nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘wild life’ Category

bird songs in the grey wood

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Today I sat on the back deck and listened to the birds. I can’t stay for long because our robin who has returned for year three gets upset with me. The photo below was taken in 2018, but taking a new photo just gets the robin very agitated.

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So, here is the list for today:

mourning doves – hooo hooo

northern parkland last – whirrrrr-zip!

robin – cheer cheer cheery weee

ovenbird – t-cheer, t- cheer, t-cheer

hairy woodpecker – pit, pit, pit … this fellow has been beating on the metal flashing of our roof daily. This morning he began at 5:30. Just before sun-up. I took the photo below in 2017.

All the best to you,

staying home and

in my two household bubble.

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

raddit

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Rabbits have always been a part of my life. When I was young, in Alberta, rabbits (the white-tailed jackrabbit) overran the prairie and almost every evening, you could look out on the lawn and see them grazing. In New Brunswick, we often see rabbits (the snowshoe hare) along the roadside.

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When I was in Grade One, I was asked to submit my scribbler for a contest. The teacher, Mrs. MacDonald, said two things about my scribbler. First, I should look at my spelling of ‘rabbit.’ It occurred many times in the scribbler and everywhere I had spelled it ‘raddit.’ Second, she said to use an eraser to make the corrections. “Do not wet your finger and try to take out the two ds. It will leave a hole in your paper.”

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I had no eraser. And I wanted to win the scribbler contest. The teacher had mentioned the use of a wet finger as an eraser. Perhaps it would work. So I wet my finger and rubbed at the ds. You guessed it, I ended up with a hole in the scribbler page. I did not win the contest.

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snowshe hare paperback

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twitch

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grass, bent after rain

underside in dark, topside

rinsed in moonlight where

eight brown rabbits lope

from perimeter of prairie

eager for a nibble of green,

nip of delirium, dancing

in moonlight, whiskers

liberated to brush

cheeks in mobile

shadow, to make

transparent, long

ears, vein-lined

twitch, stand

erect, ear

hairs scan

for two-

or four-

legged

danger

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All my best,

staying home,

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

April 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm

moose

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moose

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square body

four hundred kilos

cow lifts her head, angular

stares at the car

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long ears maneuvre

in all directions

no challenge

dewlap swings

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cow returns to her business

prehensile lips

pulling leaves

and chokecherries

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We saw this moose on the way to our cabin, about a kilometre along the road. She stared at us for a while, eyes and ears curious, but eventually she returned to her feeding.

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All the berries are coming into ripe: chokecherries, blueberries and blackberries. At the cabin the blueberries are the largest and sweetest I have ever seen. Everywhere I picked showed evidence of an animal there before me. Not a moose. Perhaps a bear, not caring where he sat as long as he could scoop up those berries.

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All my best, Jane 

Copyright August 2019

Written by jane tims

August 23, 2019 at 7:00 am

Posted in wild life

Tagged with , , , , ,

checking out the berries

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As I have often written, our cabin is an enjoyable place to be. We read; we go for walks; we watch the birds; we occasionally do a little work (keeping the trails clear, working on the cabin).

This past weekend we identified the trees surrounding the cabin and we were pleased to find we had 13 different trees:

  • horse chestnut
  • red maple
  • mountain birch
  • white birch
  • trembling aspen
  • green ash
  • apple
  • red oak
  • willow
  • white pine
  • black spruce
  • balsam fir
  • shad bush

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The berries on the shad bush are just beginning to form. At this stage they are about as big as a small pea.

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We weren’t the only ones interested in the progress of the shad bush fruit. While we watched, a cedar waxwing landed and stayed for a while.

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Last year we had fun watching the cedar waxwings feeding wild strawberries to one another! If you’d like to see those photos, click here.

Al my best!

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

June 24, 2019 at 9:26 pm

moose in a wetland

with 2 comments

On one of our many drives, we found ourselves in the community of Juniper, New Brunswick. In a small bog, in the midst of the community, was this fellow, a bull moose (known in scientific and other circles as Alces alces). He paid no attention to people or cars and went about his business, chewing at the vegetation in the wetland.

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The moose is a fairly common sight in New Brunswick. They are so common and dangerous along roadways, fences have been constructed along sections of the various major highways to separate moose and car.

