New Phenology Place

In the style of Mabel Wright:

The thin, white birch that looms over the crystal surface of the water is a stark contrast to the sturdy oaks that stand tall nearby. The trees that surround the lake cut up towards the sky, perpendicular, and the contrast between the distinct lines of the branches is starling against the ambiguous surface of the water. The still lake reflects the scattered clouds overhead–they peer into the lake’s glass surface like it’s a mirror; the sunlight bounces of the surface like sparkling stars. The sky meets the lake in an effortless way, as blue expands in both directions. The birds that dive and swoop overhead can peer into the clear water on the shoreline, seeing the sandy bottom. No murkiness obscures the contents of the shallows. Peace cloaks this place like a blanket, even the birds seem to chirp quietly, so as not to disturb the serenity. The fallen leaves blaze against the cool, muted tones of the area. The lake is almost a perfect circle, it’s shoreline loops endlessly around itself.

In the style of Mary Holland (contrast between home and Burlington spot):

The temperature in Newton is several degrees warmer than the temperature in Burlington year-round. The sediments in the lake are fully settled on the bottom, as the water is still. The water is extremely clear, unlike the water that runs under the bridge in Burlington. The water of Potash Brook, which feeds into Lake Champlain, picks up sediments along the way, clouding the clarity of the water.

            Because of the nature of these two bodies of water, they respond to rainfall and snowfall differently. Excess precipitation will cause Crystal Lake to swell in a stationary manner, while Potash Brook may flood or carve into the surrounding areas. Potash Brook likely won’t freeze in the cooling temperatures, while Crystal Lake will freeze.

            In both places, the leaves have fallen, creating a new layer of organic matter. The soil in the Burlington phenology spot is earthy and rich, with the bike path cutting through wooded areas. Crystal Lake has a beach, its shoreline sandy and uninhabitable for many plants.

            Both areas are impacted by the human development nearby. Crystal Lake has experienced several Blue Green Algae blooms, caused by things like lawn fertilizers leeching into the water. The Burlington phenology spot is impacted by the nearby highway, and by the pedestrians that travel using the bike path. Various types of pollution/litter can be found at both sites.

The water is “crystal” clear.

Beautiful leaves line the shoreline.

My favorite spot to sit and think.

Google map of Crystal Lake:


Event Map

At my phenology spot this time, I took note both of what others do here, and what I do here. Because my spot is on a bike path, I saw lots of people biking. I didn’t notice any significant changes at my phenology spot besides the trees being more bare. There were so many leaves on the ground. The leaves that are still left have become even more brilliant (see photo below).

Bird’s Eye Map

Here are pictures of my spot, only a little over a week apart. The trees are definitely losing their leaves! I also noticed some trees had spots on them (picture attached below). Hopefully these spots aren’t a disease of some sort. I picked up two caterpillars off the path, one green and one fuzzy orange/brown.


Below is a bird’s eye view of my area.

An Introduction

I’ve been running on the South Burlington Recreation Path that connects to the athletic part of campus since the beginning of the school year. This location is absolutely beautiful, especially at dusk. I love the juxtaposition between farm fields (the UVM Dairy Farm is right across the street) and forest. This site is also part of the watershed, identified by spray-painted fish symbols next to the drains on the side of the path. I can’t wait to spend more time here!

Phenology Location


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