poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Ontario

Ball’s Bridge’

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In southern Ontario, the Maitland River winds through fields and woodlands before it empties into Lake Huron at Goderich.


When we visited the area two summers ago, we discovered the Ball’s Bridge on the Little Lakes Road.


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Ball’s bridge was built over the Maitland River in 1885. It is a rare example of a two-span pin-connected Pratt through-truss iron bridge and one of the oldest wrought-iron Pratt bridges in the US and Canada. The bridge was built at a time when horse-drawn carriages and carts were its only traffic. In 2006 the bridge was declared unsafe for the weight of modern vehicles. In 2008, the bridge was saved from further deterioration and eventual destruction by the Friends of Ball’s Bridge.


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The poem below tries to capture the interplay of light and shadow as we crossed Ball’s Bridge and drove the local roads.


Ball’s Bridge, Maitland River


on the first day of fall

landscape is criss-crossed

in lattice and wire

spider web and the flight paths

of pigeon-flutter

to the high lines

of the iron bridge


rays of light

find solar panels

and the backs of turtles

sunning on river logs

the inter-lacing

of dark water and light

the shadows of metal and truss

intercepting wire



and winter wheat

embedded rows

a river and its valley

and a hawk follows

panels of air, first frost

and meltwater collects

on oval lily pads

yellowed leaves

rusted wire



This is the second metal bridge we have visited in Ontario. A few years ago we photographed the South Nation River Bridge, in Glengarry County, not far from Cornwall. That bridge has been removed, another loss from our built landscape. For the story of our visit to the South Nation River metal bridge click here


All my best,

Jane Tims



Written by jane tims

March 16, 2020 at 7:00 am

cornfields and Canada Geese

with 2 comments

I have been away for a while. Off to a driving vacation in Ontario, Canada. We saw the last of summer in the cornfields of Southern Ontario.



Canada Geese were everywhere. They are considered a nuisance by farmers and almost everyone else. But we enjoyed spotting the flocks in the fields and the ‘V’s in the sky. And once, we waited as a group of geese crossed the road in front of us.



I will have more about our trip in the next few days, as I check out my photos and process the memories!


Copyright 2017 Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

September 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

comparing landscapes

with 4 comments

When you are visiting an area away from home, what do you notice about the landscape?

As we were driving the roads of south-east Ontario, I was always comparing the scenes I was seeing with the landscapes of home in south-central New Brunswick.  

Both areas are hilly and rural, with a strong agricultural base.  Both are forested wherever farmland is not the main land use.   The trees in south-eastern Ontario are predominantly hardwood with some cedar, fir and pine, whereas ours are mostly mixed wood with a stronger component of conifers (spruce, fir and pine).

Probably the thing I noticed most about the Ontario farming landscape was the predominance of corn as a crop.  When we were there, the ‘eating’ corn had already been harvested, but corn for silage (mostly used for cattle) was growing everywhere.  It stood tall in golden fields, mostly broadcast, without corn-rows.    

The corn was ready for harvest, the corn kernels held in stout, starchy ears.  I think ‘ears’ is such an apt word for corn since the sense of hearing is shaken awake when you stand in a cornfield.  This time of year, the long leaves are dry and rustle in the slightest breeze, carrying on a whispering conversation in an unknowable language.  




cattle-corn rustles

silage close-standing

whispers and secrets


murmurs and sighs


no single




© Jane Tims  2011

Written by jane tims

October 5, 2011 at 8:24 am

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