nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘nature

spaces underground – a wasp nest

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Not far from where I sit-for-a-bit on my walk in our woods, I found a nest of wasps. Built underground, beneath the roots of a spruce tree, this nest has been revealed by some digging marauder (a skunk or raccoon) trying to get at the wasp larvae.  The nest is interesting to watch, but caution is necessary.

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When I found the nest, I took a little time to learn the difference between wasps and hornets. Hornets build their nests above ground and are larger, with black and white striped bodies. Wasps sometimes build nests underground and are small (1-2.5 cm), with black and yellow striped bodies. The insects in the underground nest are definitely wasps.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

August 28, 2017 at 7:06 am

getting the better of … a squirrel?

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At readings of my book within easy reach, I often include the poem ‘beaked hazelnuts’ and tell my audience:

If I don’t pick my hazelnuts by August 6, the squirrels will get there ahead of me. They watch the calendar!

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hazelnuts viewed from the underside of the shrub canopy

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The Beaked Hazelnut is a wiry shrub found in mixed woods. The edible nut is contained in a bristly, beaked husk. We have three clumps of the shrubs in our yard, probably sprung from the stashes of squirrels over the years!

For my battles with the squirrels over the hazelnuts, just have a look at

https://janetims.com/2011/08/07/competing-with-the-squirrels/

and

https://janetims.com/2011/08/18/competing-with-the-squirrels-2/

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This year, I also watched the calendar. And on August 5, I picked most of the hazelnuts on our hazelnut ‘trees’. Picking is tricky because those pods are covered with sticky sharp hairs that irritate thumb and fingers.

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Never-the-less, I have a small bowl of hazelnuts to call my own (I left a few for the squirrels, more than they ever did for me). Now I will wait for them to dry and then have a little feast!

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beaked hazelnuts

(Corylus cornuta Marsh.)

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hazelnuts hang

husks curve

translucent, lime

they ripen

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this year, they are mine

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uptight red squirrels agitate, on guard, we watch

the hazelnuts ripen, slow as cobwebs falling, nut pies

browning through the glass of the oven door

green berries losing yellow, making blue

dust motes in a crook of light

float, small hooked hairs

shine

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two more days

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hesitate

and red squirrels

bury their hazelnuts

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From within easy reach (Chapel Street Editions, 2016)

https://www.amazon.ca/Within-Easy-Reach-Jane-Spavold/dp/1988299004

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

August 9, 2017 at 7:45 am

wildflowers – Bladder campion

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One of my favorite roadside flowers is the Bladder campion, Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke.  The flowers are white, with five deeply lobed petals. The flowers protrude from an inflated, papery calyx, greenish, purple-veined and bladder-like. This time of year, the flowers are almost past.

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I love the scientific generic name Silene, derived from the name of a Greek woodland deity. Another common name for Bladder campion is maidenstears.

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The leaves of Bladder campion are edible, used raw in a salad or cooked in a stew.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 4, 2017 at 7:14 am

wildflowers – Canada lily

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A drive this time of year through Grand Lake Meadows, along the old Trans-Canada Highway, will show you one of our prettiest wild flowers — Lilium canadense L., the Canada lily.

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The flowers are a glimpse of orange in vast fields of greenery. The flowers are down-ward pointing, reminding me of a chandelier of light. They bloom from June through August in the moist wetlands of this part of central New Brunswick.

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As the meadow winds flip the flowers upward, you can catch a glimpse of the dark red anthers and the spotted interior of the petals.

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 2, 2017 at 4:43 pm

a touch of Monet

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Last week, on a drive to Plaster Rock, we passed a pond along the Saint John River filled with water lilies (Nymphaea sp.).

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Lovely. Calming. And reminiscent, in the way they lay on expanses of open water, of Monet’s water lilies at Giverny.

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When I think of water lilies, I also remember Edgar Allan Poe’s short story Silence – “And the water lilies sighed unto one another….”

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So to add to these greats, I have my own snippet from my poem ‘Bear Creek Meadow by Canoe’ (published in Canadian Stories 14 (82 ), Dec 2011 ):

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dignity quiets our paddles

hushed voices heed

the diminishing echo

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pliant as stems of pickerel weed

we honour the whisper

of wild rice

the edgewise touching

of nymphaea and nuphar

amphibian eyes

in the harbour-notch of lily pads

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we are threaded by dragonflies

drawn by water striders

gathered in a cloak of water shield

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

a moment of beautiful: tendrils

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the place: a planting of cucumber vines on the deck

the beautiful: winding tendrils

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I have a small garden on our deck. This year I tried a new technique; I put a bag of soil on a table, cut a slit in the horizontal part of the bag, punctured the bottom for drainage and planted some cucumbers. Later, when the leaves were established, I ran a couple of lengths of string from the table to a nearby tree.

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Now the tendrils are searching for support. When the cells of the tendril encounter a surface, such as the edge of a string, the cells respond in such a way to twist the tendril. The resulting coils and spirals are so charming!

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a note of music

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Hang on little fellow!

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coils and curls

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

July 21, 2017 at 7:00 am

pink lady’s slipper

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This time of year, my husband does an inventory of the Pink Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium acaule) on our property.

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This year, he found 10. He only saw three last year but there have been as many as 15 in bloom at one time. We never pick them and try to keep our property natural and wooded.

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The Pink Lady’s Slipper prefers acidic soil and partly shady conditions, making our grey woods an ideal habitat. Our flowers are often a pale pink or white variety.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

June 23, 2017 at 7:00 am

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