from the top of a round bale of hay. Otherwise, we were alone.

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I love the way the lichens have colonized the bridge and follow the boards, like rain, in lines down the outer walls.

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Some visitor had left a small collection next to the outer wall of the bridge. Three rocks and a broken bit of glass…

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Copyright Jane Tims 2015

Written by jane tims

July 29, 2015 at 7:20 am

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