nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘apple orchard

apple orchard after the ice storm

with 8 comments

On Saturday, we went for a drive to see the results of last week’s freezing rain storm. Every tree sparkled with its layer of frozen water. When we stopped by the roadside to take some photos, the sound of cracking ice made a continuous stippling noise in the forest.

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I was amazed at the odd miniaturized appearance of the ice-covered apple trees in an orchard not far from our cabin. The trees are normal sized but there is a lack of scale and weirdness of light in the photos that miniaturizes the entire scene. The third photo, including the ploughed side road, looks more normal.

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DSCF1958

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DSCF1960

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DSCF1964

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I think this will be our last winter storm of the season. We still have snow on the ground but next week’s warming should take it all away!

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Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 28, 2016 at 7:00 am

rural relics (day 10 to 12)

with 2 comments

On my virtual bike trip along the north coast of New Brunswick, I am seeing many aspects of rural New Brunswick that are almost relics in our modern world.

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11 to 12

distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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8-11  January 31, 2014   45 minutes  3.0 km (Eel River Bar to Charlo)

8-12   January 28, 2014   30 minutes  7.0 km (Charlo to Blackland)

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relic:

  1. object that is interesting because of its age or association
  2. surviving custom, belief or object from a past age

(Oxford dictionary)

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One of these relics is the rural mailbox.  Amid controversy, the single mailbox at the end of a driveway is gradually being replaced, so there are very few end-of-drive mailboxes along the route I am travelling.

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We had a mailbox for many years and it was always fun going to the end of the drive to get our mail.  Once when I was at my grandfather’s farm for a vacation, my Aunt Anna sent me a parcel so I would have the fun of getting a box in the mail.  I remember well reaching up to get the parcel and I remember what was inside – a snow globe!

getting a parcel in the mail

getting a parcel at my grandfather’s mailbox

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About ten years ago, we were shifted to a community mail box.  We have a key and an assigned box.  It is still fun to get the mail, but less convenient …

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mailboxes near New Mills

mailboxes near New Mills (image from Street View)

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Another relic of a more self-sufficient way of life is the remnant apple orchard.  In some cases, the apples are still used by thrifty families, but often the fallen fruit is left for the deer …

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orchard near Blackland

orchard near Blackland (image from Street View)

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I also see derelict barns and sheds along the road, abandoned as people give up farming and a more rural way of life …

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February 11. 2014 'old shed near Charlo'   Jane Tims

February 11. 2014 ‘old shed near Charlo’ Jane Tims

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Do you encounter remnant bits of our past in your travels?  Do they bring back memories?

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

in the apple tree

with 4 comments

How many hours did I read in the apple tree in my grandfather’s orchard? 

At least a couple of hours every day were spent lost in a book. 

I was ten or so and my reading was relatively simple – Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, Blue Castle, animal stories by Thorton W. Burgess , and books about a young adventurer named Madge Morton.   Most of these were books my Mom had given me, and a few were borrowed from my aunt’s summer house.   Have a look at ‘books about natural spaces’ to see some of my favorites.  Are you old enough to remember some of them?

The search for a comfortable place to read has often eluded me.  Today I read at my desk or in the car.  Anything more soothing and I fall asleep, in spite of the quality of the read. 

Where is your favorite place to read a book? 

 

reading in the orchard

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comfortable limb of

apple tree, how many

books read in the days of

summer,  mysteries, tales  of

plucky girls, animals personified, sunlight

and apple-shadows highlight words

sentences and paragraphs read at

a glance, breezes turning pages

faster than I read, solve

the crime, blood as red as apples

creaky doors and creepy windows

branches rub together somewhere in

the orchard, forget to go in

for supper, my mother’s voice written into

story, calling

~

© Jane Tims 2011

 

 

Written by jane tims

September 14, 2011 at 7:43 am

in the apple orchard

with 5 comments

One of the spaces I loved the best on my grandfather’s farm was the apple orchard.  It was a small orchard, perhaps twenty trees.  I have never seen it in spring when the apple blossoms are in bloom, in fall when the trees are laden with fruit, or in winter when the stark bones of the trees are visible.  But I knew the orchard in summer, when the green canopies of the trees shed thick shade over the meadow grasses beneath.

an apple orchard in August

 

In summer, the orchard was usually a private space.  The farm yard could be bustling with people and animals, but the orchard was set apart.  It was a still room of dark and dapple. 

At the edge of the orchard was a green swing chair.  It was a braced frame with two benches, facing one another and suspended for swinging.  Four people could sit in comfort and sway genteelly to and fro.  Or a lone child could pump vigorously back and forth until one side of the frame lifted high with each upward swing and gave a satisfying lurch on its return.  I, of course, would never have done such a thing.

When I wasn’t pushing the swing to its limits, I was climbing apple trees, one in particular.  Its main side branch was as thick as its trunk and jutted out parallel to the ground.  A little jump and you could sit on it like a chair.  Swing a leg across and you had a horse.  Stand on it and you were in the crow’s nest of a sailing ship.  Sit down again, lean against the trunk and you had the ideal perch for reading the afternoon away.

an apple orchard in spring (photo by G. Tims)

The orchard was usually a private space.  But on Family Reunion Day, it was the focus of the festivities.  Big tables covered with white cloths were assembled in a line.  Enough chairs were unfolded for every person in our very large family.  Cars turned in at the driveway and claimed a spot in the farm yard.  Cousins rolled from the cars and were soon climbing and swinging in the orchard.  The table gradually filled with a conundrum of casseroles, bean pots, roasters and platters. 

After the eating was done, wire hoops went up for a game of croquet.  My Dad loved croquet and would show me all the tricks – how to get through the starting hoops in a single turn and how to ricochet off the goal post.  He also showed me how to bump up against the ball of another player and send their ball flying out of bounds on the next turn.  Armed with my learning, I gripped my croquet mallet, certain to win.  And realised my brothers and sister and some of the cousins had some strategies of their own!

After the Reunion was over and the last car was waved from the driveway, I was left alone in the orchard and it seemed more empty and silent than before.

I would love to return to the apple orchard on my grandfather’s farm and read a book in my tree one more time.  Are you ever too old to climb an apple tree?

 

dapple

 

the worn blanket flung

over the bough

of the apple tree

is an old woman

she hugs the limb

reaches for a branch

or an apple

barely beyond

the crook

of her fingers

she would dare

to set her foot

on the branch

and the next

step up

put the orchard

below her

rise above

the canopy

the valley

the meander of the river

feeble

she waits

in the dapple

clings to the branch

endures the tremble

delays the fall

 

Published as:  ‘dapple’, 1998, Green’s magazine (Autumn 1998) XXXVII (1)

(revised)

© Jane Tims

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