nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘St. John River

an intelligent world of blue

with 2 comments

Yesterday, we went on a drive along the Saint John River from Oromocto to Jemseg. We hoped to see some birds or other wild life. But we didn’t even see a crow!!!!

~

However we did see the world painted in a sweet-toned shade of blue … the ice on the river, the long shadows on the meadows and the sky. I was reminded of Douglas Adams and his tribute to hooloovoo ‘blue’.

~

A Hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the color blue.

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy    

~

dscn0210-2~

dscn0215-2

~

 

Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

March 3, 2017 at 7:57 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – final manuscript

with 5 comments

In the last weeks, I have been working towards completion of the book-length manuscript for ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’. It includes poems and drawings about the plants and animals living in and around some of the covered bridges in New Brunswick.

~

Earlier this summer I was lucky enough to win a mentoring package from the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick. I chose a talented, award-winning local poet to work with me on the manuscript and during the early part of the summer, with her expert guidance, I made revisions to the poems. She focused my attention on word choice, clarity and ‘showing not telling’. She also helped me with a handful of poems I thought were not salvageable and now some of these will make it into the manuscript!

~

In the last few weeks, I have worked on revisions, ordering of the poems, and, hardest of all, my footnotes. Since the poems are about the remaining covered bridges in the St. John River watershed, I want to include some basic information in the footnotes as well as notes I made during my visits to each bridge. I have also worked on the drawings I will include in the manuscript.

~

pickerel weed - Canal Bridge

~

The process of preparing a manuscript is long and certainly goes beyond the fist few lines written on the page way back when this manuscript was just an idea. But if the way is about the journey, this has been such a memorable experience.  Best of all, I have been lucky to make the acquaintance of many of New Brunswick’s covered bridges. Last Thursday, as we returned home from a visit, we saw a double rainbow in the sky and I was able to snap a shot as we waited to take our turn crossing the covered bridge across the Rusagonis River (the Patrick Owens Bridge):

~

double rainbow over the Rusagonis #2 Covered Bridge in Rusagonis August 19, 2016

double rainbow over the Rusagonis #2 Covered Bridge in Rusagonis, New Brunswick – August 19, 2016

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

August 22, 2016 at 7:00 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – manuscript completed!!

with 12 comments

img250 (2)

~

Last year, in the competition of April 1, 2015, I was awarded a Creation Grant from artsnb (The New Brunswick Arts Board). The award was to create a manuscript of poems about plants and animals living in the shelter of covered bridges in New Brunswick.

I have now completed the manuscript and am ready to submit my final report. During the project I visited 28 covered bridges in the drainage basin of the Saint John River and 5 in Charlotte and Westmorland Counties. I was also able to use the notes and records from my visits to some covered bridges in 1992.

~

The final manuscript includes  81 pages, 8 new drawings, and 63 poems, organised into five themes:

liminal spaces – 8 poems about bridges as places of transition and change

notch of a lily pad – 10 poems about the covered bridge as habitat

grit of a blade – 9 poems about engravings and graffiti produced by human visitors to the covered bridge

a blade of grass between thumbs -10 poems about mysterious discoveries in covered bridges

heads of timothy – 6 poems about encounters at the bridge

gaps between boards – 10 poems about deterioration and loss due to vandalism, fire and flood

a loose board rattles – 10 poems about the sounds resonating in a covered bridge

~

Many thanks to artsnb for helping me in the making of the manuscript and for the chance to undertake such an enjoyable project!

~

in the eaves

Copyright 2016 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2016 at 7:47 am

Next painting for Isaac’s Way art auction …

with 4 comments

On January 25, 2016, the 25th Art Auction and Sale at Isaac’s Way Restaurant in Fredericton, New Brunswick will come to an end. Only a few more days to own some reasonably-priced art and help kids-in-need. As of January 4, 2016 this 25th auction has sold 22 paintings and raised $7,600 for art lessons for kids. For a look at the paintings still available, visit http://isaacsway.ca/art/. To have a look at my submission to the 25th Art Auction, see my post for September 18, 2015 https://janetims.com/2015/09/18/art-auction-new-painting/

~

My next submission, for the Isaac’s Way 26th Art Auction and Sale, is a landscape.  The piece features a view of the Saint John River, from the Nerepis Marsh at Grand Bay-Westfield towards the Westfield Ferry. It is entitled ‘across the bay’ (24” wide by 20” high, acrylic on canvas, unframed with gallery edges). This auction will run from January 27, 2016 to late May, 2016.  The proceeds from the auction will go to sponsor kids-in-need. I am donating 50% of the proceeds from my painting to the charity.

~

IMG_3890

‘across the bay’ Jane Tims

~
Copyright Jane Tims 2016

in the shelter of the covered bridge – a narrow bridge

with 2 comments

On our drive last weekend, we visited three covered bridges.

