soundscape and birdsong

poems and drawings by

Jane Spavold Tims

An invitation to a journey…

mnemonic is a book of precisely worded and carefully phrased poems that carry the reader on a journey through the soundscapes of the author’s home terrain—rural New Brunswick.

Jane Tims, botanist, land use planner, and environmental conservationist, employs her keen observation and well-honed writing skills to portray the sounds that populate meadow and forest, emerge along lakes and rivers, and typically occur in domestic terrains.

Birdsong commands primary attention and flows like a canopy across each section of this book. Jane shares her drawings of birds, which add the image of form to the aura of music. An orchestra of other surrounding sounds prompt the author’s poetic rendering, revealing a world chock-full of interesting information for those alert to its resonance.

mnemonic offers a doorway in which to first stand, and then engage a journey from poem to poem into the author’s immersive experience of the great world’s soundscapes and birdsong.

About the Author

Jane Spavold Tims is a botanist, historian, artist and writer. She was born and raised in southern Alberta and now lives in rural New Brunswick. She obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax and later returned to university to obtain a B.A. in anthropology and history at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. During her career she worked in environmental protection, in the fields of air quality, watershed management and community planning.

Jane writes poetry and fiction and presents her writing, painting and drawings of plants, birds and landscape at Her main interests include identifying plants, collecting wild foods and exploring New Brunswick’s built heritage, including its covered bridges. She is a member of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick (WFNB). The manuscript of “mnemonic” won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize in the 2016 WFNB Writing Competition.

Her previous books include within easy reach (2016), and in the shelter of the covered bridge (2017), and multiple books in the Meniscus Series of science fiction poetry and a number of other self published works (see website above).

Jane believes in preserving our built heritage as an integral part of our landscape and ecology.

From the Foreword by Robert Shortall

Jane Tims and I share interests in flora and fauna, especially birds and edible plants. Her knowledge of birdcalls and habits of specific species displayed in this book brought many sounds and images to mind. As a nature photographer, my task is easy compared to Jane’s. What I see through a camera lens, she shares with us in her poems and drawings.

The natural world offers many hidden treasures to those who have the desire to explore. Jane is sharing more than drawings and poems with us; she is sharing precious moments, her special treasures.

Readers of this book will be encouraged to do their own exploration of the natural world and perhaps share their findings in creative ways like Jane. If you are an artist, like Jane, consider doing poems, drawings, and paintings. Consider photography or whatever creative form you like, perhaps song writing, singing or even dance. Like Jane, learn about what you see in nature and bring that to your creative endeavours. She has experienced wonderful moments connecting with nature and has beautifully described and illustrated them for us in this book.

She has made me hungry for an apple, cooked over a campfire.

Paperback • 108 pages • $25(CAD), $20(USD) • ISBN 978-1-988299-53-2 • Published 2024/01/30