nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘winter

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

Snow days!

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We have had lots of snow in central New Brunswick. So, just a few photos to show you my day on Friday and all the piles of snow!

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Our driveway, partly plowed …

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The impressive piles of snow in the box store parking lot …

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My husband and his tractor, clearing snow …

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 13, 2017 at 7:16 am

a muse takes over – telling a story through the seasons

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In New Brunswick, the passage of time is measured in part by the seasons. Right now we are in winter, in the midst of another snow storm and taking a lot of care when walking on all the ice. Soon it will be spring with crocuses blooming on the lawn and water in every hollow. Then summer, days on the deck and keeping cool. Finally, my favourite season, autumn, colourful leaves and starry nights.

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Since I am a writer embedded in the winter-spring-summer-fall cycle, it’s natural that changing seasons are an important part of my sci-fi novel. Although weather is often a factor in story telling, I find many books ignore the changing of the seasons.

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Seasons on planet Meniscus occur in a cycle of four, as in the northern and southern latitudes of Earth. On Meniscus the seasons are the result of a changing heat regime as once per ‘year’ one of the twinned suns slips behind the other. Whether the physics of this makes much sense, I can’t say. “I’m a biologist, Jim, not a physicist!”

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Book One, Crossing the Churn, begins in summer. Foraging for food is easy. As the days pass, leaves begin to fall and soon the characters wade rather than walk through the forest.

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Book Two, South from Sintha, finishes in autumn, as the days grow colder.  New characters in Book Two are looking for a home before winter sets in.
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Book Three, Winter at the Water-climb, takes place in a world of ice. The plot focuses on the coming of cold weather and shorter days. Foraging for food is difficult since everything is hidden under snow drifts.  Survival depends on what has been put into storage.

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Book Four, The Town in the Themble Wood, celebrates the coming of spring and the vibrancy of summer. The Slain and Odymn scout the Themble Wood for a town-site and help the other Humans establish a new community.

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Book Five, so new it has no name, will take the characters back into autumn. In many ways this book will be a race against time as winter approaches and the Slain must find Odymn and other characters who have been lost after a crisis.

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Including seasons in my story adds to the possibilities for describing setting. The cinnamon scent of trees in the autumn Themble Wood, tracks in the snow of the new town, and melting water-springs add to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes my writing can explore.

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The progress of getting my first book into CreateSpace has been hampered this week by the appearance of ‘The Blue Screen of Death’ on my computer. It is fixed now, but I am sure the folks on Meniscus have never faced such a challenge!!!

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

February 8, 2017 at 7:04 am

flutter song

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A well-known space can be transformed in an instant.

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Every day I walk the path from our front door. Our bird feeders are right there, beside the path. Usually the opening door sends the birds scattering. They fly into the trees around our yard and twitter and chirp until I go.

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But last week, just after a new fall of snow, I had a magical experience of being in the midst of the feeding birds. And for whatever reason, they paid no attention to me at all.

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The birds, mostly chickadees and goldfinches, whistle and tweet as they feed. But the prevailing sound as I stood among them was the fluttering and whirring of wings all around me.

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We have other visitors at the feeders, mostly a couple of cat-sized grey squirrels and a family of red squirrels, the descendants of the squirrels that moved in to take advantage of the feeders when we first moved here 37 years ago. The spaces around the feeder vary, depending on whether birds or squirrels are the dominant visitors. It was fun, just for a moment, being part of all the activity!

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Copyright 2017 Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

January 27, 2017 at 10:27 pm

ready for the next snow date

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When I talk about my retirement, the conversation always seems to go to how busy we are.

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My days are filled with activity. I spend most mornings writing and reading. In the afternoon, I spend a smaller-than-necessary time on keeping house, making supper or going into town on errands. Evenings are divided between time with my husband and writing, attending meetings or working at some of my volunteer work.

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snowbanks in our turn-about last year

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The weather can change all of this. My husband has a 40 horsepower tractor equipped with a front end loader and a snow-blower. On snow days, he plows or blows snow from his customer’s driveways. On these days, I am the ‘support worker’. I answer the phones, keep track of where my husband is blowing snow, deliver diesel when he runs low on fuel and take him his dinner.

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my husband’s tractor, a L4060 Kubota

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Our day starts at about four in the morning. First, the ruler, to measure the fallen snow. Then, the first customer … us! … two passes to make sure I can get the truck out when the time comes. By the time the first refuelling call comes, the truck is cleared of snow, the bird feeders are filled and I have already finished my daily writing objectives.

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the snowman is our snow ruler … after some storms you can’t see the measurement

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When people complain about bad driving in winter, I can say that I have driven in the worst of the worst. Since most of our 25 or so customers are in the local subdivisions, we are often out removing snow before the side roads are plowed. I am lucky to have a four-wheel drive since this winter, snow over ice has been the norm.

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the first tractor we had, a great work-horse, but less comfortable for long days of work

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You might think that writing takes a back-seat to my duties when it snows. But not so. I do a lot of my writing in my head as I go about my work. In the evenings, when I drive out with my husband to collect from his customers, I am gathering writing ideas. For example, a few nights ago, as I waited in the truck, a drone lifted from a neighbourhood yard and tracked overhead … a scene for the novel I am working on was born!

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the scene where we sometimes eat our lunch


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Our lives are busy, but I love variety. I love being part of my husband’s day as he goes about his work. When I take his lunch to him, we talk and watch the falling snow and listen to the radio. And wonder where 37 years of winters have gone!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

January 23, 2017 at 7:10 am

yard work – winter wood

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Another beautiful fall day. Today I helped my husband cut up the last of two birch trees he had felled earlier in September. Then I piled the wood in our new wood rack. Give it a chance to dry and it will be ready for splitting and burning next winter.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

October 7, 2016 at 7:00 am

two old schools in Carleton County, New Brunswick

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On our way home from Victoria County last weekend, we took the rural road from Hartland through Millville. We found two old one room schools along the way.

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The location of two old schools in Carleton County. (Map Source: New Brunswick Atlas, Second Edition, 1998)

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The first of these was in Lower Windsor, Carleton County (once called Windsor Settlement).

in 1898 Lower Windsor was a settlement with a post office and a population of 100

to the north was Windsor, settled about 1840: PO 1864-1945: in 1866 Windsor was a farming settlement with approximately 50 resident families: in 1871 it had a population of 200: in 1904 Windsor had 1 post office, 1 store, 1 church and a population of 200.

Source: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

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When I got out of the truck to take some photos, I was overwhelmed by the smell of licorice. The source was Wild Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.), probably planted at the site (now used as a cottage).

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Carlisle School, Carleton County 2016

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The next school was in Carlisle, Carleton County.

first called Northville Settlement: renamed Carlisle with creation of the post office: PO 1877-1924: in 1898 Carlisle was a settlement with 1 sawmill, 1 grist mill, 1 church and a population of 300.

Source: Provincial Archives of New Brunswick

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The door of this old school was open to the elements.

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Although I intend to focus my ‘old schools’ writing project in Kings, Queens, Sunbury and York Counties, I am delighted to have found these old schools in Carleton County!

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The distance between these two old schools was 4.5 kilometres. Not far unless you are a young child on a snowy day!

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

July 25, 2016 at 7:00 am

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