nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘New Brunswick

covered bridges

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If you follow this blog, you know how much I love covered bridges. We are so lucky in New Brunswick to have 58 remaining covered bridges, but we lose some almost every year, to vandalism, neglect, fire or flood.

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I have included covered bridges in my art for years. My first covered bridge painting was of an anonymous bridge. My dad asked me to paint a large mural (8′ x 4′) in our rec room at home and this was the result …

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covered bridge mural Enfield painted about 1974

‘a covered bridge in winter’ Jane Spavold (Tims)

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When I first arrived in New Brunswick, many of our local trips involved visits to covered bridges. In 1992, as a project to celebrate Canada’s 125th anniversary, my son, husband and I visited many bridges in southern New Brunswick. Last year, my husband and I found this notation on one of those bridges — our initials!

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During those days, I was busy with work and painting covered bridges was not a priority, but in 2013, I painted one rather uninspired watercolour of the Marven Covered Bridge near Sussex.

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‘Marven Covered Bridge, Kings County’ Jane Tims

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In 2015,  as part of a project under artsnb (the New Brunswick’s Arts Board) and a Creations Grant, my husband and I visited 35 covered bridges, mostly in the Saint John River watershed. The results of the project are the poems and art contained in my book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge‘ (Chapel Street editions, 2017). The cover of the book shows one of the paintings I did of the Malone Covered Bridge.

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September 24, 2016 'apple tree, Malone Bridge' Jane Tims (2016_12_30 00_28_35 UTC).JPG

‘apple tree, Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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One of the drawings for the book captured a covered bridge now lost due to carelessness, the French Village Bridge over the Hammond River.

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In the next months, based on other black and white drawings in the book, I did two more covered bridge paintings for the on-going art auction at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton.

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‘thistles at the Malone Bridge’ Jane Tims

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‘chokecherries at the Ellis Bridge’ Jane Tims

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A neighbour of mine saw the Ellis Bridge painting and commissioned me to paint our local Patrick Owens Covered Bridge.

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‘chokecherries at the Patrick Owens Bridge’ Jane Tims

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As time goes on, I will paint other covered bridges. They are so beautiful, each a work of art and engineering. The artist’s challenge is to bring out the individuality of each bridge and illustrate its place in our history and landscape.

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All my best,

Jane Tims

 

 

celebration of a covered bridge

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Do you love covered bridges?

Have you done any writing about the Patrick Owens Bridge or any other covered bridge?

On Saturday August 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm join us at the Rusagonis Covered Bridge Park to celebrate our Bridge.

  • We will hear from Jeff Carr, MLA.
  • Linda Cogswell will tell us a bit about the history of the bridge.
  • I will be reading from my book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ (Chapel Street Editions, 2017) and $10 from every sale of my book will be donated for the upkeep of the Park.
  • Rose Burke will read a piece about the Upper Mills Bridge and cross-border travel in former years.
  • Ian LeTourneau, Fredericton’s Cultural Laureate, will read his poem about the loss of the Bell Covered Bridge.
  • We will also have an ‘open mic’ where you can join others in reading from your own work (about bridges or any other related theme).

We will have cake and lemonade as part of the afternoon. There will also be a BBQ, courtesy of MLA Jeff Carr! Everyone is welcome!

Let me know if you would like to read (in the comments or at timstims@nbnet.nb.ca).

Patrick Owens Bridge rainbow.JPG

All my best,

Jane

abandoned spaces: day-lilies

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The orange day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva) is also called roadside day-lily, outhouse day-lily, wash-house day-lily, ditch day-lily, and railroad day-lily, giving a hint of the spaces where it is found. When gardens containing the orange day-lily are abandoned, the flowers persist and spread on the site, and also escape to live in nearby ditches and fields.

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The day-lily is an herbaceous perennial with an extensive tuberous root. The flowers are borne on a long scape and each flower blooms and lasts only a day. It spreads via stolons and seeds. Although pretty, the orange day-lily is considered an invasive species. Its colonies can out-compete other native species.

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This time of year, orange day-lilies are everywhere in New Brunswick. In the abandoned community of Beaufort, Carleton County, orange day-lilies line the roadside on the way to the former community.

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the road to Beaufort … the long isolated road gives a hint as to why a community in the area was abandoned … a long way to other communities, hard winters with deep snow and few opportunities for young people

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The New Brunswick Archives says:

 … settled in 1879 following the adoption of the Free Grants Act: named for William Beaufort Mills who persuaded the government to give aid to Anglicans burned out in the Saint John Fire of 1877 and encouraged settlement in this area: PO [post office] 1881-1946: in 1898 Beaufort was a community with 1 post office and a population of 100.

Source: https://archives.gnb.ca/Exhibits/Communities/Details.aspx?culture=en-CA&community=232

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Today, there is only one, modern house in the community. But remnants of old gardens in the community still remain. we saw:

many apple trees at the roadside and in overgrown orchards …

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a young crowded stand of Balsam poplar, perhaps the hybrid Balm of Gilead …

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and a flower I have not yet identified … does anyone know what it is?

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Sad to think of the people who lived in Beaufort, planted their gardens and struggled to make their lives there.  But they left their mark, on the communities they moved to and in the plants they left behind, now beautifying the former community.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 15, 2018 at 7:00 am

moose in a wetland

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On one of our many drives, we found ourselves in the community of Juniper, New Brunswick. In a small bog, in the midst of the community, was this fellow, a bull moose (known in scientific and other circles as Alces alces). He paid no attention to people or cars and went about his business, chewing at the vegetation in the wetland.

