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Phenology Blog

May 4th Update

Posted: May 4th, 2018 by cdevereu

The rest of the snow has melted since my last visit, but not as much new growth has occured as I expected.  The soil is very sandy, which is not ideal for most plants.  Some small shrubs are budding, but I couldn’t figure out the species, even with the help of https://gobotany.newenglandwild.org .  I saw a Canada goose on the river for a few minutes, but it didn’t stick around.  There were some fiddle heads up the path from my site, but none once the soil got sandier.  I did not notice any grey squirrels running around in the woods like usual.  There were fewer signs of life today than in any of my previous visits.

My phenology site is like an island of nature surrounded by an ocean of culture.  Salmon hole is right in between Burlington and Winooski. The area is a natural spawning ground for lake sturgeon and many other fish.  The most famous are the landlocked salmon that run upriver to spawn. Human culture has almost put an end to the landlocked salmon spawn.  Over fishing was a problem, and now there are dams that block the salmons path. The dams have fish ladders, but they are not natural and fish have a hard time using them.  I think Salmon Hole is a good example of human culture disrupting nature.

Do you consider yourself a part of your place? Why or why not? If so, how?I do not consider myself part of my place.  The history of Salmon Hole is long, and I haven’t been around long enough to experience many things. So little has happened in the area since I arrived.  I need more time to explore and learn about my place before I can consider myself part of it.

May 4th Update

Posted: May 4th, 2018 by cdevereu

April 16th Update

Posted: April 15th, 2018 by cdevereu

The wet icy snow that has fallen covers the ground everywhere.  The snow is slippery and hard to walk on.  There may have been some plants beginning to grow, but they would be pretty flattened now.  Some of the small maple trees have begun to bud, but being coated in ice isn’t helping.  The water is high, probably due to the remaining snow melt and recent rain.  There was no sign of amphibian life.  There are two “edges” that act as habitat barriers.  The road runs parallel to the river a few hundred yards up the bank.  The river is the second “edge”, no small animal could get across it.  I think this area provides habitat for quite a few small mammals.  There is an abundance of grey squirrels and eastern cottontails.  I have also seen signs of raccoons, skunks, and maybe bobcat.

Posted: March 19th, 2018 by cdevereu

paper birch at forest edge beside driveway

looking down driveway towards large cedar trees

red maple bud

willow bud

Link to Spring Break Location

Posted: March 19th, 2018 by cdevereu



Spring Break Location

Posted: March 19th, 2018 by cdevereu

I chose an area I was fairly familiar with.  It is about halfway down my driveway in northern Vermont.  I wanted to see if my driveway had been there long enough to promote the growth of shade intolerant trees on the sides.  This section of my driveway is on an elevated path with wooded area on either side.  Spruce, red maple, and a few cedar are the most abundant large species, but I did find a few smaller paper birch and beech trees on the side of the driveway.  Considering there were no birch or beech trees anywhere else in the area, I think that my driveway has promoted the growth of these trees.  There were also a lot of young under story trees.  I found numerous red maple saplings, and a few willow saplings.  I didn’t see or hear any birds, but it was -5 degrees F out so I didn’t expect to.

Update 3/2/18

Posted: March 2nd, 2018 by cdevereu

It is difficult to classify the natural community at my site.  I think it is a mix of all three.  Most of my site is woodland. The hill slopes down to the water, and is covered in red maples, beeches, and underbrush.  The rock outcrops and expanse of river give the area a sort of wild feel.  The river is huge and slow moving with a small marshy area on the other side.  It doesn’t really seem like a wetland though, it isn’t very marshy and the vegetation is more brambly than marsh grass.    

The ice has melted beside the river, leaving behind a sandy soil littered with leaves and branches.  The water level has risen, probably due to the accelerated snow melt.  Some buds are growing on the smaller red maple saplings and bigger shrubs.  Sand has washed down onto the rocks and into the water, carried down by more snow melt on the riverbank.  

On Biofinder, my site is on the edge of the green area beside the river.  The only layer that shows up here is the landscape scale component, besides the water body layer.  

Update 2/5/18

Posted: February 5th, 2018 by cdevereu

I almost could’t locate my site, it has changed so much since my last visit.  All of the small ground vegetation is totally gone, leaving a flat open area covered by ice and snow.  Chunks of ice were covering what was once a fire pit with a few logs around it.  The ice was broken into shapes anywhere from 2 to 6 feet across, and about a foot thick.  The river is frozen over except where the fastest riffles are.  A few other people were down there this morning before me, one of them had a dog.  I found a few grey squirrel tracks, but not as many as I thought I would see.  I followed a path of cat tracks a few yards.  They looked like bobcat tracks, but I would be surprised if any bobcats lived in an area so surrounded by years of urban development.  They were almost too big to be domestic cat tracks, and they were not dog tracks.

Posted: February 5th, 2018 by cdevereu

Winter Twig Identification

Posted: February 5th, 2018 by cdevereu

Red Maple

Sugar Maple


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