nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘wildflowers’ Category

along New Brunswick’s roads

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New Brunswick is a beautiful province. We also have a great road system, both for those who want to linger and those who want to get through as fast as possible.

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This time of year I am amazed at the beauty of our four-lane Trans-Canada highway. I think the roadside has been seeded with a wild-flower mix but many are weedy species common in New Brunswick. Whatever their origins, the results are lovely.

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I have found these flowers in a quick sampling of the roadside:

Buttercup (Ranunculus sp.)

Lupin (Lupinus sp.)

Bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

Red Clover (Trifolium pretense)

Daisy (Leucanthemum sp.)

Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)

Yellow Hawkweed (Hieracium caespitosum)

Bedstraw (Galium sp.)

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farafara)

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

(plus many grasses, sedges and non-flowering plants contributing to the background of green)

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Long stretches of highway can be boring-beyond-belief, but, because of these expanses of bloom, I am enjoying our drives along the highway this summer.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

June 26, 2017 at 7:41 am

pink lady’s slipper

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This time of year, my husband does an inventory of the Pink Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium acaule) on our property.

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This year, he found 10. He only saw three last year but there have been as many as 15 in bloom at one time. We never pick them and try to keep our property natural and wooded.

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The Pink Lady’s Slipper prefers acidic soil and partly shady conditions, making our grey woods an ideal habitat. Our flowers are often a pale pink or white variety.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

June 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

spring wildflowers – Trout Lily

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On a drive to Sussex yesterday, we found Trout Lily blooming in many ditches along the back roads.

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Trout Lily is an herbaceous colonial plant, covering slopes in rich, moist hardwoods. The plant is also known as Dog’s Tooth Violet, Yellow Adder’s-tongue, Fawn-lily, and in French, ail doux. The yellow lily-like flowers bloom in New Brunswick in May. The leaves are mottled in maroon and green. The young leaves and bulb-like ‘corm’ are edible but should only be gathered if the plants are abundant, to conserve the species.

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trout lily

(Erythronium americanum Ker)

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On a hike in the hardwood

north of the Dunbar Stream

you discover Trout Lily profusion

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Mottled purple leaves overlap

as the scales of adder or dragon

You know these plants as edible

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the leaves a salad, or pot-herb

and, deep underground, the corm

flavoured like garlic

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You fall to your knees

to dig, to gather, and

hesitate

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examine your motives

You, with two granola bars in your knapsack

and a bottle of water from Ontario

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(published as ‘trout lily’ in “within easy reach“, 2016, Chapel Street Editions)

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

in the shelter of the covered bridge – drawings

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As I complete my manuscript of poems ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’, I am also working on the drawings to accompany the text. I have made a list of the visuals presented in the poems, so I have a specific idea of what drawings I need. Many are completed since I have a large portfolio of bird drawings, for example …

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Others are still to be done. This morning I completed a rather delicate drawing of the two kinds of roses growing beside the Darlings Island Covered Bridge and captured in my poem ‘tangle’.

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I love to draw. For me, it is like watching a movie as I see my hand lay pencil marks on paper. It is not a calm activity. Perhaps because my hand and arm are moving, I get quite agitated when I draw and I imagine my blood pressure rising as the work progresses.

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In order to have a body of work to choose from for the final manuscript, I aim to have more than forty drawings. I have completed nineteen. Lots to do !

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Copyright  Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

February 1, 2016 at 7:23 am

the colour of October #2 (Tansy yellow)

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So many colours!  The orange of the big pumpkin on our doorstep.  The reds and yellows of the Red Maple leaves in piles under our feet.  The bright white of the moon this month.  The golden colour of the needles of the Tamarack now falling with every breath of wind.

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The colour that has inspired me this week is the yellow of Tansy  (Tansy vulgare L.) still bright along the road in Fredericton. The flowers are like brilliant yellow buttons.

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I couldn’t duplicate the colour with the yellows in my watercolour palette, but after layers of alternating yellow and white, I have realised how wonderful the yellows of nature really are!

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October 27, 2013   'Tansy'   Jane Tims

October 27, 2013 ‘Tansy’ Jane Tims

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In a month’s time, the bright yellow heads of the Tansy will be black!

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

October 30, 2013 at 7:09 am

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum Marsh.)

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Like miniature fireworks, bright bunches of the berries of Highbush Cranberry  (Viburnum trilobum Marsh.) burst along our roadsides in late summer.  Highbush Cranberry is also called Cranberry, Pimbina, and in Quebec,  quatres-saisons des bois.

The Highbush Cranberry is a large deciduous shrub, found in cool woods, thickets, shores and slopes.  It has grey bark and dense reddish-brown twigs.  The large lobed leaves are very similar to red maple.

In spring and summer, the white flowers bloom in a cyme or corymb (a flat-topped or convex open flower-cluster).  Most flowers in the cluster are small, but the outermost flowers are large and showy, making the plant attractive for insect pollinators.

The fruit is a drupe, ellipsoid and brightly colored red or orange.  The juicy, acidic fruit has a very similar flavour to cranberry (Vaccinium spp. L.) and is used for jams and jellies.  The preserves are rich in Vitamin C.

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fireworks, quatres-saisons

            (Viburnum trilobum Marsh.)

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against a drawing paper sky

some liberated hand

has sketched fireworks

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remember precursors in spring?

blowsy cymes, white sputter

of a Catherine wheel

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now these berries, ready to pick

bold, spherical outburst

of vermillion sparks

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a pyrotechnic flash of red

strontium detonates

in receptive dark

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a four-season celebration

spring confetti, berries,

fireworks in fall

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cranberry preserves – acidic,

tart blaze of summer sky

winter ignition

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© Jane Tims  2012

© Jane Tims  2012

a moment of beautiful – Blue-eyed Grass

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the space:  the meadow above the lake

the beautiful: a bright blue flower – Blue-eyed Grass

All grass is not grass.  In spring, some of those green blades reveal their true identity.  You look down, and a blue eye stares back at you.  You have found Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium montanum Greene.

Blue-eyed grass is not a grass at all, but a member of the iris family.  It inhabits moist, open ground in fields and meadows, and blooms in late spring and early summer.  The plant is low and slender, with a deep blue flower and a bright yellow center, borne at the top of a straight, usually unbranched, stem.  The stem is two-edged, flattened on the margins.  The flowers are borne in the axil of a sharp, upheld bract called a spathe.  In French, the plant is called BermudienneMontanum means ‘of the mountains’.

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Blue-eyed Grass

Sisyrinchium montanum Greene

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I walk in grass,

but it isn’t grass –

Sisyrinchium

it winks at me

with azure eyes,

and I blink brown at them

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Blue-eyed Grass

stands straight and still,

staunch Bermudienne

simple maid

with a watchful eye,

and a sword above her head

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© Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

September 17, 2012 at 7:52 am

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