nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘landscape

drawings of waterfalls

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For me, a waterfall is the most beautiful expression of water on the landscape. The feeling of water droplets on your face, the sound of splashing water, the sight of sunlight on fast-moving water. I have tried to capture these in my collection of waterfall poems a glimpse of water fall. The book includes forty-four poems and twenty-three pencil drawings of waterfalls and other water scenes.

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We have many beautiful waterfalls here in New Brunswick. Over the years I have visited quite a few. In New Brunswick, we are lucky to have two great resources for lovers of waterfalls: a great guide by Nicholas Guitard (Waterfalls of New Brunswick: A Guide, now in its Second Edition, Goose Lane Publications), and a very active Facebook Group – Waterfalls of New Brunswick.

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My poetry book about waterfalls, ‘a glimpse of water fall,’ is now available from Westminster Books in Fredericton and from Amazon (click here). Enjoy!

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 6, 2021 at 7:00 am

Tree down!

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Today is the first day in a long time I have not written a line. I am preoccupied, watching as a local company removes some trees from our yard.

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Some of these trees were already down but have been decorating our ditch since a storm last winter. One tree was still standing.

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The standing tree, a big old spruce, worried me. In last week’s wind storm, the top of it broke and flew like a javelin to land in our front yard. The rest of it was dead and leaning towards the house and power lines. It stood at the corner of our shed.

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the tree last winter

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The men working knew what they were doing. They tied the tree in the direction they wanted it to fall. They used our tractor to reach high into the tree to brace it in the required direction. Then the tree cutter did his cuts. And the tree fell exactly where he planned. We will be getting ‘The Bushwackers” to do some more tree cutting here.

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I am still too wired to write.

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All my best,

stay safe,

Jane

Written by jane tims

December 11, 2020 at 7:00 am

garden escapes: balm-of-Gilead

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My mom used to take me for a walk around the garden when I visited. One of her favorite trees was the balm-of-Gilead. Her original tree had escaped into other places along the driveway and she loved its tenacity. She always pulled a leaf from a low branch and crushed it to bring forth the smell … slightly medicinal, aromatic and balsamic. I also love the colour, green with a tinge of orange bronze.

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The balm-of-Gilead (Populus × jackii or P.× gileadensis), is the hybrid between balsam poplar and eastern cottonwood. This hybrid is sometimes planted as a shade tree, and sometimes escapes from cultivation.

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As we drive the roads of abandoned houses and community, I often see balm-of-Gilead before I see any other garden escapes.

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In 1898,  Beaufort, Carleton County, was a community with 1 post office and a population of 100. Today, there is only one, modern house in the community. But remnants of old gardens still remain. We saw many garden plants, both persisting and escaping: monkshood, dropwort, orange day-lily and butter-and-eggs. There were also apple trees and a poplar I identified as balm-of-Gilead.

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Today Beaufort is a long, lonely road with only traces of the former community.

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I took a slip of Mom’s balm-of-Gilead and planted it at our cabin property. It is taking its time, growing a little more each year. I think, when I am gone, perhaps this tree will have grown and be sending out descendants of its own.

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This work was made possible by a Creations Grant from artsnb!

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Take care, stay safe.

Don’t get Covid-tired.

Be tenacious like the balm-of-Gilead.

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 3, 2020 at 7:00 am

garden escapes: land use changes

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Last weekend, we explored the area north-west of Woodstock, New Brunswick. The area is very agricultural and rural, well populated and prosperous.

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There were many gaps in the landscape where small farms may have been located decades ago. Today, the area is populated by large farms. Huge fields of potatoes, soybeans, corn and Christmas trees continue all the way to horizon in some communities.

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59 Williamstown

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What tells me a small farming family may have lived in a particular location if there are no ruins of habitation?

1. older trees planted in a regular pattern

2. presence of trees and shrubs not found in adjacent woodland, for example scarlet maple, willow, elm, mountain ash

3. presence of garden flowers on the property or in nearby ditches; for example, musk mallow, yellow loosestrife, creeping bellflower, lupines

4. presence of hawthorns along a roadway; John Erskine (‘The French Period in Nova Scotia A.D. 1500 to 1758 and Present Remains.’ Wolfville, 1975) interpreted the presence of hawthorn to settlers who used the thorny shrubs as a means of fencing

5. presence of apple trees, raspberries or grapevines (sometimes spread by cattle or other natural means)

6. local care of a property, indicating a continuing family interest in a property where an ancestor may have lived.

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7 rte 540 Bellflower cropped

creeping bellflower

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hawthorne cropped

hawthorn

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We found all of these types of evidence. All may be subject to debate, and local knowledge would fill in many gaps.

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homestead

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sugar maple—

nine trees, in three rows

a block of lupin, flowering past

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wind sorts

through leaves, launches seed

and a fox presses through

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sweet clover

heady perfume, landscape changes

even as we watch

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4 Lindsay abandoned lot

a regular planting of maple trees, perhaps evidence of a former homestead

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This work was made possible by a Creations Grant from artsnb!

