Last Visit of Freshman Year:(

Since my last, I have no noticed super large phenological differences, as my last visit was almost exactly a week prior to this one. There has been a small increase in the percentage of the ground that is covered in small herbaceous plants. The brook is flowing even faster and is murkier than last week, probably due to Burlington receiving even more rain this week. Last week there was a bunch of students near my spot birding, but this week there was not. This is not a phenological change, I just thought I would mention it.

My phenology spot is part of Centennial Woods, which is both a wildlife habitat and biodiversity hotspot on the UVM campus, but it is also a popular recreation area for the Burlington community. I have watched my spot change through the season, and the presence of several different species of plants come and go. My spot is home to several species of Northern Hardwoods including Green Ash and Boxelder, but it is also home to several small herbaceous plants, as well as abundant mushroom and fungi. My spot is easily accessible to the public through the trails in Centennial woods, you only have to walk down a small hill off the path to reach it. Centennial Woods is an integral part of the Burlington community, residents consider it a part of the culture here. They come to walk their dogs, meet up with friends to go for walks, or just to spend some quiet time alone in nature. Spots like mine are an important part of any community because easy access to natural spots is an integral part of keeping humans sane and healthy, we have investigated the numerous connections between mental health and access to the outdoors. Especially for students, Centennial Woods is a great place to go outside and take a break from all the stress each semester may bring. Students can stop by and go birding, or just hang up their hammock and chill for a while. Centennial Woods not only provides a habitat for several natives species of birds and other wildlife, but it also provides a haven for community members and students.

I do not consider myself a physical part of my phenology spot, but I do feel a strong connection to it. I view my spot as a living breathing organism, each aspect from the brook to the trees an integral part of my spot, as if they are organs of a living, breathing, person. I consider myself a guest in my phenology spot, but a welcome one. Though I am not a physical part of my spot, I feel a strong emotional connection after all the time I have spent this semester admiring the calm and peace I have found there.

Earth Week Phenology

On my visit to my phenology spot this week, there were many hopeful signs of spring. There was abundant leaf litter, and the ground was extremely moist, indicating mud season is in full swing. Unfortunately, wildflowers were not one of the signs of spring I viewed, but not to worry, there were many other signs. I found loads of fungi and moss growing on decomposing logs and standing trees. There was also an extremely noticeable increase in down trees, especially over Centennial brook. This is most likely due to the heavy winter storms and high winds we’ve been having recently.

Several of the trees in my phenology spot has started to show buds. Boxelder Maple, Green Ash, and Honeysuckle all were sprouting buds. Additionally, there were two separate trees that showed burr holes in them, indicating that a Pileated Woodpecker had been there. These burr holes were too big, and not abundant enough like the overwhelming sapsucker holes were viewed on Basswood trees during lab this week. Overall, my phenology spot was sure showing signs of spring. The brook was much more active than last time I was there, the water was rushing. The snow is finally melting, and the rain is finally coming. Signs of spring are here in Centennial Woods.

Picture Updates:

Spring Break Phenology!!

I spent my spring break this year in a small town outside of Nassau in New Providence, Bahamas. The phenology I observed over spring break was most definitely different than that I have observed so far this semester in Burlington. The most obvious difference was the weather, the last time I went to my spot in Centennial Woods the weather was around 20 degrees and there was over a foot of snow on the ground. My phenology spot over break was the beach in front of the AirBnB where I stayed over break. The weather was 80 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze. My phenology spot in Burlington is primarily northern hardwood species of trees, while the only species of tree visible at my break phenology spot was the Arecaceae, or Palm Tree.

The water body in my Burlington phenology spot is Centennial Brook, a stream that runs just down a small embankment from the northern hardwoods. New Providence, the island on which my phenology spot was this break is nestled in between the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic Ocean, and my spot was right on the ocean.

My phenology spot in Burlington is home to several native species of the Northeast United States, while I have had a hard time tracking these species, I know from other students whose phenology spots are in Centennial Woods that there are several species of native birds, along with White-tailed Deer, Porcupines, and Snowshoe hares that can be found around my phenology spot. The only wildlife I found over break were several small snails embedded in the dead coral in my phenology spot, peeking out of the ocean.



What type of natural community is this?

My natural community is a Northern Hardwood Forest. There are numerous full-grown sugar maple and boxelder maple trees, characteristics of a northern hardwood forest. Northern Harwood forests are often not first-generation forests, meaning that they have undergrowth periods of clear-cutting for agriculture or lumber. Northern Hardwood forests were often regenerated following a large deforesting event. I believe that is what happened here. I believe this because there are signs of previous land clearing here. There are abundant herbaceous plants, but there are not many old growth trees. There is abundant space in between the old growth trees and the size of the trees indicates that they began growing around the time of the fall of the timber industry in Vermont, in the early 1900s.

Changes Since Last Visit:

Since my last visit, there have only been a few changes visible at my phenology spot. The snow has started to melt, at my first visit this semester there was about a foot of fresh snow, with impressions from falling snow and canine tracks easily visible. The snow has started to melt and harden into slush in many spots. It was much easier to walk to my spot this time. During my first visit, I had to trudge through snow and fell on ice on the way back. The snow has turned from fresh powder, into a more slushy type of snow associated with the beginning of the melting season. The ice over the brook has started to melt and more flowing water is visible, you can hear the brook more.


New Places!!

