Winter is in full force, and life has changed in Centennial Woods. The apparent changing of the seasons, has dramatically changed the landscape. Some of the changes that have occurred at my site, include changes you can hear. For example, the lack of birds chirping is evidence of migration. There is ice frozen over the stream, and the fallen leaves have been covered by snow. If you look at the photos below, there is evidence of squirrel tracks. You can tell that these tracks are from a galloper. These tracks were far too big to be a white-footed mouse, and too small to be a hare or a rabbit. So I believe these tracks are from a gray squirrel.
The squirrel that I was tracking in the pictures above, seemed to be going at a normal pace, and stayed close to tree cover. Galloping in a straight line, the squirrel traveled a far distance. I also noticed around my phenology site, bark that has been eaten, or scratched at by either a muskrat or beaver. I could not find any evidence of their tracks around the tree, but thought this was a great find!
Some of the deciduous trees I can identify at my site, include the Sugar Maple, American Beech, Paper Birch, and Ash. I collected twigs from the most identifiable trees around my site. Below you can see a Sugar Maple twig, and an American Beech twig. The Sugar Maple twig is easily identifiable by its pointy terminal bud. The American Beech twig is known by having “cigar buds” which makes these twigs easy to recognize.
Lastly, you can see my drawing of the American Beech twig, and its anatomy.