nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘New Brunswick

goslings

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On our drive last weekend to the Spednic Lake area, we saw this sight along the road by North Lake …. three Canada geese and their goslings …. two rather unevenly sized families.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

June 16, 2017 at 7:05 am

Fredericton’s Literary Festival — Word Feast

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This Thursday evening is the launch of Fredericton’s Word Feast, a literary festival to be held in Fredericton during the Week of September 18 – 24, 2017. Word Feast is expected to be an annual festival, featuring a lecture, workshops, seminars, readings, and other events.

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To launch this event, there will be an announcement party this Thursday June 1, 2017 at 7 PM in the Chickadee Hall of the Fredericton Public Library. Each of the main categories of literary events will be announced and there will be readings by some well-known Fredericton writers. Our readers will include Sue Sinclair, Kathy Goggin, Mark Jarman, and Paul McAllister. I will be reading from my poetry about wild edible plants. Everyone is welcome and the launch party is free!

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This will be an enjoyable evening and a chance to hear about the great line-up planned for Word Feast.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

mustard electric

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More painting going on. Trying to capture some of our dramatic New Brunswick landscape.

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This summer we drove through the rural countryside near Millville and loved the brilliant yellow mustard fields.

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This painting is called ‘mustard electric’, 24″ by 20″, acrylic, gallery edges, painted with Hansa yellow, Ultramarine blue, Titanium white. When I had it in the living room, it was impossible to ignore, its blast of yellow lingering in the peripheral vision!

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September 10, 2016 ‘mustard electric’ near Millville, N.B. Jane Tims

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

September 28, 2016 at 7:02 am

old schools in the landscape

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In my last few posts, I have focussed on my research toward a new poetry project I will be beginning. I know there are interesting stories to be told about the ‘inside’ of the one room school. Because of my interests in botany and community history, I would like to reflect on the ‘outside’ of the one room school – its surroundings and geographic location.

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I still have to do some thinking about this project. I know that people who attended one room schools will have stories to tell about how the local terrain and landscape influenced their schooling.

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A school’s surroundings would have impacted learning in many ways. For example, the view of a lake from the school window may have caused many a pupil to settle into daydreams.  Interesting fields, hills, and watercourses would provide the teacher with opportunities for nature study.

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The location of the school would also influence recess and lunch-time activities. My Dad wrote about damming a local stream so they could skate in the winter months. The same stream meant fishing in May and June. A nearby hillside would be great for sledding in January and February. Trees in the school yard?  – A place to climb or to hang a swing.

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'willow swing'

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Students walked to school before the 1950s. The study I made of schools in Upham Parish, New Brunswick suggests that students walked as many as three miles to school in the late 1800s. Hills made the long walk to school more difficult. The winds by a lake or other shore land would be bitter on a winter day. Rivers, lakes and wetlands meant a place to hunt tadpoles. A spring by the road? – A cool drink. My Uncle, forced to wear a hat/scarf he hated, used the bridge on the way to school as a place to hide his headgear!

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One room schools were located near clusters of houses and various community activities. The walk to school may have passed a church, a post office or a community store. Hardwood forests meant lumber mills and, in spring, maple syrup and the sugar shack. Good land meant farms; grazing land meant cows to outstare.

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On a drive last weekend, we found an older building along the Saint John River that may have been a school. The Upper Queensbury Community Hall has all the characteristics of a one room school – the steep roof, rectangular footprint, and tall side windows.

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Upper Queensbury Community Hall 1

Upper Queensbury Community Hall near Nackawic, New Brunswick. I will have to make some inquiries to find out if it was a school house at one time.

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A look at a map shows some of the landscape features in the area.

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Queensbury

Map showing landscape features of part of Queensbury Parish, near Nackawic, New Brunswick. The yellow dot is the location of the Upper Queensbury Community Hall which may have been a one room school.

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The Saint John River was nearby, although further than it is today since the Mactaquac Dam (built in 1968) has raised the level of the water. The river’s possibilities for fishing, skating and boating were only a downhill trek away. The terrain is gently undulating, as the names of nearby communities (Day Hill and Granite Hill) suggest. Local geographic points the community children may have known include the many-tiered Coac Falls and Coac Lake (an old road runs past the community hall back through the woods to the lake, about a mile away). The aerial photo (taken near the end of September) shows the red of the cranberry bog – picking cranberries may have been a well-known activity. Sugar maples are common in the area, as are old ‘sugar shacks’. When I interview people who went to the one room school I will have to remember to ask them about their memories of these places.

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Writing poetry about these ideas will be so much fun!

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Copyright  2016  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 9, 2016 at 7:11 am

flags all flying (day 17 and 18)

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During my virtual travelling along the north shore of New Brunswick I often see flags flying, representing the esteem of people for their country and their heritage …

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17-18

distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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8-17  February 21, 2014   30 minutes  (Belledune to Devereau)

8-18   February 25, 2014   35 minutes (Devereau to Petit-Rocher-Nord)

(I also took a quick sidetrip on the highway south to Madran – the beauty of travelling virtually)

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All along the coast of northern New Brunswick, people are proud to display their flags.  As I ‘cycle’ along the road I see three flag designs …

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The red and white Canadian flag with its maple leaf …

Canadian flag

a Canadian flag near Campbellton (image from Street View)

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the New Brunswick flag (based on the province’s Coat of Arms and depicting a red lion and a ship) …

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the yellow, red and blue New Brunswick flag showing the ship from the Coat of Arms (image from Street View)

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and the Acadian flag …

Acadian flag

the blue, white and red Acadian flag showing its gold star (image from Street View)

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The Acadians are the descendants of French colonists of the 17th century who settled in Acadia (the Maritime Provinces, parts of Quebec and Maine).  Today, over 1/3 of New Brunswickers are Acadian and New Brunswick is officially bilingual (French and English).

