nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘woodland

bird songs in the grey wood

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Today I sat on the back deck and listened to the birds. I can’t stay for long because our robin who has returned for year three gets upset with me. The photo below was taken in 2018, but taking a new photo just gets the robin very agitated.

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So, here is the list for today:

mourning doves – hooo hooo

northern parkland last – whirrrrr-zip!

robin – cheer cheer cheery weee

ovenbird – t-cheer, t- cheer, t-cheer

hairy woodpecker – pit, pit, pit … this fellow has been beating on the metal flashing of our roof daily. This morning he began at 5:30. Just before sun-up. I took the photo below in 2017.

All the best to you,

staying home and

in my two household bubble.

Jane

Written by jane tims

May 20, 2020 at 7:00 am

Stay Home

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Don’t know how many times

I can say it.

Stay home!”

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“Stay home?

What are you talking about?

I am rooted to the ground.

All I can do is

Stay Home.”

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“You can’t fool me.

I know you’ve been sneaking around.

Letting your roots grow

into all kinds of places.

Communicating with other trees.”

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“What are you talking about?

My tap root grows deep.

All I can do is

Stay Home.”

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“You can’t fool me.

I know you’ve been sneaking around.

Letting your leaves drop,

blow all over the woods.

Mixing with those of other trees.”

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“What are you talking about?

Can’t help it if my leaves are dry.

All I can do is

Stay Home.”

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“You can’t fool me.

I know you’ve been

conspiring with squirrels.

Spreading your acorns

all over the woods.

Mingling with other trees.”

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“What are you talking about?

I can’t be responsible

for what my children do.

All I can do is

Stay Home.”

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“All I can do

is repeat myself.

Stay Home.”

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All my best,

Jane

Staying Home!

Written by jane tims

April 13, 2020 at 7:00 am

Watercolour lessons # 2

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In week four of the watercolour course I am taking, we are using the techniques we have learned to paint landscapes.

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First, we were asked to find an image/photo we like. I chose a scene from our cabin property, a photo of the lake through the trees, in late fall. It offered near and distant views and the colour palette I wanted to work with.

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lake at camp

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Then, we planned the painting, either visualizing the final presentation or actually sketching the landscape in pencil. I skipped the pencil because I love to draw and I guessed the end would be a full-blown pencil drawing.

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in the painting, I also wanted to try a technique I have seen on Pinterest. Canadian artist Holly Anne Friezen’s paintings of forest sometimes interpret the jumble of leaves in the canopy as stained glass, and I have wanted to try this for some time. Other artists have also used this technique.

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Scan_20200309 (4)

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To do the painting, I took the work in stages:

  1. I used painter’s tape to mark the locations of the main trees. This way, I could concentrate on the background without worrying about painting the trees.
  2. I painted the background sky, lake and far shore using a wet on wet technique.
  3. I painted the forest floor of the near shore using the colours of the fall.
  4. I removed the tape and painted two types of trees, the mountain birch and the red maples that live along the lake shore.
  5. I switched to a fine brush, to paint the many branches of the trees. For the colour, I used some black, but also created dark grey by mixing the complimentary colours red and green, or orange and blue. I tried to criss-cross the branches so I would have many triangles and odd-shaped shapes to use for the stained-glass part of the work.
  6. After the paint was completely dry, I used orange, red, purple, yellow and green to colour the ‘stained glass’ shapes.

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I loved the result so much, I did three paintings. In my opinion, the third painting is the best.

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Scan_20200309 (6)

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Scan_20200309

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In retrospect, I would have created more transparent, pure colour in the ‘stained-glass’ by not painting the sky, lake and far shore under the areas where I wanted to paint the ‘stained-glass.’

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I don’t always frame and hang my paintings, but I like these so much, I am going to find a place for them in my home.

All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2020 at 10:19 pm

scribble bird

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Winter Wren

Troglodytes hiemalis

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How to find

centre of forest.

