nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Archive for the ‘within easy reach’ Category

getting the better of … a squirrel?

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At readings of my book within easy reach, I often include the poem ‘beaked hazelnuts’ and tell my audience:

If I don’t pick my hazelnuts by August 6, the squirrels will get there ahead of me. They watch the calendar!

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hazelnuts viewed from the underside of the shrub canopy

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The Beaked Hazelnut is a wiry shrub found in mixed woods. The edible nut is contained in a bristly, beaked husk. We have three clumps of the shrubs in our yard, probably sprung from the stashes of squirrels over the years!

For my battles with the squirrels over the hazelnuts, just have a look at

https://janetims.com/2011/08/07/competing-with-the-squirrels/

and

https://janetims.com/2011/08/18/competing-with-the-squirrels-2/

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This year, I also watched the calendar. And on August 5, I picked most of the hazelnuts on our hazelnut ‘trees’. Picking is tricky because those pods are covered with sticky sharp hairs that irritate thumb and fingers.

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Never-the-less, I have a small bowl of hazelnuts to call my own (I left a few for the squirrels, more than they ever did for me). Now I will wait for them to dry and then have a little feast!

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beaked hazelnuts

(Corylus cornuta Marsh.)

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hazelnuts hang

husks curve

translucent, lime

they ripen

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this year, they are mine

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uptight red squirrels agitate, on guard, we watch

the hazelnuts ripen, slow as cobwebs falling, nut pies

browning through the glass of the oven door

green berries losing yellow, making blue

dust motes in a crook of light

float, small hooked hairs

shine

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two more days

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hesitate

and red squirrels

bury their hazelnuts

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From within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2016)

https://www.amazon.ca/Within-Easy-Reach-Jane-Spavold/dp/1988299004

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

August 9, 2017 at 7:45 am

review of ‘within easy reach’

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My book of poetry within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2016) has been reviewed by James Deahl (Canadian Stories 20 (116): 66-67, August/September 2017).

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 31, 2017 at 7:41 am

wild strawberries to pick

with 4 comments

In the field around our cabin, the wild strawberries are ready for picking. Red, sweet, delicious.

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‘wild strawberries’ Jane Tims 2016

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If you love picking berries, or eating those first dew-covered berries of summer, you will like my book of poems about gathering and eating wild local foods.

‘within easy reach’ is published by Chapel Street Editions in Woodstock, New Brunswick. The book is illustrated with my drawings and includes lots of information about each wild plant mentioned. The book is available here at Chapel Street Editions or here at Amazon.ca

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For another of my posts about wild strawberries, and a poem about picking wild strawberries, look here.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

beekeeping

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As we go for our drives around the country-side, we see beehives everywhere. Occasionally we see the beekeepers, covered in their protective clothing, tending to the hives.

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The hives make honey available to lovers of locally-produced sugar. They also ensure the pollination of our apple orchards and fields of blueberries.

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beekeeper

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bees smoke-drowsy   rag smoulders   swung slowly   protected thick

in net and cotton   wicking folds   into beeswax   candle flame

pours golden   through panes   in the honeycomb

streamers   sweet circles   sink into bread

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hollows of air

yeast-filled

and honey

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2.

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the bee stings

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but the beekeeper never flinches

flicks it from his fingers

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spit and mud

for a poultice

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Published as ‘beekeeper’, Canadian Stories 17 (95), February/March 2014

This poem is also part of the collection within easy reach, Chapel Street Editions, 2017

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to order within easy reach, contact Chapel Street Editions  

or order at Amazon

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

June 21, 2017 at 7:42 am

spring flowers – service berry bushes

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At this time of year, many ditches and fields in New Brunswick are filled with Serviceberry bushes in bloom. Their delicate white flowers only last a short while but later, in summer, we will be able to pick sweet Serviceberries.

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the shad are running

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after hard rain

and thin wind

between cold front and warm

riverbanks overflow

and for dinner we have fiddleheads

potatoes and shad, served

with last summer’s Serviceberry jam

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Serviceberry bushes are torn fish nets

holes poked through with fingers

white petals scattered over mossy stones

on the river shore

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Published as ‘the shad are running’ in within easy reach, 2016, Chapel Street Editions

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

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

‘within easy reach’ – reading and signing

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Spring is here and berry-picking season won’t be far behind. First will be wild strawberries, then raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.

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The perfect time for poems about berry picking, gardening and foraging … all in my book of poetry ‘within easy reach’  (Chapel Street Editions, 2016).

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I will be out reading from my book three times during the month of April. It’s National Poetry Month and many libraries and bookstores will be featuring reading events.

 

  • Woodstock  L.P. Fisher Library April 13 – 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM Poetry Night
  • Sackville  Tidewater Books April 18 – 7:00 PM Three Poets
  • St. Stephen  St. Croix Public Library  April 22 – 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM reading and book sale 

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Here is the poster for the Sackville event …

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As you can see, the Sackville reading will include two other poets whom I admire, Edith Miller and Marilyn Lerch!

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At the reading I will be raffling one of my berry-picking paintings. Everyone who buys a copy of ‘within easy reach’ during the evening will be entered to win a draw for the painting ‘blackberry afternoon’, acrylic, gallery edges (unframed), 10″ by 12″

 

‘blackberry afternoon’, acrylic, gallery edges (unframed), 10″ by 12″

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If you live near one of these venues, I would love to see you! Looking forward to those wild strawberries!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

April 11, 2017 at 9:30 pm

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