Today Oakledge park is made up of beaches, picnic areas, tennis courts, parking lots and has a lot of human history. The first settlement of the land was by Abram Brinsmaid in 1793. Napoleon B. Proctor was a lake ship captain who owned part of the northern side. This was originally called Proctor Farm and he eventually sold the property to Dr. William Seward Webb in 1881. The cove was used for yachts, a place for his family to stay, and a summer cottage which was named Oakledge. Before buying land at Shelburne point, he constructed more on the land like stables and barns. Fredrica Webb Jones, Dr. Webb’s daughter, inherited the summer cottage and she later sold it to men who built summer cottages. Allen S. Beach, a hotel manager, had to manage the cottage as a summer resort known as Oakledge Manor. The Cliffside Country Club was bought for $230,000 by the Burlington Park Department in 1971. Oakledge Manor was burned to the ground in a controlled fire and a grant from the city which was used to build what is known as Oakledge Park today.
Wright (New Phenology Site)
It was a cold, cloudy day in Massachusetts where the seasons had transitioned into winter. Autumn has come and gone, where many white oak leaves have turned brown and fallen onto the ground. Since New England has no pattern of weather, the leaves were damp from the recent rain. These leaves along with ivy overtook the area making the grass hardly visible. The ivy wraps around the trees infesting the area. The very tall, distinct eastern white pines still had many green pine needles on the branches of the trees. Looking between the white oak leaves, there were of their acorn tops in between the blanket of leaves. Many squirrels who live in this area feast on the acorn leaves dropped from the trees. Looking deeper into the blanket of leaves, some orange pine needle leaves have blended in, as the white oak and eastern white pine trees are next to each other. A small, japanese maple is alone, but are together with the white oaks losing its leaves. The red leaves surround the trees, while stacking on top of the white oak leaves which lost the leaves before them. Many branches are being wrapped around one another giving an ominous look without the beautiful, red leaves.
Deep into Oakledge Park can remove you from the many people in the surrounding area. The only thing you will be able to hear is the ocean waves crashing and the dogs barking. There is similar seclusion where I live. My backyard at home is an oasis for many bird species, foxes, deer, turkeys that pass along, but there are always the neighborhood dogs barking all day long. The sound of the rouen ducks can be heard when you get too close to them along the beach at Oakledge. Many chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, and crows can be heard throughout the day back at home. Oakledge definitely has more wind when being compared. The wind from the ocean blows the trees and invasive species back and forth all day long. The tall eastern white pines can get lots of wind in the canopy at home, but not having the impact of ocean waves affecting them. Similarities between the two sites consisted of the orange eastern white pine needles flooding the path. The leaves from trees may have ranged from northern white cedar to white oak being entwined with the pine needles, but the leaves always take over wherever I am standing. One distinguished tree species that my yard had the privilege of having was the Japanese maple, which I have yet to see in Vermont.
I think my phenology spot at home is special, because I have a real appreciation of the tree species and animals that are around my home.
There have been changes to my phenology site since my last visit. There was a lot of fog, clouds and wind, whereas and last visit I only saw fog. The algae on the beach looked black instead of a dark green color. There was white foam that next to the algae as well. On the beginning of the trail, there were pine needles on the side and no orange Northern White Cedar leaves. Later on the trail I only saw a small patch of the Northern White Cedar Leaves. Last time those leaves and some pine needles dominated the path, so you could not see the ground. Recently at Oakledge there was rain, so a puddle formed on the path. There was no rain last visit. The invasive species Barberry, Honeysuckle and Buckthorn had half of their leaves fall off and last time I saw all of the leaves on the branches. For wildlife, I only saw people walking their dogs and a gray dog ran past me chasing after something.
Since my last visit, there has been changes with my phenology site. I noticed all of the Northern White Cedar leaves turned orange and fell to the ground. Before they were just starting to turn orange and still had green leaves on the branches. Those leaves were all over the path and overruled the pine needles that were previously and still are on the ground. There was less algae on the beach and in the algae pond on the rocks. Most of the trees were bare, whereas last time the trees had their leaves. I did not see any signs of wildlife, since the next day I went it was very cold and windy compared to the first time I visited.