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Over spring break I went home to Harvard, Massachusetts.  While I was home, we got around 20 inches of snow, which drastically changed the landscape.  Harvard is similar to Vermont in that much of it used to be cleared farmland, which was then repopulated by trees.  Many of the trees around my house are evergreens, which include pine, spruce and firs.  These trees are green year round so they aren’t as affected by winter as deciduous trees.  There were not many birds around due to the snowfall, but towards the end of break I did hear some lovely mourning doves in the mornings.


It has been a few months since I visited my site, and much has changed.  Snow is on the ground and the small pond is frozen over.  Deciduous trees such as maples, boxelders, birch, and oak have all lost their leaves.  There were many wildlife tracks running through my area but unfortunately it was hard to identify the animal due to the tracks being many days old.  However, I believe they included foxes, rabbits, and rodents.



Red Stone Quarry was a functional mining site starting from the early 1800’s until the University of Vermont bought the property in 1958. Many historical buildings such as my dorm Redstone Hall were built using Monkton Quartzite (Another name for Redstone), mined from Redstone Quarry.  Since 1958, the University has used the site for geology classes and research.  Quarrying is one of the oldest industries of Vermont, and having a quarry located almost in the middle of Burlington shows how ingrained mining is to Vermont’s past.

Description of place in Leopold’s writing style:

In order to experience the town of Harvard, one must take a visit to Bare Hill Pond.  Every year, the water body drains out of a small river, and the water level lowers by about 3 feet.  Many new rocks and trees are exposed and this makes late fall one of the best times to explore the pond.  In order to truly get a sense of the place though, one must visit the numerous islands scattered throughout the shallow water.  Some such islands include Rock Island, and Four Acre Island.  Inhabited in the summer, these islands are quiet and empty throughout the winter, and very peaceful.

Canoeing on the pond is one of the best ways to experience its beauty and depth.  Blue herons, snapping turtles, and sunfish all inhabit the friendly waters.  Once on Rock Island, one notices a large fallen tree.  This tree used to stand about 5 years ago but unfortunately fell during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Now though, this tree is a convenient way to climb to the top of the large rock on the island and subsequently jump off into the water when it is warm.  Seeing the exposed rocks and trees that are usually covered up is a stark reminder that winter is coming.  \


Comparing Burlington and Harvard’s phrenology spots:

It is interesting to compare my phrenology spot in Burlington vs. my spot at home.  Although they are both in the northeast U.S.A, there are many differences, as well as similarity between them.  One way they are similar is with the vegetation.  Massachusetts and Vermont share many similar types of trees and shrubs.  Some notable ones I saw at Bare Hill Pond that I also noticed in Burlington are maple and hemlock trees, as well as pine.  Red stone quarry also has a small pond, and in that I have seen animals such as frogs and salamanders in the summer.  Bare hill pond is also home to many of these same creatures.

Bare hill pond has many different types of rocks compared to red stone quarry.  For example, of course the pond bed is sandy and silty, but most of the large stones are made of granite.  Compared to red stone quarry, which has mostly red stone, there is a much different color scheme of the area.  The islands of Bare Hill Pond are also much more exposed to the elements than red stone quarry, which is protected by natural cliffs.  This leads to more erosion and fallen trees because of high winds and precipitation.  I noticed this erosion on the edges of the lake as much of the sand had been washed away leaving bare rocks exposed.


As fall descends upon the red stone quarry we can begin to see changing leaves, and some trees have already lost all their leaves and are down to their bare branches.


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