nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘covered bridges

celebration of a covered bridge 2

with 2 comments

Last Saturday, about thirty people gathered in the Rusagonis Covered Bridge Park to celebrate our beautiful covered bridge (the Patrick Owens Bridge) with readings and stories.

~

Patrick Owens Bridge rainbow

~

We heard from several speakers and readers including:

~

Jeff Carr … Jeff is MLA for New Maryland-Sunbury and candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party in the upcoming provincial election. He recalled the loss this year of the Bell Covered Bridge and some of the frustrating circumstances around that loss.

DSCN0726 (2).JPG

~

Linda Cogswell … Linda is a local historian and reminded us of the history of the Patrick Owens Bridge and the celebration a few years ago of its first hundred years! The original cost of the Patrick Owens Bridge in 1908 was $5,439 !

DSCN0729 (2).JPG

~

Rose Burke … Rose’s reading recalled the loss of the Upper Mills Bridge to fire in 1956 and what it was like to live in a border town in the 1950s. Kids would travel freely across the border, back and forth from Baring, Maine to Upper Mills, New Brunswick, to buy ice-cream or play at one-another’s houses!

DSCN0744 (2).JPG

~

Jenica Atwin … Jenica, a long-time resident of Rusagonis and candidate for the NB Green Party in the upcoming provincial election, read a poem about the way covered bridges affect our daily lives.

DSCN0736 (2).JPG

~

Roger Moore … Roger gave a poignant reading of his poems about our recent flooding in the area and recalled eerie battles with rising water and ruined belongings.

DSCN0740 (2).JPG

~

Neil Sampson … Neil read a poem about the Bell Bridge by Fredericton’s Cultural Laureate, Ian LeTourneau. He also read his own humorous poem about attending a covered bridge gathering after a dental appointment (with ‘covered bridges’).

DSCN0733 (2).JPG

~

and me (Jane Tims) … I read from my poetry book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’. The book includes several poems about the Patrick Owens Bridge and the wild life encountered there – deer and groundhogs, blue jays and rabbits.

DSCN0724 (2).JPG

~

Ray Boucher, President of the New Brunswick Covered Bridge Conservation Association, was on hand to chat about the goal of protecting our remaining covered bridges and ask people to sign the petition to ask government to take steps to preserve the bridges.

DSCN0721 (2).JPG

~

The park was perfect for the occasion and many folks said we should continue to use the park for community events.

DSCN0745.JPG

~

A big thanks to Jeff Carr and his team of Kim Smith, Pat and Mac Burns, Bernie Phillips and others who prepared some delicious food for everyone.

DSCN0720.JPG

~

The day was hot and breezy and all those hats were needed in the afternoon sun!!!

DSCN0719.JPG

~

All my best!

Jane

 

 

 

Written by jane tims

August 31, 2018 at 7:00 am

on my bookshelf: New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges by Helen Coldrick

with 2 comments

~

One of the ‘must haves’ in a collection of books about covered bridges in New Brunswick is Helen Coldrick’s soft cover book New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. It includes drawings and information on the 70 bridges that existed in 1992. Today there are only 60 covered bridges in New Brunswick and Helen’s book is one way of seeing some of what we are missing.

~

Helen Coldrick. New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges. Neptune Publishing Company Limited: Saint John, 1992.

~

Scan0016

~

In her book, Helen includes 30 of her black and white drawings of various covered bridges and construction features. I love these drawings because I can see the artist’s process in the lines: her way of using shadow and white space, and her approach to portraying the reflections in water. The drawings also show the setting of each bridge and in some cases, the dramatic landscape of the river beneath.

~

Drawings in the book include bridges now lost: the Aaron Clarke Bridge (lost to flooding in 2014) and Iroquois River #4 (no longer standing).  The book also includes a listing of the covered bridges in New Brunswick in 1992. I think one of the values of the book is its snapshot of the situation in years past. The New Brunswick government keeps a list of today’s covered bridges but finding information on those no longer existing is more challenging. Helen’s book shows us what some of these lost bridges looked like and tells some of their stories.

~

New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges includes a general history of covered bridges in New Brunswick, and a description of covered bridges by county. The book also includes lots of information on bridge construction, including pages on trusses, abutments, bases, sidings, entrances, windows and walkways, and roofs.