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The moose is a fairly common sight in New Brunswick. They are so common and dangerous along roadways, fences have been constructed along sections of the various major highways to separate moose and car.

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The first time I ever saw a moose was on my very first field excursion with my new position with the New Brunswick Department of Environment (back in 1978). I said to the federal biologist who was with me, “Look, a forest ranger is riding a horse through that bog!” The biologist replied, “That’s no horse, that’s a moose!” To this day, it is the ugliest animal I have ever seen, but there is something beautiful in its efficient ungainliness!

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Moose are big animals, up to two metres in height and up to 700 kg; my husband (my authority) says New Brunswick moose do not grow quite this big. Moose are solitary (not herding) members of the deer family. They inhabit boreal or mixed forest and love wetlands and open waters.  They are herbivores and eat aquatic vegetation, grasses, and twigs, branches and leaves of shrubs and trees.

If you see a moose, back up slowly. They can become aggressive if startled or annoyed. My husband saws, “No four inch stick is going to stop a moose!”

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This is the second moose we have seen this summer.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

August 1, 2018 at 7:00 am

Partridge and Grouse – which are you???

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In New Brunswick, we have three birds which I confuse and name ‘Partridge‘. Remember I am a botanist and come by my bird knowledge through secondary sources.

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a ruffed grouse or a grey partridge? the first clue is habitat (the mainly hardwood woodlands)

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The Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) is a bird of the woodlands (mostly hardwood) and is the bird heard ‘drumming’ in our woods in spring. Its plumage varies from pale brown to bright mahogany. It has a fanning tail and head feathers which stand up like a crown. The feathers around the neck ruff up too. Since these birds are locally referred to as ‘partridge’, there can be confusion between the Ruffed Grouse, the Spruce Grouse and the Grey Partridge.

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Ruffed Grouse crossing the Old Shepody Road in eastern New Brunswick

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Ruffed Grouse in our grey woods

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The Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis) is a bird of mainly coniferous woodlands. It eats spruce and pine needles. It is a chicken-like bird with variable plumage, mostly grey and black in the male and grey-brown in the female. The bird has a fanning tail, but does not raise its head feathers the way the Ruffed Grouse does. For a good photo of the Spruce Grouse see https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Spruce_Grouse/id

The Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) is a bird of open areas and grass lands. It is a roundish bird with a brown back and grey sides and neck. The chest-area has a darker brown mark. When startled, the bird flies upwards on rounded wings. For a good photo of a Grey Partridge see https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Gray_Partridge/id

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 6, 2018 at 4:32 pm

ice-falls in New Brunswick

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An ice-fall along highway #102 in New Brunswick

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One of the sad things about the end of winter is the demise of our ice-falls in New Brunswick. Along the roads, where there are streams intersected by road-cuts, we often have a build-up of ice as it drips from the top of the cut. Some of the ice-falls are spectacular and all are dazzlers in the sun. For more about ice-falls in my blog see here.

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From my reading, I know that ice-falls begin as ‘frazil ice’, a suspension of small ice crystals adhering to soil, rock or vegetation. As meltwater flows over the surface of the frozen ice-fall, new layers are built and a cross-section of the ice will show bands of ice. 

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In New Brunswick, some ice-falls are climbable, and some create caves under the curtain of ice. A famous New Brunswick ice-fall is the Midland Ice Caves near Norton. https://www.explorenb.ca/blog/icecaves

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one warm hand

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icicles seep between

layers of rock frozen

curtains separate

inner room from winter storm

glass barrier between blue

light and sheltered eyes

memory of water flows

along the face of the rock

one warm hand melts ice

consolation, condensation

on the inward glass

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(published as ‘one warm hand’, http://www.janetims.com, March 10, 2012)

Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 13, 2018 at 7:00 am

my new book of poetry available now!

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Late at night in February 2015, as my husband and I crossed the Patrick Owens Covered Bridge on the Rusagonis Stream, we 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, 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.

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I am please to announce that my resulting book of poems ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ is now available. The book includes 21 of my drawings and more than 70 poems. The Foreword is written by my friend Brian Atkinson who wrote New Brunswick’s Covered Bridges (Nimbus, 2010).

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‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ is now available through my publisher Chapel Street Editions http://www.chapelstreeteditions.com and at upcoming readings. You will soon be able to find it at Westminster Books in Fredericton and Tidewater Books in Sackville.

I hope you enjoy the book and take every opportunity to drive through one of our covered bridges in New Brunswick!

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conjunction – February 21, 2015

Patrick Owens Bridge

Rusagonis River #2

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Venus and Mars

sickle of mid-winter moon

planet and moon light scamper

into crevasses

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headlights of the half-ton enter

overwhelm planet shadow

startle a winter hare

erect on haunches, paw lifted

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frosted by sky-gaze, worshiping

the sliver of moon, dismayed

at desecration, round glare

of the truck’s predatory eyes

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fright to stop a heart

or flight to mobilize

hind-legs straighten

before fore-legs turn

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long ear shadows

quit the length of the bridge

ahead of whiskers, chin velvet

and rabbit wisdom

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From ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’, Chapel Street Editions, 2017

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017 

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