Joy the objective.

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Tiny tail

shivers as he sings.

Delirious trill.

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Troglodyte

darts into thickets,

creeps into crevasses.

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Lifts an eyebrow,

joins a chime of wrens.

Elusive ripple,

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varied trill,

incoherent whir,

tremble to warble.

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Distinguish

the note, the half-note,

the tone, the tangle.

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Forget where

you once were going,

indecisive

scribble bird.

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All my best,

Jane

Written by jane tims

July 3, 2018 at 9:11 pm

winter wren and the morning bird chorus

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This morning, just after sunrise, I listened to the song of the Winter Wren. This little wren and its tiny tail shiver as he sings.  I call his song a scribble-song. Its powerful trills and whistles last for several syllables. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology website All About Birds describes it as “a rich cascade of bubbly notes.” To me it celebrates the busy joyfulness of our Grey Woods in spring. To hear the song of the Winter Wren, go to https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Winter_Wren/overview

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'winter wren'.jpg

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I have listened to the morning bird chorus every day for the last week. This morning I heard:

Black-capped Chick-a-dee

Northern Parula

Winter Wren

Eastern Phoebe

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I often include elements of the morning bird chorus in my poetry.  This poem, written about the Salmon River Covered Bridge, is in my poetry book in the shelter of the covered bridge (Chapel Street Editions, 2017). To obtain a copy of the book, go to Chapel Street Editions or contact me through the comments.

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The Salmon River Bridge, near Sussex, Kings County, was built across the Kennebecasis River in 1908. Today it is used as a rest area. In the absence of traffic, wild life has occupied the bridge. Virginia creeper covers one corner of the roof and rose bushes crowd the edges of the road. In mid-May, when we were there, birds were busy in and around the bridge, preferring to be left to their own springtime activities.

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scribble

Salmon Bridge

Kennebecasis #7.5

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The robin, chary. Her beak drips

with wet meadow grass and chickweed.

She clucks, longs to add another strand

to her nest in the rafters,

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woven with the trill of a scribble bird,

a winter wren delirious. And downy

woodpeckers, wing-flare and scrabble,

flirt in the willows, weeping.

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A warbler (yellow blur-bird)

and a red-wing, toweeeee.

Pink roses, meadowsweet

chip, chip, chip, so-wary-we

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and beneath the bridge

in soft mud beside pulled grass

the bleary track of a black bear

claws and pads

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Published, in the shelter of the covered bridge, Chapel Street Editions, 2017

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All my best,

Jane

a new bird feeder #2

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I have given up manufacturing. In the last month I built two bird feeders: one from a two liter Coke bottle and one from coconut shells. The squirrels bounced on the bottle feeder and broke it, bad squirrels. And the snow filled up the coconut shells, bad snow. So we went to Co-op and bought a new feeder. Metal, very fancy, a simulated lantern. No anti-squirrel technology (our squirrels puzzle out every one).

The birds are delighted. A day after our big snow storm, they are here by the dozens: goldfinches, chickadees, nuthatches, lots of blur-birds (my photography is not stellar).

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chickadee at the new feeder (sunflower seeds)

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chickadee and goldfinch at the new feeder

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Copyright Jane Tims 2018

Written by jane tims

March 16, 2018 at 7:01 am

Posted in bird song

Tagged with , , , ,

red, red, red

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October and autumn are upon us. I took a walk around our yard this morning and although my camera was not behaving (I bear no responsibility), I can show you some of the ‘reds’ I saw.

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the red of maple leaves turning colour (I always think they look like stained glass) …

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the red of the berries on our rose bush …

the red of the berries of lily-of-the-valley …

the red of the tiny apples in our flowering crab …

the red of the Virginia Creeper leaves …

Copyright  Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

October 2, 2017 at 11:40 am

in search of Thornton W. Burgess

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Last weekend we took a drive to the western part of the province. Our goal was to see Bolton Lake.