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The Acadian flag represents Acadians all over the world.  The flag is blue, white and red, like the flag of France.  On the blue field is a gold star, the Stella Maris (Star of the Sea).  The star represents the Virgin Mary, patron saint of the Acadians.

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Along the north shore of New Brunswick, the colours of the Acadian flag are represented on various objects, including telephone poles in some communities …

painted pole

a painted telephone pole in Madran (image from Street View)

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on lobster traps …

LOBSTER TRAPS_crop

colours of the Acadian flag on a lobster trap (image from Street View)

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and on rocks …

February 25, 2014  'roche Acadienne'  Jane Tims

February 25, 2014 ‘roche Acadienne’ Jane Tims

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The Acadian flag and its representations remind me how proud I am to live in a province that includes the rich culture and history of the Acadian people.

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

trees and more trees (day 3)

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Once I was asked to conduct a bus tour of southern New Brunswick for some visiting city administrators.  I prepared well for the tour and had lots to show and tell them.  I got a laugh for beginning my tour with: ” There’s a tree and there’s a tree and there’s a tree…. ”  All joking aside, New Brunswick has a lot of trees.  A drive almost anywhere means driving through many kilometers of forest or woods.

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8-3

map showing distance travelled (map from Google Earth)

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8-3   January 7, 2014   30 minutes  3.0 km (south of McLeods to McLeods)

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On the third day of my virtual cycling trip in northern New Brunswick, I took a few backroads and, you guessed it – saw lots of trees.  Well I love trees, so that may be one reason New Brunswick, in my opinion, is a great place to call home.

For the most part, we have a mixed wood composition to our forests – both hardwood and softwood.  One thing I’ve noticed in painting my first watercolours of New Brunswick is the dark blue tinge to hills on the horizon.  I think this is due to the large number of conifers (White, Black and Red Spruce, Balsam Fir and White Pine, among other species).

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January 8, 2014  'Route 280 near Dundee'   Jane Tims

January 8, 2014 ‘Route 280 near Dundee’ Jane Tims

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Painting trees is a challenge for me.  My biggest problem is ‘green’ … I use Sap Green and Oxide of Chromium, and mix these with blue and yellow, but I can never seen to capture the emeralds of nature!

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims

Purple Violet (Viola cucullata Ait.)

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The Purple Violet is the floral symbol of my life.  It is the official flower of the province where I live.  It is one of the many species in my lawn, and the theme for my guest room.  Every card my Mom and Dad ever sent to me has an image of violets.

Purple Violets are loved by many people.  In New Brunswick, they were adopted as the Provincial Flower in 1936, at the request of the provincial Women’s Institute.  The violet is also the State flower of Illinois, adopted in 1907 by schoolchildren in the State.

The Purple Violet ((Viola cucullata Ait.) is also known as the Hooded Blue Violet, the Marsh Blue Violet, the Long-stemmed Marsh Violet, and, in French, violette cucullée or violette dressée.  The Latin species name means ‘hooded’ from the inrolled young leaves.

The Purple Violet is a low-growing perennial preferring wetlands, or low wet areas in mixed or coniferous woods.

The leaves are simple, with a long stalk.  They are often heart-shaped, with rounded teeth.

The Purple Violet blooms in May.  The flower is held on a long peduncle (stalk) above a basal rosette of leaves. The flower is dark blue, purple or occasionally white, with five petals darkly veined towards the center.  The lower petal is short and spurred, and the two lateral petals are bearded.  Bearded petals have clusters of tiny thick hairs, rounded at the tip.

The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, used as a thickener in soup, or to make a tea.  The flowers can be added to a salad or used for edible decoration.  My salad is made with Purple Violet leaves, Dandelion greens, chives from our garden and my own sprouts.  I added three flowers for their delicate taste and decoration.  Always be sure of your identification before you eat anything from the wild!

Although I do not advocate the wanton dismemberment of flowers, the violet holds a charming secret for children of all ages.  If you gently pull down the ‘upper’ two petals from the flower, you can see a little lady with a white head and orange gown, sitting against the backdrop of her purple throne.

Purple Violet holds a royal lady… in this flower, you can barely glimpse the lady against her throne. She is upside down. You can see her white head and the top of the skirt of her orange gown.

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Marshland Rule

                Viola cucullata Ait.

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within the perilous

limits of the rimless marsh,

disguised in woodland green,

spurred by deep viola speak

and crowds of envious hearts,

the hooded ranger guards

the tiny queen, long stemmed

tenderness, slenderness hid

by the folds of her orange gown,

seated against her purple throne,

flanked by wise men

bearded,

eager to advise

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Warning:
1. never eat any plant if you are not absolutely certain of the identification;
2. never eat any plant if you have personal sensitivities, including allergies, to certain plants or their derivatives;
3. never eat any plant unless you have checked several sources to verify the edibility of the plant.
 
©  Jane Tims   2012
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