nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘plants and animals

Pileated Woodpecker excavations

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The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a common visitor in our yard. The size of the woodpecker and its triangular red crest are impossible to miss. The male also has a red stripe on the side of its face.

There is a big spruce tree in our grey woods where the Pileated Woodpecker loves to visit. The hole in the tree and the pile of woodchips below the hole say this woodpecker has been very busy.  The woodpeckers drill these holes to get insects.

On a drive to see the Smyth Covered Bridge near Hoyt, New Brunswick, we found a roadside tree with evidence of the Pileated Woodpecker’s industry.  The holes are almost a foot in length and deep enough to hide a hand.

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To humans, the best forests may seem to be woods with healthy trees. To provide good habitat for the Pileated Woodpecker, a forest should have lots of dead and fallen trees, to provide food and nesting sites.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

April 27, 2018 at 7:06 am

someone has a plan!

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This time of year the winter ice on the rivers in New Brunswick is starting to break up. At the concrete bridge over the South Branch of the Rusagonis Stream, not far from where I live, there is a narrow band of melted ice.

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However, someone has plans for that part of the river. Have a look at the next two photos and guess who the ‘planners’ are.

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Beavers! Not ice scour since softer trees at the same level are not involved. Also, two of the trees have deep ‘v’s cut out on the bank side.

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We will be watching to see the next stage and the results of this plan. A beaver dam on the Rusagonis. Oh my!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

 

Written by jane tims

March 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

special book offer – in the shelter of the covered bridge

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To celebrate my reading at Odd Sundays yesterday, I am selling my book in the shelter of the covered bridge (Chapel Street Editions 2017) at the reduced price of $25 (including postage) from February 16, 2018 until February 28, 2018.  If you happen to live in my driving area (within 30 km of Oromocto or Fredericton, New Brunswick), the price for a hand-delivered book is $20.  Just email me at timstims@nbnet.nb.ca and we will arrange for payment and delivery.  

The book usually sells for $28 so this is a great deal if you love poetry, covered bridges or wild life.

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in the shelter of the covered bridge is published by Chapel Street Editions (Woodstock) and includes over 70 poems about visits to 54 of New Brunswick’s covered bridges. The book is illustrated with my pencil drawings and has a foreword by Brian Atkinson, a well-known New Brunswick photographer.

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“… A delightful blend of her poetry and drawings, as well as the natural and cultural history of this province …” Linda Hershey, Moncton Times-Transcript, Nov. 30, 2017, writing about in the shelter of the covered bridge

 

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Copyright 2018 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 19, 2018 at 7:00 am

announcing the winner of a copy of ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’

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I have a winner in the 500th follower contest! (Anyone who entered a comment on my blog between October 15, 2017 and November 20, 2017 inclusive was entered in the draw to win a signed copy of my new book ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’).

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We drew for the winner at my reading at the Authors Coffee House on November 23, 2017.

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signing books at the Authors Coffee House where we drew for the winner of the book …

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I am happy to say the winner is ‘Rebecca’, writer of the blog ‘walking on a country road’. I will be sending Rebecca her copy of my book in the next couple of days. Rebecca is an avid bird watcher and naturalist and I know she will enjoy the book. If you love bird photography and would like to know more about the natural history of Tennessee, visit her blog at https://walkingonacountryroad.com/

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Thank you to everyone who entered. I will be having another contest soon, so keep reading!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

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 

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

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