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The first time I ever saw a moose was on my very first field excursion with my new position with the New Brunswick Department of Environment (back in 1978). I said to the federal biologist who was with me, “Look, a forest ranger is riding a horse through that bog!” The biologist replied, “That’s no horse, that’s a moose!” To this day, it is the ugliest animal I have ever seen, but there is something beautiful in its efficient ungainliness!

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Moose are big animals, up to two metres in height and up to 700 kg; my husband (my authority) says New Brunswick moose do not grow quite this big. Moose are solitary (not herding) members of the deer family. They inhabit boreal or mixed forest and love wetlands and open waters.  They are herbivores and eat aquatic vegetation, grasses, and twigs, branches and leaves of shrubs and trees.

If you see a moose, back up slowly. They can become aggressive if startled or annoyed. My husband saws, “No four inch stick is going to stop a moose!”

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This is the second moose we have seen this summer.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 1, 2018 at 7:00 am

wildlife weekend

with 3 comments

The rule is: if you forget the camera, you’ll see something to photograph. Yesterday, we broke the rule. On a quick trip to the camp we saw these two. The moose cow was all legs; looks like she was put together by a committee. The bear was a big one, too busy eating wild strawberries to be very worried about us. This makes the forth bear we have seen this year. And we heard the loon down on the lake. Great weekend.

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All the best!

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 16, 2018 at 7:00 am

a feast of wild strawberries

with 2 comments

This week at our cabin the wild strawberries are hanging from their stems. When I see them I think of the sweet wild strawberry jam my mom used to make. And, after this weekend, I will think of  cedar waxwings.

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As we sat in the cabin, eating our dinner, we saw a bird making trips between the birch tree in front of the cabin and the grassy field to the side, where the wild strawberries grow.

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My husband identified the bird and spotted where it perched in the tree. The cedar waxwing is one of the common birds at the cabin. They love to eat fruit and we have wild strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries on the property.

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There were two cedar waxwings on the branch, sharing a meal of wild strawberries. Sharing fruit is a ritual behavior between male and female cedar waxwings.

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The cedar waxwings nest in our big white pines and sing in the top branches of other nearby trees. I will never see them without thinking of their little feast of berries.

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All my best,

Jane

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Written by jane tims

June 27, 2018 at 7:00 am

Birdbath

with one comment

Our copper birdbath includes a silver-coloured metal bird, in case no real birds come to call. In the shade of the maple tree the water shimmers. But the little silver bird never flutters, not even a feather.

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birdbath

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embedded in dapple

edge of copper

silver bird never moves

never flutters a feather

never pecks a sparkle

from crystal water

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bird with heartbeat

and dusty wing-feathers

lands for a bath

sputters and splashes

chooses to ignore

immobile effigy

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm

butterfly

with 4 comments

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butterfly

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scrap of paper

plucked from my hand

wind a tease

always one wing beat

beyond the finger tip

attempts to read

its delicate code

of dots

and dashes

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a yellow Post-it note

folded on the tower

of a blue sky cornflower

a tatter

a musical note

set to the panic

of butterfly flight

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a curtsy and away

across the field

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pursued by a butterfly net

and a killing jar

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Copyright Jane Spavold Tims 2018

 

Written by jane tims

May 30, 2018 at 7:00 am

Posted in wild life

Tagged with , , ,

Pileated Woodpecker excavations

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The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a common visitor in our yard. The size of the woodpecker and its triangular red crest are impossible to miss. The male also has a red stripe on the side of its face.

There is a big spruce tree in our grey woods where the Pileated Woodpecker loves to visit. The hole in the tree and the pile of woodchips below the hole say this woodpecker has been very busy.  The woodpeckers drill these holes to get insects.

On a drive to see the Smyth Covered Bridge near Hoyt, New Brunswick, we found a roadside tree with evidence of the Pileated Woodpecker’s industry.  The holes are almost a foot in length and deep enough to hide a hand.

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To humans, the best forests may seem to be woods with healthy trees. To provide good habitat for the Pileated Woodpecker, a forest should have lots of dead and fallen trees, to provide food and nesting sites.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 27, 2018 at 7:06 am

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