Usually our visits last at least an hour. At each bridge, we:

  • get a good look at the abutments beneath the bridge
  • watch and listen for birds
  • identify the trees near the bridge and any wild plants in the vicinity
  • photograph the covered bridge and any interesting architectural elements
  • take notes about the state of the bridge, any new construction and the condition and covering of the roof
  • look for animal tracks, holes made by woodpeckers, birds nests, spider webs and feathers
  • record any notations in the bridge – carvings, chalk, felt marker, pencil, pen and paint
  • make a list of the sounds I hear and try to absorb the ‘feeling’ each bridge evokes.

~

2015 117_crop

Florenceville Bridge, New Brunswick

~

I knew ahead of time, the Florenceville Bridge across the St. John River would be a different experience. Walking the bridge would be unlikely – there is no pedestrian walkway, the traffic is quite heavy and the bridge is narrow.  I did cross the bridge in our truck, a harrowing adventure since the bridge traffic is two-way. Cars slow down when they meet, but the locals are seasoned to the width and scary-brave.

~

Picture1

a red truck and a white truck meet and pass on the narrow bridge

~

Only one span of the Florenceville Bridge is covered (built in 1907) and this is very well maintained. The other four spans are steel trusses. The pigeons perching on the roof of the bridge are its most obvious wild life.

~

2015 126_crop

~

~

keeping watch

(Florenceville Bridge)

~

fifteen pigeons swim through air

fill gaps on the ridge line

~

perch on the shingled roof

scrutinize the traffic

the squeeze of half-tons

on the bridge

the kiss of mirrors

~

pigeons quit the ridge, glide

to the shingled shore

~

river winds shiver

hawkweed and sumac, displace

blankets of wild cucumber, billow

the skirts and Tilley

hats of tourists

~

2015 125_crop

~

Copyright 2015 Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

September 11, 2015 at 7:58 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – Baker Brook #2

leave a comment »

Of the 60 covered bridges in New Brunswick, most are in the southern part of the province. Last week we went to see the three remaining covered bridges in Madawaska County in the north-western part of the province.

~

One of these was Baker Brook #2. It crosses the Baker Brook west of Edmunston and is no longer in service. The bridge has been protected in a small park with a parking area. Bird boxes, flags and hanging flower baskets show there is local stewardship of the bridge.

~

2015 008_crop

Baker Brook #2 in Madawaska County, New Brunswick

~

The Baker Brook #2 bridge was the essence of quiet. As we entered the bridge, the only sound was the patter of rain and the trickle of water under the bridge.

~

2015 016_crop

I don’t get many photos of myself, but this is a good one – I am ready to take notes on the plants and animals I see in the Baker Brook # 2 covered bridge … these notes and my photos and memories become the basis for future poems

~

The bridge is set against a backdrop of tranquil hills and fields. A deer watched us from a hayfield at the north end of the bridge. A white-throated sparrow called once and a crow made a few comments from the top of a round bale of hay. Otherwise, we were alone.

~

2015 062_crop

~

I love the way the lichens have colonized the bridge and follow the boards, like rain, in lines down the outer walls.

~

2015 012_crop

~

Some visitor had left a small collection next to the outer wall of the bridge. Three rocks and a broken bit of glass…

~

2015 032_crop

~

Copyright Jane Tims 2015

Written by jane tims

July 29, 2015 at 7:20 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – Milkish Inlet

with 2 comments

We continue to drive around to look at covered bridges in New Brunswick. Eventually, I would like to write a series of poems about the plants and animals living in or around a covered bridge.

~

Last Saturday we visited a covered bridge on the Kingston Peninsula at Bayswater.  The Milkish Inlet #1 (Bayswater  Covered Bridge) was built in 1920.  At 66.5 meters, it is the longest covered bridge in Kings County, New Brunswick. It is by far the busiest bridge I have seen – it was hard to amble through the bridge since there always seemed to be a car going through and a car waiting.

~

2015 MILKISH INLET BRIDGE 001_crop

~

The bridge crosses the Milkish Inlet at Bayswater.  The water here is under the influence of the tides.

~

2015 MILKISH INLET BRIDGE 005_crop

~

Swimmers, wanting to dive from the height of the bridge, have removed a section of the bridge’s wall boards.

~

2015 MILKISH INLET BRIDGE 011_crop

~

There are many carvings inside the bridge, including this rather charming L. P.

~

2015 MILKISH INLET BRIDGE 016_crop

~

Another covered bridge once crossed Milkish Creek, but it has been replaced by a causeway.

~

I wondered about the name of the Inlet.  The water is not ‘milkish’ in colour!

~

I have discovered the name is from a First Nations word meaning ‘the place where food is dried’ (Source: http://coveredbridgevic.com/festival/Bridges.htm ).

~

Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 8, 2015 at 3:23 pm

%d bloggers like this: