Icy, Icy Intervale

Posted: 14th February 2019 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

Visit on February 10, 2019

So, I visited my site on Sunday to snag some photos of the conditions from the previous week when my phone died and I couldn’t get any pictures. The conditions were the same with a lot of ice and some snow on the ground, the river completely iced over and terrible tracking conditions.

These two photos show how treacherously icy the Intervale road and surrounding fields were with sheets of ice, some patches of snow, and some exposed ground.


This was the only wildlife sighting of a farm field occupied by a large flock of crows.

The river ice was cracking on the near bank and it was just terrible, terrible tracking conditions. Fortunately, I made it to my site and back without falling, a total of 2.5 miles along the road and in the fields.


First Blog of Spring Semester!

Posted: 4th February 2019 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

Unfortunately, my phone died on my way to my site so this will be a sketch heavy blog post supplemented with hydrograph information from the Winooski River at Essex Junction hydrological station.

KIC Document 0001

This is a link to my sketches of a sugar maple, a boxelder, and an american elm; from my site map one can see that these are common tree species at my site.

Winooski River at Essex Junction

USGS Hydrograph of the Winooski River

Based upon the recent weather pattern of cold temperatures and low precipitation, we can see that the river is relatively low which combined with the mixed precipitation and rain from the last 24 hours has exposed part of the riverbank which combined with the melted snowpack has resulted in poor tracking conditions. This had made it so that there isn’t a clear idea of which species have visited my site; however, I hope that better snowpack conditions during my next site visit will make it so that I can clearly identify some of the species which have visited my site.

End of Fall and Beginning of Winter

Posted: 8th December 2018 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

I was unable to take photos during my most recent trip to my site so I will try to explain observations using past photos as references to the current conditions with the caveat that all trees all have minimal to no leaf cover remaining and that most seasonal herbaceous plants have disappeared for winter as a result of the early snowcover and unseasonally cold temperatures. The day that I visited my site was after the warming period of last weekend had melted the snow so I was unable to observe animal tracks

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These two photos show the forest conditions and river level that were at my site when I visited it, these aren’t photos from my site visit, but are references to explain site observations.

Some notes about the human history of Burlington Intervale

A Changing River in the Intervale:1802-1894 created by Connor Stedman

This short slideshow shows the impacts of 19th century land usage upon the Winooski River within Burlington Intervale. According to Burlington Geographic, “the course of the Winooski through the Intervale shifted dramatically—600-1000’—over only 80 years.” This was a result of the deforestation and agricultural practices which caused increased surface runoff and flooding which resulted in the deposition of sediment along the Burlington Intervale and within the Winooski River Delta. In the 1980’s a shift towards organic farming within the Intervale started, this results in the current farming community within the Intervale. Photo below is from source listed below.

Burlington Geographic. THE INTERVALE : CULTURAL CONTEXT. FOCAL PLACES IN BURLINGTON. Retrieved from: http://www.uvm.edu/place/burlingtongeographic/focalplaces/int-context.php

As a result of the semester ending, this is my last post until next January. I am saddened to miss a whole month of potential observations, but am excited to see the site in winter conditions when I return. I hope all that followed or read my posts enjoyed my site and will want to explore Burlington Intervale as a result of my posts. This is an area with rich cultural and natural history and a place that I am happy that I picked for a phenology site.

Site Comparisons

Posted: 26th November 2018 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

The location where I compared my phenology spot to is a secondary succession forest regrown from former agricultural land and logging. The terrain is hilly with flat ground from the land usage as plowed agricultural fields.

The top photos show some of the land usage features of the land including barbed wire fencing, boundary marker trees, and an old road; there is a nearby stonewall that I couldn’t locate for a picture. The bottom photos show the forest composition which is explained in detail below. The link below is for a mymaps that shows the locations of my normal spot and the spot of comparison: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1LHkXgX_ek8lc5t64KuJk8AWISMwhXi72&ll=44.39480683496581%2C-71.97312903240282&z=17.

In the style of Mabel Wright regarding this place:

This place with its rolling hills and flat benches each staggered at an elevation higher than the previous is one with wonder of its past as farmland. The old barbed wire and stonewall fences, the old grownup roads, the hidden boundary markers are wrinkles upon the body of this land which once oozed with a youthful vibrance from the activity of its former farming days. The land has a young forest of American beech, striped maple, paper birch, poplar, yellow birch, red oak, red spruce, balsam fir from which the reverberating sound of a pileated woodpecker drilling into a tree is often heard. This section of the forest with abundant snags is great habitat for these pileated woodpeckers; comparatively the small area of mature hardwood forest high on the shoulder of the hill is much quieter. The tracks in both locations ask for wonder what animals where here and later excitement at listening to and attempting to call in a grunting buck and in a verbal exchange of calls with an alarmed crow. If the snow was less crunchy maybe the birds and deer would be easier to sneak up upon, alas that wasn’t the case.

