poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘habitat

in the shelter of the covered bridge – shelter?

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– n.

1. protection from danger, bad weather, etc.

2. place giving shelter or refuge.


1. act or serve as a shelter to; protect; conceal; defend.

2. find refuge, take cover.

(Oxford English Dictionary)


As I refine the results of my poetry project, ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’, I am thinking about the idea of ‘shelter’ and how important it is to all living things.



A covered bridge changes the landscape, alters the environment and encourages habitat diversity. It changes the availability of light, water and air. It provides cover from harsh environments.


Some examples of finding shelter in a covered bridge:


  • seeds on the wind, waylaid, find a place to germinate
  • grasses growing beneath the bridge get less light as shadows thicken – sometimes there is too little light to grow at all
  • a crack between boards in the floor of the bridge provides a space to grow away from competition from other plants
  • mosses and lichens find a place to thrive in the rotted hollows of posts and timbers


  • birds use rafters and beams as nesting sites
  • spiders find places to attach their webs
  • mice store seeds in nooks and crannies
  • birds hunt insects on the sun-warmed boards of the bridge


  • travellers find brief respite from wind and snow and rain
  • friends and lovers find meeting places, out of the view of curious eyes
  • visitors find surfaces for expression – graffiti, vulgarity, art, a space to say ‘I was here’
  • children of all ages find a place to shout, hear echoes, remember






the engine dies – after midnight

not far from home


snow builds on track

eyelash and mitten


wind conceals the road

sweeps the bridge


enter, a lull and chill subsides

bright of snow subdued


no solitude – a mouse ticked

off, her hibernation interrupted


and ghosts carve names, spray

broad epithets in purple


inspire defiance, kick me

out, into the storm





Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

January 20, 2016 at 7:39 am

a strange place to grow

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Who knows where life will flourish? Yesterday morning, I found a crowd of tiny toadstools beneath our truck. Although I looked around, I couldn’t find them anywhere else in the yard. But under the truck the microclimate was just right for this faerie land to grow.



Copyright 2015 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 26, 2015 at 7:15 am

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