nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘dragon

Calling all Dragon Kind

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Congratulations to my son who, today, opened a new store in downtown Fredericton, New Brunswick. The store, Meta GameZ, specializes in collectable card games, including Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, Force of Will and Star Realms.  There is also a large comfortable space for tournament-style play of the card game Magic.

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To show my son how proud I am, I gave him a gift of my newest painting, ‘Dragon Kind’ (acrylic, 40″ X 40″, gallery edges). Dragons are a recurring theme in the fantasy worlds of many collectable card games and I hope the players will enjoy the painting.

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Copyright 2015 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

October 23, 2015 at 4:27 pm

art auction – update

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At the end of January, 2015, I published a post about the 23rd Art Auction now being held at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton, New Brunswick  ( https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/art-auction/ ).

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Isaac’s Way organizes three auctions each year, each raising funds for children’s charities in one of four artistic areas: dance, art, music, and theatre. The art is sold by silent auction to raise funds for kids-in-need.  Since 2007, the auction has raised more than $92,200 !

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My painting for this auction, entitled ‘blue stone’, has sold.  I now have another painting to replace ‘blue stone’ in the auction.
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The new painting is an acrylic entitled ‘outside-in’ (24″ x 20″, unframed, gallery edges).  It is a painting of a dragon guarding a terrarium, based on a photo posted here ( https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/one-small-green-world/ )

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Jane Tims  'outside-in'  February 12, 2015

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The painting ‘outside-in’ was fun to do.  The outside has been brought inside in many ways – the mosses in the terrarium, the wood of the table, the vines, the fern pattern on the curtains.  And yet, the dragon turns to gaze out the window (sometimes his eye looks at ‘you’).  I used four main colours – Chromium Oxide Green, Burnt Umber, Titanium White and Phthalo Blue – and touches of Phthalo Green, Cadmium Yellow and Quinacridone Magenta.  To give shine to all the glass and wood in the painting, I used several layers of a tinted glaze.

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The more than 60 art pieces on display at Isaac’s Way will be for sale until May 24, 2015  ( http://isaacsway.ca/art/ ).  This auction will sponsor MUSIC lessons for kids.

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Issac’s Way also has, for auction and sale, paintings created live during Fredericton’s recent winter festival, Winterfesthiver ( if you are on Facebook, just look for Winterfest Art Auction 2015 ).

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I am so proud to take part in this worthwhile project.

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 16, 2015 at 7:23 am

a dragon on a wall – biking log book Day #9

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I am continuing with the third phase of my virtual bike trip through central France.  For Phase 3 of my trip, I am biking in 12 days from Exireuil to Magné just west of Niort.

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Log Book:  March 5, 2013

Area travelled:   from ‘outskirts of Niort’ to ‘edge of Niort’

Distance:  30 minutes      3.0 km

Notes:    only three more days to go on my virtual trip to Magné!

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Distance Travelled Feb 21 to Mar 5: 27.0 km  (270 minutes of stationary biking)

Total Distance Travelled Jan 30 to Mar 5 :  58.8 km  (595 minutes of stationary biking)

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Day  9 map

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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On March 5, I finally made it off the train track and entered the city of Niort.  It is a neat city with lots of one-way streets, enclosed yards and lots of greenery.

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As in many cities, there were lots of interesting sights to see.  I grabbed a bottle of Perrier to drink as a Perrier truck passed by…

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Perrier truck

Perrier truck (image from Street View)

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I saw a school yard where the children seem to have hung up their artwork to dry on a line between two trees…

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school yard

school yard and art hanging on the line (image from Street View)

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I was able to visit yet another Pâtisserie… yummmmm!

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patisserie

patisserie (image from Street View)

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I also saw what looked like remarkable graffiti on one fence, a rendition of a dragon…

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dragon wall

dragon wall (image from Street View)

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wall dragon

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he peers from under

a fall of vines

growls at the passing cars

ignore him

fueled with their own

bellyfuls

of fossil fire

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dragon

closeup of dragon wall (image from Street View)

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Best View:  a charming enclosed yard in Niort

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'enclosed yard in Niort'

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Do you think the homeowners had the dragon painted on the wall, or was it ‘noncommissioned’?

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

March 20, 2013 at 7:02 am

keeping watch for dragons #8 – campfire dragon

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Late summer is the time for campfires.  We have to be careful, of course, to make sure there is no risk of forest fire and campfires are permitted.  But on an evening when the fire index hotline says OK, and we have a small stack of wood beside the fire pit and a bench for sitting, there is no better way to pass an evening.

Campfires are great places for telling stories.  They are also good places to dream and remember.   A campfire means getting smoke in your eyes, so the images can be a little blurry.  You can watch the sparks lift from the fire and ascend into the dark night.  The question is, are they also watching you … ?

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campfire dragons 

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dragons prowl

in balsam

back crawl in amber

blisters of pitch

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dragons lurk

under mantles of smoke

blacken the stones

spurt throatfuls of fire

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dragons leap

to the Drago sky

watch us grow small

with sparking eyes

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close their lids

and sleep in flight

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©  Jane Tims 1998

Written by jane tims

August 24, 2012 at 7:15 am

keeping watch for dragons #7 – Bog Dragon

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Some dragons like to live in bogs.

When we were in Nova Scotia, near Peggy’s Cove, imagine my delight when I found, among the Pitcher-plants, a species of the orchid family, Arethusa (Arethusa bulbosa L.), also known as the Dragon’s Mouth Orchid.

Arethusa loves wet, boggy conditions.  Among the greens and reds of the low-lying bog, it surprises a visitor with its splash of pink.  Even the Pitcher-plants in the photo above look a little over-come with the beauty of the Dragon’s Mouth!

This orchid has a complex flower, with three thin flaring upper petals, two in-turned petals guarding its ‘mouth’ and a lower lip with yellow and white fringed crests.

Arethusa is named after a Naiad in Greek mythology.  The Naiads were nymphs associated with fresh water features such as springs, wells, fountains and brooks.  Nymphs, like plants, were dependant on their habitat… if the water where they lived dried up, they perished.

Perhaps a Bog Dragon is also absolutely dependant on the water held within the bog!!!

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Bog Dragon

         Arethusa bulbosa L.

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naiad

masquerades as dragon,

claps her hands across her mouth,

sorry to have spoken –

her voice, her pink, her petals

lure them,

their large feet and tugging hands

too near

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©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

July 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

keeping watch for dragons #6 – Water Dragon

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The last full week in May, we took a day to drive the Plaster Rock-Renous Highway.  This is an isolated, but paved, stretch of road, called Highway 108, connecting the sides of the province through a large, unpopulated area.  The highway runs from Plaster Rock in the west, to Renous in the east and traverses three counties, Victoria, York and Northumberland.   It takes you across more than 200 km of wetland, hardwood, and mixed coniferous forest, some privately owned, and some Crown Land.  A large part of the area has been clearcut, but the road also passes through some wilderness of the Plaster Rock-Renous Wildlife Management Area and the headwaters of some of our most beautiful rivers.

From the east, the highway first runs along the waters of the Tobique River, across the Divide Mountains, and into the drainage of the Miramichi River, crossing the Clearwater Brook, and running along the South Branch of the Dungarvon River and the South Branch Renous River.

Along the way, we stopped at a boggy pond next to the road between Clearwater Brook and the Dungarvon, to listen to the bull frogs croaking.  There among the ericaceous vegetation filling most of the pond was a dragon for my collection.

look closely near the center of the photo… the single white spot is the spathe of a Wild Calla or Water Dragon

Water Dragon, more commonly known as Wild Calla or Water Arum, was present in the shallow, more open waters of the pond, appearing as startling white spots on an otherwise uniform backdrop of green and brown.

Wild Calla (Calla palustis L.) is also known as Female Dragons, Frog-cups, Swamp-Robin and, in French, calla des marais, arum d’eau, or aroïde d’eau.  It lives in wet, cold bogs, or along the margins of ponds, lakes and streams.

The Wild Calla belongs to the Arum family, along with Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema Stewardsonii Britt.) and Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus (L.) Nutt.).  These plants have tiny flowers along a thick spike known as a ‘spadix’.  The spadix is enclosed by a leafy bract called the ‘spathe’.  The spathe of Wild Calla is bright white, ovoid and abruptly narrow at the tip.  The leaves are glossy green and heart-shaped.  The flowers growing among them are often overlooked.  On the pond, there were about ten visible spathes, and likely many more hidden among the plentiful leaves.

The various parts of the Wild Calla are considered poisonous since they contain crystals of calcium oxalate.  These cause severe irritation of the mouth and throat if eaten.  However, there is a twist to this story of a poisonous plant.  Scandanavian people, in times of severe hardship, prepared flour for ‘Missen bread’ from the dried, ground, bruised, leached, and boiled seeds and roots of Wild Calla.  Do I have to warn you not to try this at home!!!!????

Warning:
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

Linnaeus, the botanist who invented the binomial (Genus + Species) method of naming plants, described the laborious process the Swedish people used to remove the poisonous crystals from the Water Dragon in order to make flour.  To read Linnaeus’ account, see Mrs. Campbell Overend, 1872, The Besieged City, and The Heroes of Sweden (William Oliphant and Co., Edinburgh), page 132 and notes  (http://books.google.ca/books?id=IAsCAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA222&lpg=PA222&dq=missen+bread&source=bl&ots=ZO8cl_2nBl&sig=Gtr5Lq6PvG3DXV_l-kfECNuhWfo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=gGLFT-79B4OH6QG1m-nOCg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=missen%20bread&f=false Accessed May 29, 2012).

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desperate harvest

‘… they can be satisfied with bark-bread, or cakes made of the roots of water-dragon, which grows wild on the banks of the river…’

– Mrs Campbell Overend, 1872

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the pond beside the road

simmers, a kettle

of frog-croak and leather-leaf

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spathes of Water Dragon

hug their lamposts, glow white

lure the desperate to the pond

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bull-frog song deepens the shallows

the way voices lower when they speak

of trouble, of famine

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people so hungry, harvest so poor

they wade in the mire

grind roots of Wild Calla for flour

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needles to the tongue

burns to the throat

crystals of calcium oxalate, poison

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worth the risk –

the drying,

the bruising,

the leaching,

the boil,

the painful test to know

if poison has been neutralized

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the toughness of

the Missen bread

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©  Jane Tims  2012

Warning:
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.

keeping watch for dragons #5– river dragon

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It’s like getting an old song stuck in your head… I am now seeing dragons… everywhere.

Yesturday, as I crossed the bridge on the way to my work, I saw the piers of the old bridge and their reflections in the water.  To me they were the protruding plates along the spine of a river dragon, resting in the water.

Have you seen any dragons lately?

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river dragon

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eight bevelled piers

(only remains of the old bridge)

idle in still water, reflections rigid

plates along the spine of a spent dragon

lolling on his side

taking a break in the river

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©  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

April 21, 2012 at 8:02 am

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