In the style of Aldo Leopold a place comparison:

Two drastically different places one a typical forested lowland area now with a high river that alas has taken the ability to use the riverbank sandy soil as a source of great tracking information. The other place, a normal post-agriculture forest where the forest has retaken land boldly cleared by the farmer only to let in return to its former state. This place is a vibrant forest, great for hunting with a layer of snow that makes tracking easy even for the lazy man, a hunter unmotivated to understand the forest for its signs of wildlife. The rub trees, the nibbled browse, the animal beds, the acorn tops, the woodpecker holes, these signs of wildlife this man not in touch with this forest will miss for he covers his incompetencies by burying his nose in the ground and blindly following the various tracks. But enough about others for I observe that the first place is significantly different than the second and that each place holds different animals and vegetation and that these lack of similarities between the places from their species and history makes these places have different values and importance.

Third Visit

Posted: 5th November 2018 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

Visit on 11/4/2018 at approximately 1:30 pm Eastern Standard Time

There were some significant changes to my phenology site since my last visit almost three weeks ago relating to the water level.

Based upon a National Weather Service hydrograph, this change in water levels is the result of a peak discharge event during Saturday night and early Sunday morning which resulted in the Winooski river reaching near the action state. A possible cause of this increase in the water level could have to do with the surrounding area having recorded precipitation levels of 3-5 inches within the last 14 days within the nearby portions of the watershed.

Upon closer examination, I am wondering whether the trees that I previously labeled as American Beech (fagus grandifolia) might actually be a member of the chestnut family; the leaves are pretty beat up so it’s hard to tell from the photo. Also the green ash and sugar maple trees have lost most of their leaves and there was some erosion at the edge of the riverbank.

Farewell, my next update will be posted in about two weeks.

Elijah

Second Site Visit

Posted: 22nd October 2018 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

Lat/Long Location: N44.50946, W73.21541

Visit on October 16th, was seasonably cold, mostly sunny, strong gusty winds. The top three pictures are examples of the forest composition of the site which is an edge habitat on west side of the Winooski River. From my first visit I missed several trees when doing the forest composition. I located 4 Boxelder, 2 Sugar Maple, and 5 Green Ash that were in my area.

 

The next set of photos are examples of impacts of species upon the different trees. In the photo on the left there are marks on a Sugar Maple in about the middle of the tree that could either be claw marks or cracks in the bark. The second photo of the tree from a different angle makes it look like cracks in the bark. The next two photos are examples of the impacts of invasive species as they show Green Ash and Boxelder trees wrapped in Japanese Knotweed vines, which from the shriveled, wilted leaves on the Ash seem to negatively affect these trees.

 

 

Overhead birds-eye view of phenology site

 

 

 

Hello world!

Posted: 8th October 2018 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

Welcome to UVM Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

First Site Visit

Posted: 8th October 2018 by ecschrei in Phenology Visits

Species Composition of Location

The spot I chose for my blog is within Mckenzie Park on the bank of the Winooski River. To access the spot from campus take North Prospect Street to Intervale Road and continue on the road until you reach a fork with a sign. At this point continue straight and follow a rough trail along the riverbank and continue about 50-100 yards into the woods across the powerlines to a spot where there is an eroded trail down to the river. The spot was chosen because it was a scenic, peaceful spot and I wanted to explore a new forest within the city and avoid all the people who chose Centennial Woods as their blog location. The forest composition of the spot I chose is Sugar Maple, Boxelder, and American Beech with the forest floor having a compositions of 0% Ferns, 30% Woody Shrubs with species including Hobblebush and Burdock, and 70% Herbacious with species including poison ivy and various grasses. There is about a 2 meter drop from the forest area surrounding the trail down to the edge of the river with an eroded path and eroding riverbank. There is a large difference in land usage on both sides of the river with the side that I chose for my spot fully forested and the other side majority open cornfields with a few trees on the edge of the river. A few songbirds were heard including chickadees and there is a moderate amount of noise pollution from aircraft approaching and leaving the nearby airport. I look forward to seeing when the leaves change and how the forest floor plant composition change throughout the coming next couple weeks.

Elijah Schreiber