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Connecticut Phenology

 

                                    November- in the style of Aldo Leopold

Stick Season

The trees tower over us, each pine taller than the next. Each year, after the bursting colors of autumn have passed, there comes a rather bland period between crisp fall and snowy winter. The ground is coated in a thick blanket of twigs and dried leaves. Our feet traverse it cautiously, as if walking on a sea of dead. With the setting sun skipping its light across the reservoir the surrounding trees begin to fade into dusk. We bring our muddy shoes out of the leaves and place them gently on the edge of the rocks. Our soles are met with a new carpet of electric moss. It hugs the boulders on all sides shielding it from the icy cold that is to come. Some feel emptied by the baring trees and their fragile sticks; I find comfort in the silence. The empty wood reeks of abandonment, the resin of what summer activity left behind. Snags stick proudly out of the hardened soil and small finches hop around looking for the last of the living bugs. This brief moment will not last long and many take it for granted but death is not to be mourned it is to be celebrated for the past life it has lived and the new life in its future.

 

 

A comparison of two places- in the style of Mary Holland

Salmon Hole in Burlington Vermont has a different feel to it than the Easton Connecticut Reservoir. Naturally, as we approach the winter months, there are patterns of drying dead leaves on the ground and bare trees surrounding the water’s edge at both locations. The aspects that set these two places apart mostly have to do with geography. Northern Vermont’s climate is much different than southern Connecticut’s, visiting these two places only a week apart allowed me to see how much impact ten to fifteen degrees can make. There was snow on the ground before my visit to Salmon Hole, which caused the leaves and sticks to mix in with the mud created by the slowly melting snow. The water levels were much higher than my previous visit in early November and there was an abundance of mushrooms accumulating on most of the dampened tree trunks. There are very little coniferous trees in the salmon hole area, the forest is mainly American Beech, a variety of Maple, and Basswood, while at the Easton reservoir the small grouping of trees are mainly small and skinny deciduous trees, bordered by tall pines. The water level in the reservoir was also abnormally high, but not due to melting snow, instead it was because of the increasing amounts of rain storms that occurred throughout the entire month of November. The high waters of the reservoir were not even close to freezing over while at Salmon hole the edges of the river bank were frosty with ice. This is something that struck me as interesting because of the movement that the river has compared to the complete stillness that is the reservoir. if these two places were in the same location I am sure of the fact that the reservoir would have frozen over before the river, but because of the rivers constant motion it does not freeze as easily.

Thanksgiving Phenology

Saugatuck Reservoir in Easton, CT

Woodpecker Signs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some clear signs that there are woodpeckers in the area!

The larger hole made in the image to the left is most likely a sign of a Pileated woodpecker because of its elongated shape and bigger size.

The image on the right shows two smaller holes most likely made by a smaller woodpecker such as the Red-Bellied.

Mushroom Selfies?

I’ve found my favorite mushroom of all time… such a beautiful fungi.

Salmon Hole Poem

Leaves that shimmer

Shine and whisper

Through the trees

You hear us shiver

The cold air comes and with it rain

It pulls us down

We wince in pain

Is it time already?

We’ve just begun

All this weather has ruined our fun

 

I thought our colors had time to last

In prior years

Autumn was vast

As climate changes

So do we

Don’t take for granted

What you see

For soon you won’t

And nor shall we

The colors of

The Autumn tree

 

Event Map

Salmon hole is experiencing some seasonal changes, mainly in the composition of the trees. There are much more leaves covering the ground than at my last visit; so much that the leaves are all you can see. The trees are more bare closer to the waters edge, and still hold some density further into the middle of the woods. There is a lot of moisture in the ground as well as the trees, stags are soggy wet and mushrooms are growing everywhere.

Hand Drawn Map

Since my last visit here the leaves have begun to fall at a much higher rate, and the ground is covered in multi-colored leaves of all types. I have noticed a few more mushrooms popping up around the bank and on tree trunks, indicating a more moist environment.

Visit 2!

Since my last visit here the leaves have begun to fall at a much higher rate, and the ground is covered in multi-colored leaves of all types.
I have noticed a few more mushrooms popping up around the bank and on tree trunks, indicating a more moist environment.

Fall Mushrooms

Back at Salmon Hole!

There are even more mushrooms than the last time and leaves are already changing and falling to the forest floor. The woods are beautiful this time of year, I am noticing so much plant diversity right before it begins to die for winter.

First post!

This is a location at Salmon Hole!

 

I chose this specific spot because of the vegetation, rocks, and water. I think it will be really cool to be able to see this spot change as the seasons change and as time progresses. It is relatively accessible from where I’m living; As shown in the map it is a short bike ride away.

Some common woody plants I found here include; American Beech, Paper Birch, Basswood, Black Cherry and I noticed some smaller shrubs like Barberry and Honey Suckle, both of which are invasive to the area. Along the waters edge, there was clear evidence of significant erosion surrounding many of the exposed tree roots and trunks. The bank of the river was loose soil and crumbling rocks.

There is also a highly concentrated population of mushrooms in this specific area of Salmon Hole. Mushrooms of all sizes are clinging to the damp or dead standing trees and poking out from the grassy understory. 

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