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Phenology Blog

fiNaL pHenOlOgY

Posted: May 5th, 2019 by ecunniff

As my first year at UVM comes to an end, I part ways for the summer with my phenology spot. I first discovered this spot on a hike with some friends through Centennial Woods, and fell in love with its secluded peaceful energy it radiated. From there, I began visiting this place each week, before I had even chosen it for my phenology blog. I watched the leaves change colors, the plants wear and prepare for winter. I saw animal tracks appear, and the snow melt. And finally, I saw life begin to emerge once again, with sprouting plants. Centennial Woods has over 70 acres of diverse habitat where nature and culture intertwine. Being one of the most visited natural areas at UVM, people come from all around campus to hike, study, and relax. The area was once apart of Champlain Sea, then later became an area of agriculture use for Vermont. A place where nature and culture have intertwined. I consider myself apart of my place. I have grown attached to this place over time. It has become a place where I feel safe and happy. I have a deep connection connection to the area.

Me and a worm XD


Posted: May 1st, 2019 by ecunniff

Unfortunately, my phenology location had no “flowers” blooming. However, the spot had a great amount of beautiful soft moss, sprouts and ferns. Moss is one of my favorite things, I’m a texture person and moss has such a great texture. the ferns were ostrich ferns and they were bright green and beautiful. I’m hoping by my final week some flowers have sprouted, wildflowers in my opinion are better than any roses or whatever you can buy at the store (but not sunflowers they’re superior to all).

A New Environment

Posted: May 1st, 2019 by ecunniff

During my break I spent as much time as a could at the beach, despite the very much NOT beach weather. The beach is my happy place, my favorite place. I love the ocean, the waves crashing, and the sand in between my toes. I live a 5 minute walk from the bay, and a quick 15 minute boat ride to the ocean. However, this time I visited a beach in Southampton, an hour away. Both the ocean and bay side have little to offer species wise. The sand is endless and the water goes as far as the eye can see. Long Island has a huge deer problem, as many places do. The deers are everywhere! And if you see them, they are not the slightest bit phased. I found many (of what I assumed to be) deer tracks (from the distance) within the beach grass/dune area. However, due to the immense deer tick problem and the fact that Long Island is essentially sinking, dunes are illegal to walk on and I could not snap any pictures. I sadly found no little sand crabs buried under the sand, and man do I love those guys. I suppose the water is too cold for them? or they haven’t bred yet? I also saw no whales or dolphins. Often times you can see them far off shore, but I had no luck. Once again I’m not sure why, I don’t follow whale migration patterns. What I did find a lot of is SEAGULLS. Those guys are EVERYWHERE. I mean if you have food in ur hand they will grab it from you, I’m slightly terrified of their ambition. Lastly there was a large amount of phragmites along the bay side. These invasive guys are all over Long Island especially in wetlands (they LOVE brackish water).

Wetland, Woodland, Wildland

Posted: May 1st, 2019 by ecunniff

I would classify my spot in Centennial Woods as a Northern hardwood forest, with many wild land qualities. My spot, as well as Centennial Woods as a whole has a vast amount of hardwood species that dominate the area such as Sugar Maple and Birch. There is a lot of shade cover as well. The ground is covered in ferns and moss which is another quality of Woodland. However, my spot has some qualities that make me think it is a wild land. This spot additionally has rain, snow, wind, and is a calming place. Whenever I visit my place I often see people relaxing or unwinding in the area. Reading a book, or simply listening to the sounds of nature. So after much consideration and absolutely no certainty I believe my spot is a Northern hardwood forest (with wild land qualities).


Posted: February 4th, 2019 by ecunniff

Unfortunately I did not get any good pictures of buds, however I did write down the buds I saw around and Identified their characteristics. A very apparent bud I saw was the American Beech. A smooth twig with orange/brownish buds. The buds were lateral and divergent as well. Personally these are my favorite buds because they are aesthetically pleasing. Other buds I observed and recorded were red maples which as you can imagine have red buds with a more rough texture. Another bud I observed was a white oak bud, with a leaf still in tact, which gave it away for me. This bud was blunt and rough as well.

Returning to my Place

Posted: February 4th, 2019 by ecunniff

After a long break I made my way black to my spot in centennial Woods. I had come to my spot of two occasions in search of tracks. The first time I fell short, as there was only dog tracks and human footprints that I could find. When I later came back I seemed to have no luck again. However I strayed a little away from my spot and off a path where I found the tracks of what I imagine to be a cottontail rabbit. The tracks match perfectly to those of a rabbit but I knew it could not be a snowshoe hare, because of the size of the tracks. The prints were on the smaller side and from what I could tell they only had three apparent toes unlike the hare.

A History of Centennial Woods

Posted: December 14th, 2018 by ecunniff

The spot that I chose is now known as Centennial Woods. Indigenous people once occupied the land where it can be assumed they utilized the streams for water and other resources. However upon colonization, things changed. The land was most likely clear cut at one point like most areas in Vermont were, for agriculture, like sheep farming. However in the next century succession began and new and old plant communities began to flourish once again. In the 1970’s the University of Vermont bought the land and declared it as a natural area, open to the public.



My visit on 11.13.18 after the snow!

Posted: November 14th, 2018 by ecunniff

Waiting for the sun to set :)

Posted: November 14th, 2018 by ecunniff

Some signs along the way

Posted: November 14th, 2018 by ecunniff

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