nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘water

spring comes to the Saint John River

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We have waited eagerly for spring here in New Brunswick. With late snow storms and temperatures still in the minus degrees Centigrade, my day lilies are just peeking through the grass at the edge of the snow.

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There is still ice on the river with windrows showing the last snows …

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but the ice is gradually receding, revealing vast strips of blue water …

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Every year, my husband and I watch for our own harbinger of spring …. the return of the Canada geese to the river. We went for a drive last week to find many examples of geese feeding in the bare fields and along the river edges.

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We saw geese in several fields along the way, but our best view was on a side road to one of the river’s many concrete wharves …

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prediction of spring

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necks of geese

are the steep upward

curve of charts showing:

—— longer , brighter days

——- larger areas of meltwater

——— warmer expressions of sun

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

April 3, 2017 at 7:00 am

an intelligent world of blue

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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!!!!

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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’.

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

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

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

March 3, 2017 at 7:57 am

uphill and down

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While doing a search for a particular plant we know grows in the area, my husband and I took a side road through rural Victoria County in New Brunswick. We drove from Route 109 (near the top of the map), south through Upper Kintore and Lower Kintore, to Muniac, a distance of about 23 kilometres.

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(Map Source: New Brunswick Atlas, First Edition)

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Kintore was settled in 1873 and named for the town of Kintore near Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1898, Kintore was a railway station and had a post office and a population of 75. (Source: New Brunswick Archives)

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church and school house in Upper Kintore 2016

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Interesting to me was the very well-cared-for one room Upper Kintore School, built in 1877.

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Upper Kintore School built 1877

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Our drive took us uphill through Upper Kintore, along Big Flat Brook (a tributary of the Tobique River). The road peaked at Lawson Hill and then ran down, through Lower Kintore. Again, the road followed a watercourse, the Muniac Steam (a tributary of the Saint John River). As we drove we talked about the road — the earliest roads took the easy way, along the brooks. The southern part of the road was banked by steep rocky roadcuts.

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the Muniac Stream near Lower Kintore

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Since I am interested in the plants children might encounter on their way to school, I was happy that this is the time in New Brunswick when most of our roadside wild flowers are in bloom. We saw Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia serotina Nutt.), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense L.), Bedstraw (Galium sp.), Daisy (Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum L.), Bladder-Campion (Silene Cucubalus Wibel) and Meadow Rue (Thalictrum polygamum Muhl.). Quite a bouquet! I have to remain aware that some of these plants have become very weedy and invasive since the early 1900s and may have been hard to find in the 1800s. For example, in the photo below, just above the Black-eyed Susan, you will notice a plant of Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa L.). In New Brunswick, Wild Parsnip is a invasive species, probably introduced by Europeans in the 18th century as a food source.

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Black-eyed Susan along the road

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Do you have any favorite rural drives through communities with interesting histories?

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

in the shelter of the covered bridge – a ghazal

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Yesterday, we drove to see a few bridges in north-western New Brunswick. One of these was the North Becaguimec River #4 (Ellis Covered Bridge) in Carleton County.

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the North Becaguimec River #4 (Ellis Covered Bridge) in Carleton County (Sept 2015)

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The bridge was built in 1909 and is 18.3 meters long. It shows lots of recent maintenance, including a shingled roof and new timbers and boards in the roof area.

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The late summer season dominates the atmosphere of the bridges we are visiting. At this bridge, the choke cherries are black, the purple asters are the dominant flower and clematis has set its fuzzy balls of seed.

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the North Becaguimec River

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The North Becaguimec is a rocky brook, very shallow after a dry summer.

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Although there are usually lots of spider webs in a covered bridge, this was the first time I saw a spider. The spider was still and stubborn, not moving for me or my camera.

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As I have said before, in making my manuscript of poems about plants and animals living in the shelter of the covered bridge, I have been trying some different poetic forms. This is my first ghazal.

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Ghazals are meant to tell of the pain of loss and the triumph of love in spite of loss. A ghazal consists of 5-15 couplets. The second line of each couplet repeats a refrain established in the first couplet. The poem can follow any meter but the meter must stay consistent in every line of the poem.

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the spider waits

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North Becaguimec River #4 (Ellis Covered Bridge)

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in the covered bridge a spider weaves and sets its bait

between the beams, and confident, the spider waits

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cedar shingles, boards replaced and rafters new

but traffic sparse, and in the web the spider waits

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aster, shepherd’s purse and mullein crowd the road

no risk from the press of tires, and the spider waits

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after the flood, drifts of birch and maple high

on the river shore, the spider mends its web and waits

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a skater bug steps and skips on the river’s skin and fears

the water’s dry, and in its web the spider waits

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on aging crib work velvet moss and lichens grow

landscape formed on rotting wood, and the spider waits

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years since they wrote their names on the wall of the covered bridge

crickets sing, and in its web the spider waits

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Copyright 2015  Jane Tims

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Written by jane tims

September 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm

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

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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.

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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.

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Baker Brook #2 in Madawaska County, New Brunswick

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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

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Copyright Jane Tims 2015

Written by jane tims

July 29, 2015 at 7:20 am

in the shelter of the covered bridge – Milkish Inlet

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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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 ).

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

July 8, 2015 at 3:23 pm

summer on the river

with 4 comments

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St. John River, south of Fredericton

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drinks on the patio

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the setting spins

on the river

golden while the mayflies dance

with gilded wings

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this is conversation!

a cold glass

singing ice

white wicker

umbrella shade

the hills

wistful beyond the gauze

of mayfly dancing

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you are dazzled by the play of sun

and words on water

your voice

your smile

who cares what you are saying

as long as the lines are long

and the tone is light

and the mayflies stir

the air above the river

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I listen

with a nod of my head

a flutter of my hand

the corners of my mouth lift

to smile

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my ears and eyes

have better things to do

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the sunlight slides on cobwebs

spun across the river

our voices slur

while the mayflies dance

the rise and fall

of their glass bodies

and your laughter

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liquid on water

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St. John River, south of Fredericton

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Published as ‘drinks on the patio’, Pottersfield Portfolio 17 (3), Spring 1997.

Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

June 15, 2015 at 7:47 am

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