nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘nature

taking an art course

with 2 comments

I trying to add some diversity to my day, so I am taking a course from Domestika: A Meditative Approach to Botanical Illustration. I have been through the introductory videos and last evening, I began the drawing exercises. Where I am, I have no scanner or camera, but I will use some photos and drawings from past excursions to illustrate what I have to say.

_

_

The first lesson is to observe simple shapes in the plant you want to draw. The instructor uses cacti for his subject matter. I am using water lilies of various types. I usually draw with pencil, so this is the first time I have used pen. I am a ‘maker of mistakes,’ so the eraser does a lot of work when I sit down to draw. Using pen sounds a bit intimidating, but I will prevail.

~

~

The simple shapes associated with the water lily are the elongated outlines of flower petals, and the deeply-notched spherical outlines of the various leaves. For my drawings I chose Nuphar lutea, Nymphaea odorata, and Nuphar microphylla, all species found in New Brunswick.

~

simple shape drawing of Nymphaea odorata

~

The above is a crude copy ‘by finger’ of one of the drawings I did, this one of Nymphaea odorata, showing the basic shapes.

The next lesson is a more accurate representation of the plant.

I am feeling that you have to go backwards to move forwards. We will see.

~

All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 22, 2021 at 11:15 am

wildflowers in the ditches

leave a comment »

The season certainly flies by! This week I am noticing the flowers in the ditches. Daisies, bedstraw, vipers bugloss, sweet clover, yarrow and so on. Today I am curious about a white flower occurring in soft low mounds along the highway. Bladderwort campion or maidenstears.

~

~

Bladderwort campion, Silene vulgaris, is a kind of faerie-tale flower, because of its bladders, small enough to be used by the faerie-folk to transport their drink. The alternate name ‘maidenstears,’ is also fanciful. The flowers are white, sticking above the top of a red-veined bladder. Reminds me of newly-bought vegetables poking above a grocery store paper bag.

~

~

The bladder is made of fused sepals. The flower has five petals, each deeply divided into two lobes. Bladderwort campion is common, found in ditches, meadows and other waste places.

~

~

Scanning the ditches for new plants is a habit I developed in my early days as a botanist. Even now I keep a list, in my head, of the plants I see as we drive along any road. A pleasant pass time for summer!

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 12, 2021 at 7:00 am

northern bush honeysuckle

leave a comment »

There are always surprises waiting for me in our lane. Today, it was a wild plant I haven’t seen for a while, although it is quite common. The name ‘lonicera’ popped into my head, because it brings true honeysuckle to mind.

~

~

This plant is Diervilla lonicera, northern bush honeysuckle. It is a low-growing native shrub with opposite leaves that turn red in fall. The flowers are honeysuckle-like: each flower is a yellow tube with 5 lobes, 5 extended stamens and a single pistil. Fertilized flowers take on a reddish tinge. The plant provides browse for moose and deer, nesting habitat for birds and nectar for bumblebees.

~

~

The flowers have a sweet scent and are persistent once established. I can look forward to many years of bush honeysuckle in our lane.

~

Keep your eyes open for new plants you may see!

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 3, 2021 at 7:16 pm

a glimpse of water fall

with 2 comments

If you love the sound of water falling, the sparkle of water in sunshine, the feel of water beating at the back of your hand, you probably love waterfalls.

Most people know at least one waterfall. A place to go to cool off on a summer day, or to admire sculpted water in the midst of frozen winter. A place to drown the senses, to still … thoughts.

Waterfalls are musical, magical, calming and exciting at the same time. They are soothing yet, in their own way, are a violent interaction of land and water, water and land … sometimes a metaphor for a dramatic shift in the course of a life…

My seventh book of poetry honours the waterfall. It includes poetry written about various waterfalls in New Brunswick and drawings of several of these waterfalls. The manuscript won Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick writing competition for the 2012 Alfred G. Bailey Prize for a poetry manuscript.

‘a glimpse of water fall’ is the first in a poetry series called ‘a glimpse of.’ Later this year, I will publish ‘a glimpse of dragons’ and ‘a glimpse of sickle moon.’ This latter manuscript won Third Place in the competition for the 2020 Alfred G. Bailey Prize.

‘a glimpse of water fall’ is available in paperback from Amazon. Just click here. It will soon be available from Westminster Books in Fredericton.

~

Here is a sample from the book:

crescendo

Little Sheephouse Falls

~

still

silence

partridge-berry vine

cascades over granite, padding

of feet on pine needles, whisper of wind

rustle in branches of conifer, music of riffle,

incessant patter of falling water on fractured slate

builds to din and rumble of rolling thunder confined

~

Little Sheephouse

on its way to Sevogle

~

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

June 21, 2021 at 7:00 am

garden escapes: balm-of-Gilead

leave a comment »

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.

~

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.

~

~

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

~

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.

~

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

~

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.

~

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

~

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

blue shadows

with 2 comments

Scan_20200326 (5)

~

blue shadows

~

crawl across the snow

reflect trunks and branches

tufts of lichen

curves of bracket fungi

curls of bark

~

blue shadows

nuanced in ultramarine

and pthalo

a dab of violet

but never grey

~

sinuous, diagonal

gaps of light

slow alteration

with angle of sun

no flicker of foliage

~

Scan_20200326 (6)

 

~

~

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 30, 2020 at 7:00 am

wild turkeys in New Brunswick

with one comment

As we came back from our drive in Charlotte County last weekend, we were on the lookout for wild life. And we were not disappointed.

~

Down an unused road we saw twelve wild turkeys. Most, perhaps all, were females. In recent years we have seen wild turkeys more often on our various drives.

~

They are fun to watch. They are quite social. Some were foraging, probably eating seeds, berries or insects; others were resting among the pink rabbit-foot clover.

~

DSCN0871

~

DSCN0869 (2)

 

~

The University of New Brunswick is asking people to report the wild turkeys they see. The study will help determine the status of populations in New Brunswick.  Report sightings to the Facebook Page NB Wild Turkey Research

 

~

All my best,

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

September 4, 2019 at 7:00 am

a gulp of swallows

leave a comment »

The days are warm and humid. The nights offer compensating cool. The gardens are full of produce and, yesterday, we made our first stop at a roadside stand to get apples. People say “feels like fall.” On the weather channel they call this “hurricane season.”  We turn the calendar on the kitchen wall to September.

~

Fall is a month away, but the birds know the time of year. They flock with a sense of urgency, even desperation.

~

A flock of swallows is called a ‘flight’ or a ‘gulp.’

~

DSCN0884 (2)

~

DSCN0880 (2)

~

DSCN0886 (2)

~

gulp

~

barn swallow (Hirundo rustica)

~

Flight of swallows

against blue sky

gapes, as thousands

thicken cables,

telephone lines,

weather reports,

gossip. Feels like

fall. Birds follow

clues of day length,

temperature,

scarcity of food.

Gulp of swallows

expands, contains

every straggler.

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2019

~

All my best,

Jane

 

Written by jane tims

September 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

Tea berries

leave a comment »

~

Teaberry

Gaultheria procumbens

~

leaves shiny, thick

capsules waxy, red

aromatic oil

methyl salicylate

mint and wintergreen

tea soothing, blood thinning

creeping wintergreen

spice berry, drunkards

staggering over

the forest floor

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2019

~

All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 28, 2019 at 7:00 am

Raspberries

leave a comment »

It’s a great year for berries. Our blueberry bushes are loaded with the biggest, sweetest berries I have ever tasted. The raspberries are full and sweet. The blackberries are still mostly unripe but the canes are heavy with future berries.

~

raspberry ramble

~

every berry

a sweet cup

detached

from its cosy seat

deep in brambles

juice pressed

between teeth

seeds and briars

handfuls of sun

rain clouds

warm winds

gravel soil

eager fingers

~

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2019

~

All my best

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 25, 2019 at 8:11 pm

%d bloggers like this: