poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘wind

making snowmen

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In winter, the snowy roadside slopes keep a record of events. Animal tracks, snowmobile trails and sledding runs each tell a story of adventures in the snow.







On a drive to Mactaquac, we saw yet another story being told. Narrow tracks, each with a small snowball at the base, document the activities of gravity and wind. I think they are taking the first steps toward making snowmen along the roadside.


snow balls.jpg


snowballs in dirtch


snow games


at first

wind and gravity

collaborate, roll

the heads of snowmen

down the grade


wind nudges

the tracks, plays games

of parallels

and criss-crosses


gravity tires

of rivalry, abandons

bodiless heads

in the snowy ditch



May you encounter interesting stories on your winter travels!

All my best!



Written by jane tims

February 13, 2019 at 8:19 pm

lupins lean

with 4 comments



Yesterday our drive in western New Brunswick was dominated by two things: the wind and the roadside wildflowers.


Buttercups, bunchberry, bluets and lupins fill the ditches with bloom. The lupins  (Lupinus sp.) dominate – mostly purple and blue, but occasionally white, pink or even yellow. The wind was blowing so hard, you could use the flower heads and leaves to measure wind direction!



Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

June 12, 2017 at 8:42 am

a pair of eagles

with 6 comments

When we spend time at our lake property, we often see Bald Eagles.  They nest in the large White Pines along the edge of the lake and I sometimes find their feathers near our arbour, suggesting they visit our place when we are not at home.

Today we watched a pair of them circle high in the sky, soaring effortlessly on the updrafts.  They flew in sync with one another, so coordinated in their movements, they could have been dancing.



fragments about wind


the trees move as though branches flow from a bottle


this morning I found

oak leaves on the sidewalk

and a young acorn with the nut missing


a pair of eagles soars

wings lifted on

scant molecules of air



Copyright  Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

October 5, 2012 at 7:41 am


with 8 comments

Wind is not visible, yet we can describe the shape of the wind.  Along the shores of our lakes, White Pines are wind-blown into irregular forms to show the direction of the prevailing wind.  In my poem ‘Clear Lake’ (see the post for August 26, 2011, ‘deep waters – Clear Lake’ under the category ‘waterways’), I describe these as “group of seven trees/ flung southward”.  Artists from the Group of Seven were famous for their depiction of this symbol of the Canadian wilderness.   A good example is the painting ‘White Pine’ by A.J. Casson.

'White Pine' by A.J. Casson, from the book 'Images of Nature: Canadian Poets and the Group of Seven' compiled by David Booth, Kids Can Press, Toronto, 1995.

In winter, the shape of the snow also captures the three dimensional form of the wind.  The easiest manifestation of this is the way horizontal surfaces record the direction of blowing snow. 

Snowdrifts form as the wind blows quantities of snow into shapes resembling dunes of sand.   As kids on the prairie, we loved these snowdrifts since we could tunnel in them and build fantastic snow shelters.   Today, I can watch the drifts build across our lawn and transform its flat surface into the artistry of the wind.





after the storm

                        snow heaps

                        high against the wall

fingers of the wind sculpt

                        etch shadows

                        into vacant white


sunshine flashes

                        summons prisms

                        from hollows of snow

warmth shivers through the drift


                        into cataract


a tendril of snow


                        damply to the wall 

a lingering winter ivy



Published as: ‘Drift’, 1994, The Cormorant (Fall 1994) XI (1)


©  Jane Tims   2011

Written by jane tims

January 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

autumn black and white

with 8 comments

Roaming around the countryside, the weekend before last, deluged by color from orange and yellow trees and crimson fields of blueberry, I was interested by the contrast in the ditches.  A month ago, they were a riot of yellow or purple as the goldenrods, tansies and asters presented themselves, species by species.  Now, they are done with blooming and are in the business of releasing their seeds. 

To attract pollinators for setting their seeds, flowers put on a competitive display of color and form.  But dispersing their seeds is a different process altogether.  Many depend on the wind to carry their seeds to ideal sites for next year’s bloom and the wind is color-blind.  Grey, white and even black are the dominant colors in the ditches.

Seeds dispersed by wind either flutter to the ground, or float in the air.  Often, they are assisted by a special seed form.  For example, maple keys are flattened and aerodynamic so they spin and travel some distance as they fall.  Seeds of goldenrod and aster have feathery white bristles (called the pappus, a modified sepal) to help them float through the air.   The term pappus comes from the Latin pappus meaning ‘old man’, an apt description of the white heads of the flowers, gone to seed.

Another species in the ditch, Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare L.), also known as Golden-buttons, ordinarily has bright yellow flowers in a flat head.  Now, it has joined the black and white revue, showing black seed-heads against feathery leaves.

The seeds of Tansy, in a form called an achene, have no special adaptation for flight.   This time of year, these seeds are dry and ready for dispersal by gravity. 


autumn black


dry leaves



wonder withdrawn, into the vortex of

no hue, no delight

cones suppressed, rods perceive

absence, black seed in heads of Tansy

absorb all light, feathered foliage

 darkest green, approaching black


© Jane Tims  2011

Written by jane tims

October 24, 2011 at 6:44 am

watching the wind

with 3 comments

The wind fills empty air space with movement and sound.  When the wind blows, the void above us suddenly has form and power and dimensionality.  It can lift a kite.  It can steal a balloon.  It can fill the air with dandelion fluff.  It can convince you a seagull lives to soar. 

My favourite way to ‘see’ the wind is to watch clothes drying on a line.  Colourful towels, flowered table cloths, patterned pyjamas, and white cotton underwear. They sway together and lift as the wind catches them.  Surely the whole line will sail away.

 Do you have a clothesline and do you hang out your bedding to dry?

a clothesline in the countryside


Hanging out bedding to dry


by the last acre

of oat field

grown golden in the sun

and wind


wet sheets billow


up and outward

the long husks of the grainheads

sigh like pebbles

sorted by the sea



pegged to a blue horizon

tug at the line

cedar masts are set

firm in the island till


quilts and coverlets

spinnaker and mizzen

carry me

over the wind-washed

waves of grain



Published as: ‘hanging bedding to dry’, Summer 1995, The Amethyst Review 3(2)


© Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

August 23, 2011 at 6:48 am

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