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 24, 2020 at 7:00 am

my place, my niche

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All of us, as we self-isolate and stay at home, have become more familiar with our own place or space. We also have become familiar with our ‘niche.’ It is also a sort of space, but is more about how we use that space.

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My space, on the macro-scale, is in the Northern Hemisphere and the temperate zone. I love the four seasons: perhaps summer, with it’s high humidity, least of the four. I live in a rural area; the bird chorus I hear each morning is associated with mixed hardwood and softwood. For more information on our ‘grey woods’ click here.

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Our house seemed big when we built it 40 years ago. Today it is considered modest with two floors, three bedrooms and a loft. As I grow older, arthritis means I hang out mostly on the main floor. But upstairs, the loft stores my genealogy interests and the library holds all my books. On the main floor is my computer, my bird watching corner, my sewing basket and my drawing and painting supplies. Often, my husband is there too. So you see, I have most of what it takes to make me happy.

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My space is more and more often in cyberspace. These days my family and friends are mostly there, on Facebook and Messenger. Just today I had my first meeting on Zoom.

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I spend about half of my day on the computer, in one phase or other of one of my writing projects. Last week our wifi went down for four days. Usually, I refer to the on-line dictionary or thesaurus about once every fifteen minutes. With the wifi down, I wondered for a moment what to do and then thought, “Thesaurus. Dictionary.” A little dusty but serviceable.

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So what is not part of my niche?

Music. I have a piano which I can play. And a guitar. And I have a stack of discs and a way to play them. I also have a small selection of my favourite music in my iPad. I tell myself it would be good to include more music in my life, in my ‘niche.’ So far it is only a thought.

Exercise. I will start by saying I do about 30 minutes of yoga-like stretches every morning. Otherwise I would not be able to get out of bed. If you follow my blog you know I am also dedicated to my stationary cycle but, since the first of the year, it aggravates my knees and I have not been doing this with any regularity. I have plans to reincorporate exercise into my niche, but so far, it is also a thought.

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Of course, the world is full of possibilities and I have many gaps in my space/niche. I have interests in coins, stamps, games, puzzles, calligraphy and so on. I have no interest in flying kites, cooking, speaking another language or clock-making. But perhaps, someday, one of these may insinuate itself into my niche. So much to include, so little time!

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So, what is in your space? Your niche? What is not in your space/niche?

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All my best,

staying at home, wearing my mask in public,

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 29, 2020 at 7:00 am

next book in the Meniscus Series: the maps

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One day in 2016, when I was first deciding how I would put the Meniscus books together, I puzzled over how I would make the maps I wanted to include in each book.

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At first, I wanted to produce hand-drawn maps, re-drawing each map and making erasures and changes as each book advanced the story. Every book would need adjustments to the map and a new dotted ‘trail’ to show the path my characters followed.

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The idea of hand-drawn maps ended when I found out how boring it would be to draw the 300 trees in the Themble Wood.

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I didn’t know a thing about digital image creation. So I went on line and found GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program … what a great place to learn the craft of making maps!  https://www.gimp.org/

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Now, four years later, I have not needed to move from GIMP. First I learned how to make trees …. in quantity and with shadows! There are three kinds of tree on Meniscus: grammid, yarnel and banyan:

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Once I had trees all across my maps, I added the geological features I knew were essential for world-building: in the first book of the Meniscus Series I wanted (left to right) a gully, a line of huge burrows, a fault (and high associated cliff), a hill and a large water feature (a churn).

features minus trees

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I also knew I wanted towns and cities, as well as the roads between them:

features

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I also add trails to show where my characters travel during the book.

trails

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GIMP has met every need. And my maps can change with time; all I do is turn various layers on and off, creating new combinations of features and paths.

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Here is one of the maps for my next book Meniscus: The Knife:

meniscus north district knife

The dotted line (– . — . — . –) shows Tagret’s path as she goes on her quest to rescue Rist.

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All my best,

staying home and in my two-family bubble,

Jane

 

 

blue shadows

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Scan_20200326 (5)

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blue shadows

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crawl across the snow

reflect trunks and branches

tufts of lichen

curves of bracket fungi

curls of bark

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blue shadows

nuanced in ultramarine

and pthalo

a dab of violet

but never grey

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sinuous, diagonal

gaps of light

slow alteration

with angle of sun

no flicker of foliage

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Scan_20200326 (6)

 

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 30, 2020 at 7:00 am

Forty Five River Covered Bridge

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On our drive to see New Ireland (Albert County), we took the Collier Mountain Road to the south at Teahan’s Corner to see the Forty Five River Covered Bridge. Exciting to see a covered bridge I had never seen before!

