nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘fall

a muse takes over – telling a story through the seasons

with 2 comments

In New Brunswick, the passage of time is measured in part by the seasons. Right now we are in winter, in the midst of another snow storm and taking a lot of care when walking on all the ice. Soon it will be spring with crocuses blooming on the lawn and water in every hollow. Then summer, days on the deck and keeping cool. Finally, my favourite season, autumn, colourful leaves and starry nights.

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Since I am a writer embedded in the winter-spring-summer-fall cycle, it’s natural that changing seasons are an important part of my sci-fi novel. Although weather is often a factor in story telling, I find many books ignore the changing of the seasons.

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Seasons on planet Meniscus occur in a cycle of four, as in the northern and southern latitudes of Earth. On Meniscus the seasons are the result of a changing heat regime as once per ‘year’ one of the twinned suns slips behind the other. Whether the physics of this makes much sense, I can’t say. “I’m a biologist, Jim, not a physicist!”

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Book One, Crossing the Churn, begins in summer. Foraging for food is easy. As the days pass, leaves begin to fall and soon the characters wade rather than walk through the forest.

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Book Two, South from Sintha, finishes in autumn, as the days grow colder.  New characters in Book Two are looking for a home before winter sets in.
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Book Three, Winter at the Water-climb, takes place in a world of ice. The plot focuses on the coming of cold weather and shorter days. Foraging for food is difficult since everything is hidden under snow drifts.  Survival depends on what has been put into storage.

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Book Four, The Town in the Themble Wood, celebrates the coming of spring and the vibrancy of summer. The Slain and Odymn scout the Themble Wood for a town-site and help the other Humans establish a new community.

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Book Five, so new it has no name, will take the characters back into autumn. In many ways this book will be a race against time as winter approaches and the Slain must find Odymn and other characters who have been lost after a crisis.

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Including seasons in my story adds to the possibilities for describing setting. The cinnamon scent of trees in the autumn Themble Wood, tracks in the snow of the new town, and melting water-springs add to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes my writing can explore.

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The progress of getting my first book into CreateSpace has been hampered this week by the appearance of ‘The Blue Screen of Death’ on my computer. It is fixed now, but I am sure the folks on Meniscus have never faced such a challenge!!!

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 8, 2017 at 7:04 am

the color of September #3 – a purple crocus from a brown bulb

with 4 comments

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This morning, thinking of the long winter, I planted a dozen crocus bulbs.  The package promises large, dark purple blooms in early spring.

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I planted them in small groups, in front of my concrete bench.  When they bloom in spring, I will be able to see them from my library window.  After a long winter, a glimpse of those brave petals poking above the dry leaves will be so joyful.

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DSCF8875

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The crocuses we have now are bright purple and yellow.  I planted them years ago, when my son was young.  They have endured all these years and have even spread to other, distant parts of our property.  I think the squirrels must dig them up, rebury them and forget where they have stashed their treasure.

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So, deep within the sienna brown of the bulbs is the makings of those purple petals.   Wow!

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September 7, 2013  'crocus bulbs'   Jane Tims

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

September 13, 2013 at 7:07 am

yellow rain

with 10 comments

In October, we still have at least one more autumn display, the shedding of the tamarack needles.   Tamarack is a deciduous tree and loses most of its needles this time of year.  We have a number of tamaracks on our property, so the golden needles fall as a constant ‘rain’ during late October and early November.

Tamarack (Larix laracina (DuRoi) K. Koch) is also known as Hackmatack, American or Black Larch and, in French, épinette rouge.   Tamarack is a large tree, with a narrow pyramidal canopy and pendulous branches.  

In my head, I can still hear the voice of my undergraduate botany professor, who was interested in the origin of growth forms of plants, saying, “the tamarack has, here, both short shoots and long shoots”.  The short shoots emerge from the sides of branches and resemble small bunches or tufts of needles, and the long shoots grow at the ends of each branch and are elongated, with single needles along the length.  The needles are small and generally very soft to the touch compared to other conifers. 

Today, there is evidence that the ‘amber rain’ has begun, just a few needles on every outside surface.  By the end of next week, the windshield of the car will need a swipe of the wipers to clear the yellow needles.

Tamarack needles on the frozen water of the birdbath

 

 

Amber Rain

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autumn fades

bright carpets

            swept away

pale ghosts rattle

            from beech and oak

limp rags hang

            on frosted pumpkin vines

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but still

a touch of autumn 

            stands of larch

            yellow in the afternoon

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and now

a gust of wind

begins

the amber rain

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            pelting needles

            fill the air

            soaking ground

            strewing gold

            everywhere

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fairy straw

washed to the edge

of puddle shores

flooding borders

of roads, driven

by wind, a storm

of gold

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            needles patter

            gentle chatter

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where begins

the amber rain?

is it larch

or hackmatack,

juniper

or tamarack?

who sends the amber rain?

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© Jane Tims  1992

Written by jane tims

November 6, 2011 at 7:19 am

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