11/26 Update by Ellicott Creek

Posted in Uncategorized on November 26, 2018 by aswiatow


Dropped Pinnear Williamsville, NY 14221


The smells of fall waft through the crisp air. There is a presence of life kept alive through the flow of the stream, Ellicott Creek. The once vivid expanses of marshland wildflowers which usually surround the outer embankments of the stream have put on a dark, almost ominous hue, as if to warn us of the change in seasons. This is a path I have travelled throughout my youth, and to return for this assignment awoke me to the sense of place I have developed towards it. As I traverse the waterline, I am reminded of my place as a stranger amongst the ongoings of nature happening all around me. The processes taking place simultaneously pause and promote both life and death. The spruces, pines, and other conifers which maintain their green aura are a testament to nature’s resiliency. They seem to show off their bright colors boastfully amongst the muddled backdrop of the late-autumn brush.

If you visit Ellicott Creek in the warmer season you will be greeted by species both domestic and wild, from dogs to foxes. Although people crowd the basin for opportunities to fish and play in the stream, year after year the native species seem to return, as if unfazed by the seasonal visitors. It seems like every time I remember, I can hear birds singing. They nestle in the trees, and the maples and oaks which look up to the sky support a plethora of creatures. If you really look, in every corner there are whole ‘worlds,’ colonies of organisms living within the cracks. At times I have ventured through the woodland path, located beyond the creekside woods and even deeper into the natural area. Significantly fewer people can be seen in these parts of the woods, and there are fewer signs of human life than in the surrounding area. There is a calm here, insofar to be away from the sounds of the street, and fully encompassed by the calls of birds and insects, or the rustle of the wind in the trees. I have found that at Centennial Brooke, you need to travel quite far as well to minimize the polluting noises of traffic and bustle, and surround yourself with life. The presence of watersheds brings another tone to the aural sensation, and reminds me that there is an alternate ecosystem located amongst my present one.

Update 11/5

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2018 by aswiatow

Since my last visit to Centennial Brooke, the trees have lost many more leaves than I anticipated. The ground is covered in leaf litter from the variety of deciduous trees surrounding the area, making the ground a whole shade lighter. The ferns are still very vibrantly green, so I find myself wondering about their tolerance to cold and what will happen come frost. There were many birds chirping above me, in a variety of tones and patterns. The Brooke’s water has extended much further into the ravine than when I was here last. I expect that it will extend even closer to the tree-line as the rainy season takes full effect. The wildflowers around the inner bank wetland have all begun to die out. I expect that next time I return the changes will be even more drastic.


Posted in Uncategorized on October 22, 2018 by aswiatow

The weather has lead to a plethora of leaf litter throughout the main embankment of the stream where my exact spot is located. Across Centennial Brook, the Red Osier Dogwood leaves have turned brown, but many still have yet to fall.The Interrupted Ferns along the slope of the embankment are still green. The wildflowers are still alive, and I suspect they will begin to die by my next visit.

Next to Centennial Brook

Posted in Uncategorized on October 8, 2018 by aswiatow

My location can be found in Centennial Woods next to Centennial Brook. To get here, you enter the woods from the main entrance. You continue down the marked paths and bridges until you reach the first hill which leads up towards the tree with barbed wire growing out of it. Instead of going up this hill, you take the trail which leads around it and veers off to the left. You stop when you reach the area closest to where the path meets the Centennial Brook. I like how this area feels tucked away yet still has open space and water.
There are a variety of species living within this area. Some common trees were Sugar Maples, Eastern Hemlocks, and Red Osier Dogwoods. Ferns grew in large clumps, I catalogued the Intermediate Wood Fern and the Interrupted Fern. Along the waterline featured in my picture there are a variety of low-lying plants. The most frequent was Common Jewelweed, which sprawled across much of the open space on the ground. Some others were Oriental Bittersweet and Common Buckthorn.

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