Spring Break Phenology Place

I visited my my phenology place for spring break on Thursday, March 16 which was two days after the blizzard that hit most of the north east. This site in Connecticut is very different from my one in burlington, for starters the area is in a lower region of my woods almost like a wet land but is not constantly covered by water, also it is dominated by hardwood trees such as red maples and oaks. Where as my phenology spot in Burlington is on a hill so is more of  dry sandy area that is dominated by White Pines. Also the undergrowth is very different, in Connecticut it is almost completely Mountain Laurel, which is extremely dense since they do not lose their leaves in the winter. Where as in Burlington the undergrowth around my phenology spot is mainly saplings and shrubbery like Buckthorn and Honey Suckle. Although, the biggest difference was when I visited my site in Connecticut there was about 2 feet of snow on the ground, and the last time I had visited my phenology spot in burlington there was about 2 centimeters of snow covering the ground. This made a huge impact on tracks, with the deep snow in Connecticut there were very little tracks from mice and smaller animals because the snow was to deep for them to walk on top of, so they were probably moving along tunnels in the subnivean  layer of the snow. While in my Burlington phenology spot, with just a dusting of snow I was easily able to see tracks from squirrels and mice.

My phenology spot in Connecticut also has a very interesting natural history. Back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s it was the edge of a mining facility that extracted clay for the making of bricks, this created a big hole in the ground which turned into a pond that I now swim in often. After the mining was done the forest began to grow back, but it was not given long before being logged in the 1970’s, you can still see scraped on the sides of many trees where logs and skidders scraped up against their sides. Now the forest has almost completely recovered filling in the old logging trails and pushing new growth each year.

I also saw and identified a couple of bird while in my Connecticut phenology spot. I saw a Junco pecking at the ground looking for seeds or maybe some other type of food source. In addition I recognized the familiar calling of a chickadee and saw it perched in a nearby tree. There were also quite a few birds that flew over me but I was unable to identify them. The phenological condition of the woody plants that I saw were some of the red maples and other trees had begin to bud, probably due to the warm weather in earlier weeks, but other than that there were no noticeable changes because of large amount of snow covering everything else.

 

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