~

New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges is available for $7.95 from Nimbus Publishing (www.nimbus.ca). If you are interested in New Brunswick, covered bridges, history or architecture, or if you just like books with lovely drawings, this would be a great addition to your library!

~

~

Copyright  Jane Tims 2016

.

woodpeckers and covered bridges

with 6 comments

'Hairy Woodpecker'

~

Woodpeckers are common in our area.  Both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers visit our feeders in winter.  Pileated Woodpeckers hammer on our trees in summer, their flaming heads a blur as they excavate dead trees for insects.

~

'Pileated Woodpecker'

~

Woodpeckers don’t confine their tapping to dead trees.  I have seen them pounding on telephone poles, metal roof flashing and even the shingles on the side of our house.

Lately, as a result of a project I am planning, I have been thinking about covered bridges and their use as wild life habitat.  So, a question …

Do woodpeckers excavate the wood of covered bridges for food?

Last week, we visited three covered bridges in Sunbury County in New Brunswick and, in two of them, we found the answer …

~

189

woodpecker holes in the soffit at the gable end of the Smyth Covered Bridge near Mill Settlement, Sunbury County (April 2015)

~

260

old woodpecker excavations on the face of the Bell Covered Bridge near Juvenile Settlement, Sunbury County (April 2015).

~

247_crop

woodpecker holes inside the Bell Covered Bridge (April 2015)

~

I would love to be in a covered bridge when a woodpecker comes to play his staccato song.

~

Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

 

Written by jane tims

April 24, 2015 at 7:04 am

writing a novel – next in the series !

with 12 comments

Having sent my first novel ‘Open to the Skies’ (aka ‘Saving the Landing Church’) out to three publishers, I have begun my next novel in the series.  I intend for the series to focus on the adventures of running a writers’ retreat.  Same characters, same setting, same struggle to be a part of the community.

~

Title: unknown

Working Title: ‘Crossing at a Walk’

Setting: a writers’ retreat – the renovated Landing Church, the hall and the rectory now used as a Learning Center, a Sleeping Hall and a home and base of operations for Sadie and Tom

Characters: main character Sadie, a writer; her husband Tom, a retired welder; people from the community; writers participating in the first weekend of the writers’ retreat

Plot: Sadie wants the first writers’ retreat to go smoothly, but the history of an old covered bridge keeps getting in the way

~

My first novel was about an abandoned church.  The subject of this book will be yet another feature of our built landscape, one also having a difficult time … the covered bridge.  In the 1940s there were 340 covered bridges in New Brunswick.  Today there are only 60.

~

I chuckle all the time about my ‘Saving The …’ series.  Lots of buildings to save out there!  However, I have no intention of sinking into the formulaic (Sadie falls in love with the … and takes steps to save the …).  Instead, each story will take a unique approach to honoring the bit of built landscape it portrays!

~

DSCF9613

~

As I have said, in New Brunswick, we have 60 remaining covered bridges.  Their numbers are dwindling, the losses due to flooding, fire and vandalism.  For a look at the covered bridges in New Brunswick, see the map and photos at  http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/dti/bridges_ferries/content/covered_bridges.html

~

So how does a covered bridge get in the way of a well planned writers’ retreat?

  • Sadie includes a local tour during the retreat, to introduce the writers to the community and give them new experiences to write about.  The covered bridge is outside the tour loop, but a couple of the writers would love to go there.
  • the covered bridge is part of the community’s history.  Inside the bridge are the carved initials of some of the many people who have lingered there.  The writers want to know ‘who was Phoebe?’ a girl whose name is carved in the bridge and imprinted on the memories of some of the members of the community.
  • after the retreat is over, heavy rains and flooding threaten the bridge to its very foundations.  Can the bridge be saved and will Sadie be willing to take on the cause of another community icon?

~

Sadie

Sadie … my main character … a writer and weaver … she wants the first weekend of the writers’ retreat to go smoothly …  I still think she needs an afternoon at the hairdressers

IMG599_crop

Sadie’s husband Tom … a welder with a fatal case of welder’s lung … a likeable fellow, he refused to die in the first novel … I wonder what will happen to him in ‘Crossing at a Walk’?

 

~

Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

 

%d bloggers like this: