My exploration of the Salmon Hole didn’t begin with the start of the phenology blog, and it won’t end just because I’m not required to visit anymore. The Salmon Hole is such a unique place that offers many opportunities for myself including fishing, exploring, or just watching the sunset. While I’ve been here, I’ve observed things that I never would have noticed if we hadn’t learned about it in NR 2. I’ve realized there is much more going on than my activity at the Salmon Hole. Observing animal behavior and phenological changes over time has amazed me and made me appreciate the place more than I would have otherwise. There are amazing things happening in this world, and we, humans, are often oblivious of what’s going on around us.
Since the temperatures have officially warmed up, the water level is at a staggering high. The water is nearly three to four full feet higher than it normally is. We are finally starting to see green life as well; flowers are sprouting and the buds on trees are starting to finally open up as well. We were able to see squirrels, chipmunks, and a woodchuck on the land, and we saw Mallard Ducks, Common Mergansers, gulls in or near the water. We saw mink and otter tracks in the sand near the water as well. Life is beginning to come back to the Salmon Hole.
As for nature and culture intertwining at my place, there is one main connection that has many branches of it. Recreation is heavy at the Salmon Hole, weather it is bird-watching, swimming, fishing, walking/hiking, or enjoying its aesthetics. Although industry is popular, its reliance on the Winooski River near the Salmon Hole is very minimal. However, people in Burlington, Winooski, and the surrounding area are able to get out of the city and go to the Salmon Hole and get a taste of the nature of Vermont. After being at the Salmon Hole for even thirty or forty-five minutes, I sometimes forget that this is just squeezed in between Vermont’s largest city and a large town. However, there is heavy traffic of humans, animals, and fish all interacting in the same place.
I absolutely consider myself a part of my place. Human influence is strong at my place, and I’m here often enough to make an impact. I try to make my footprint light, and I even like to lighten the footprint of others because of their careless nature. I’ve found myself taking trash and fishing line back to my dorm. I also feel a part of my place when I choose to fish. Fishing, in my eyes, is the closest way for me to connect to nature because I’m physically able to hold another live, mobile organism. I’ve chosen to appreciate my place in a different way than others, and I think I deserve to be a part of my place. I feel welcome here.
Here are some pictures of my last visit:
Fiddleheads poking out of the ground
Mink tracks on the left, otter tracks on the right
The flowers are beginning to spread like wildfire
Someone’s been chomping
Another view of the woodchuck
More green at the Salmon Hole