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approach to the Forty Five River Bridge

 

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Forty Five River is so-named because it took 45 minutes to raft logs from New Ireland down to Alma (Source: http://newirelandnb.ca/communities-the-irish-of-albert-co/ ).

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the Forty Five River, looking south

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Where the covered bridge crosses Forty Mile River there is a steep gorge and the winds were howling when we visited the bridge.

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Although the road is rough traveling, the Forty Five River Bridge is in excellent shape, showing new timbers throughout.  It was pleasant to sit on the bench-like side timbers and listen to the wind.

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As with most bridges in New Brunswick, the bridge has a social history, partly engraved in its beams.

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For more information on covered bridges in New Brunswick, click on the Categories tab at the right, under ‘covered bridges‘.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 9, 2018 at 12:14 pm

someone has a plan!

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This time of year the winter ice on the rivers in New Brunswick is starting to break up. At the concrete bridge over the South Branch of the Rusagonis Stream, not far from where I live, there is a narrow band of melted ice.

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However, someone has plans for that part of the river. Have a look at the next two photos and guess who the ‘planners’ are.

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Beavers! Not ice scour since softer trees at the same level are not involved. Also, two of the trees have deep ‘v’s cut out on the bank side.

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We will be watching to see the next stage and the results of this plan. A beaver dam on the Rusagonis. Oh my!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

 

Written by jane tims

March 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge

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world of the covered bridge.jpg

May 12, 2012 'enter' Jane Tims.jpg~

in the shelter of the covered bridge

by Jane Spavold Tims

poetry with illustrations

Chapel Street Editions 2017

poems about plants and animals living in the vicinity of the covered bridge

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SCB Cover

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73 poems, 35 bridges, 21 illustrations

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apples, Malone Bridge.jpg

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From the Preface:

Where I live in rural New Brunswick, driving through a covered bridge is a daily occurrence. The sounds of the tires on the decking, the glimpses of river and sunlight between boards, the fun of seeing a family fishing and the sight of a groundhog carrying her kit across entryway of the bridge — these are touch-stones for my existence.

The inspiration for this book came in 2015, when my husband and I crossed the Patrick Owens Bridge on the Rusagonis Stream and startled a rabbit in the middle of the span. The rabbit raced through the bridge in front of the truck. I can still see the shadow of his long ears and the scurry of his feet. Since the incident occurred during the February 21, 2015 conjunction of Venus and Mars, with the sickle moon just above the planets, I thought of all the legends about the hare and the moon. This led to the poem “conjunction” and a question about what other plants and animals find shelter in or around our covered bridges in New Brunswick.

My husband and I carried out the field work for the book during 2015. We focused on covered bridges in the entire Saint John River Valley, but we also visited bridges in Charlotte and Westmorland Counties. Travelling around the province, visiting covered bridges and paying special attention to the nearby wild life, was an ideal way to spend a spring and summer in New Brunswick. Some bridges were easy to find, others a challenge. Each bridge contributed its own personality, history and component flora and fauna.

The covered bridge is endangered in New Brunswick. In 1900, there were about 400 covered bridges in the province. By 1944, there were only 320. In 1992, when Glen, Michael and I visited some of the bridges for Canada’s 125th birthday, there were 71. In 2017, as I write this, there are only 60 remaining. Vandalism, flood, accident, fire and age claim more bridges every few years.

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… In 2018, there are 58 covered bridges remaining …

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Book available from Chapel Street Editions

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dry wind

French Village Bridge

Hammond River #2

 

the bridge leans, upriver

wind enters, a beer can

rolls on the deck

 

white butterflies obey

the valley breeze

navigate the scent of wild roses

 

avoid the dogs

cooling off in the river

the beach folk, sunning themselves

 

bracts of Yellow Rattle

and Silene, inflated bladders

dry as old boards

 

aspens tremble

a song sparrow stutters

a loose shingle rattles in wind

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May 12, 2012 'enter' Jane Tims

drawing of the French Village Bridge 2015: ‘enter’

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About the Author

Jane Spavold Tims is a botanist, writer and artist living in rural New Brunswick, Canada.  She has published two books of poetry, within easy reach (2106) and in the shelter of the covered bridge (2017), both with Chapel Street Editions, Woodstock. Her first four books in the Meniscus series, Meniscus: Crossing The Churn, Meniscus: One Point Five – Forty Missing Days, Meniscus: South from Sintha and Meniscus: Winter by the Water-climb, were published with CreateSpace in 2017 and 2018 under the name Alexandra Tims. In 2016 she won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Writing Competition for her manuscript of poems about bird calls. She is interested in identifying plants, bird-watching, science fiction and the conservation of built heritage. Her websites feature her drawings, paintings and poetry.

www.janetims.com

www.offplanet.blog

www.janetimsdotcom.wordpress.com

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two poetry books

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both books available from Chapel Street Editions

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