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I have heard that there was once a cabin on an island on Bolton Lake used by Thornton W. Burgess during his summer visits to New Brunswick. Thornton W. Burgess (1874 to 1965) was a conservationist and children’s author who wrote adventure stories featuring all the denizens of the wild wood – he wrote more than 170 books and many stories including The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat (1914), The Adventures of Sammy Jay (1915), The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse (1915), The Adventures of Grandfather Frog (1915) and so on. I particularly remember Mother West Wind’s Neighbors (1913) because it brought lots of the characters together.

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Our drive took us along East Brook Road, off highway #630 in western New Brunswick, in the area of Palfrey and Spednic Lakes.

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Bolton Lake is at 8 o’clock on the map … we followed the East Brook Road (upper road marked in red from right to left) and then the Parker Lake Ridge Road (marked in black along the left edge of the map)

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The road is well-used but rough and I had a few ‘moments’ as my husband navigated the potholed and sometimes inundated road.

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the road is the northern boundary of one of New Brunswick’s protected areas

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it always looks worse than it is …. a beaver dam blocking a culvert caused this flooding on the road

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our conversation as we drive is augmented by my warnings … “bump!”, “big rock!”, “really big rock!” as if my husband couldn’t see these himself! … there was lots of road maintenance going on – culverts replaced and washouts resolved

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We were surprised but wildlife sightings were scarce on our trek. We saw moose, deer and coyote tracks, bear and coyote droppings, and lots of beaver lodges but no one was out and about on such a hot and windy day.

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a moose track in the sand of the road

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We had been to Bolton Lake in 1990 and were amazed to find that almost thirty years has made a huge change. The road from Parker Lake Ridge Road to Bolton Lake has completely grown over.  So Bolton Lake will keep its secrets and its history for now. We will have to content ourselves with a vista from Pemberton Ridge along the Forest City Road … the lake in the distance is one of the many waters comprising the Spednic Lake – St. Croix River system along the US/Canada boarder. Bolton Lake is hidden in the trees and valleys on the right hand side of the photo.

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

song of the Hermit thrush

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Every morning I listen at my window for the morning bird chorus. This morning, my first Hermit thrush of the year! It is my favorite of the bird songs, melodic and heavenly, phrases repeated in different keys.  A year ago, I heard the song and wrote the following poem. For the process I followed in writing this poem, see this.

Hermit thrush

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Catharus guttatus

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neither visceral nor guttural, ethereal

tip-toe in tree tops

air pulled into taffy thread

a flute in the forest

froth on a wave

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rain trembles on leaf tips

guttation drops on strawberry

a lifted curtain of mayflower

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I saw you there

hidden in the thicket 

and I followed

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climb the ladder and sing

then step to the rung below

heads up, thoughts of the new day

parting of the beak

pulse at the throat

hairs lift

at the nape

of the neck, fingers

warble the keys

between middle and ring

catharsis

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Published at http://www.janetims.com July 1, 2016

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Copyright Jane Tims 2016

Written by jane tims

May 31, 2017 at 7:10 am

woodpeckers in the grey woods

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If you are new to my site, you might not know that we call the woods behind our house ‘the grey woods’. The woods are mainly balsam fir and black spruce, with grey birch and red maple. Here is a map of our property (about 19 acres).

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Woodpeckers are a common bird in the grey woods. We have Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus), Hairy Woodpeckers (Leuconotopicus villosus), and Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens). The woodpeckers love the older trees in the woods. They also peck at our wood-shingled house!

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Here is a Hairy Woodpecker hard at work in a balsam fir. He is hard to tell from the Downy Woodpecker (especially when you can’t see his beak) but the Hairy woodpecker is larger (about the size of a Robin) and sometimes his red cap is divided into two parts (seen clearly in this photo).

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

Written by jane tims

May 29, 2017 at 7:32 am

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