While I had high hopes for my phenology spot last semester, it ended up being a pretty uneventful spot. For that reason, I chose a new spot, also in Centennial woods, but in a different area. To get to my new spot when you reach the first clearing in centennial woods, the white pine stand, instead of continuing straight, you turn right and walk down the bank to the brook, and that is my new site! My site is the edge of the brook and is full of much more excitement than last semester.

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What I found!

On my trip to my site, in addition to finding several species of native trees, I also found some white-tailed deer tracks. I had a hard time deciphering between animal tracks, and divets in the snow left by snow that had fallen off trees. However, I was able to confidently decipher white-tailed deer tracks and tracks of a domestic dog. I also found a rock covered in lichen.


I was able to use buds to identify several species of trees:

Sugar Maple

Black Cherry

Box Elder

Green Ash



One Last Visit!!!

Whew, What a Semester!

My last visit to my phenology was arguably the most eventful, which is unfortunate because my previous posts could have been a lot more interesting, at least to me personally. First of all it was covered in snow, possibly the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. Mother nature sure put on her best show for me on the day I went to visit my spot for the last time this semester. The weather was sunny and perfect, and the snow was fresh and fluffy. This visit was the first time I saw any signs of wildlife, though they were rather small. I found a few small tracks in the snow that could be of some sort of raccoon or other small animal. I found a small snail on a rock in the creek, and I found evidence of burr holes of a bird or insect in trees that had lost their bark.

On this visit, all the leaves had fallen off the trees, making the landscape must more visible than before, this was helpful in reading the landscape and coming up with my hypotheses about how the landscape was used. In my phenology spot there are two old growth trees in the entire area I consider my phenology spot, this is evidence of the land being clear cut for human use. My guess it that it was cut for lumber or pasture, as the landscape is rather uneven and not suitable for farming. Knowing that this landscape was clear cut for either lumber or pasture may provide an explanation for the lack of wildlife present in my phenology spot. Most the plant species are small woody shrubs, tall grasses, and a few new growth trees, indicating that it has not yet completed the final stages of secondary succession. Since my phenology spot is still recovering from being clear cut, it is not a particularly suitable habitat for many wildlife species, providing a possible explanation for the lack of wildlife I observed during this assignment.

On the hill behind my phenology spot are numerous old growth trees, the fact that the trees farther up the hill were not cut provides a little confusion to me. My best guest is that the land was used for pasture, so the old growth trees on the hill were left as animals were unlikely to graze there anyway. Maybe whoever cut the land just wanted to preserve some of it, and not clear cut the entire forest. The exact answer is unknown, but these are my best and most educated guesses using techniques of reading landscapes I learned in class. I’ll miss my phenology spot over christmas break, she sure was a good one.

Some New Pictures!!! Oooo the Snow’s So Pretty!!


Home Sweet Hornby: Thanksgiving Phenology

How to Find This Place!!,+Corning,+NY+14830/@42.218738,-77.067058,17z/data=!4m13!1m7!3m6!1s0x89d04eda610f8fa5:0xe127c7c4cd2b35a9!2s10529+Rogers+Rd,+Corning,+NY+14830!3b1!8m2!3d42.218738!4d-77.064864!3m4!1s0x89d04eda610f8fa5:0xe127c7c4cd2b35a9!8m2!3d42.218738!4d-77.064864

Pictures That Prove This Place is The Bomb!!


What is this place?-Leopold

You’re walking down the path, you hear the crunch of the snow beneath your feed as you meander your way through this forest. It’s quiet, you can almost hear the snow beginning to melt, it’s the first warm day this forest has seen in awhile. All around you are sugar maples, the air is tinted with the smell of syrup left from last years maple syrup boiling. Peaking out from behind the maple came are a few eastern white pines. Just a few, it’s hard for them to grow in a land dominated by sugar maples, yet the few preserver. You begin to wonder who planted these maples here. Did the ever imagine they could get so big? You pass the woodpile snuggled between two mid-size maples, it’s covered in mushrooms. These mushrooms are new, and plentiful. You’ve seen mushrooms in this stand before, but now they’re everywhere. You look up from the woodpile and see that mushroom have begun to climb up the tree to your left, they’re different than those coating the woodpile, they’re round and short. There’s been a lot of rain this year, maybe that’s why there’s so many more mushrooms than you remember. Every time you come here you find something new you didn’t before. You grew up here, you played hide and seek, weaving between the sugar maples desperately trying to keep from getting tagged by your brothers. It’s quiet, and it’s home.

How is this place different?

Both these spots are quiet, they’re a trek to get to, but worth every step. Burlington is new, you’re not comfortable with it, you’re not quite sure where your relationship with your Burlington spot is headed, you’re still getting acquainted. You know your home spot like the back of your hand, you know it’s quirks and it’s hidden gems. Your burlington spot is has a little walking bridge. It’s small, at first glance it seems relatively unimportant. But this bridge means that someone else has been here, this is not just your spot, it has been touched by development and man, even if just slightly. The only path in your home spot in the footprints you have left in the snow. It’s almost entirely sugar maples there, a few eastern white pines have snuck their way in, but the species diversity of mature trees is pretty low there. Your Burlington spot is full of many species, hardwoods, invasive, grasses. Some of the plants show evidence of being eaten by an animal or insect, yet you haven’t seen any there yet, maybe you just haven’t earned your chance for them to show themselves to you yet, time will tell. The trees in your Burlington spot are smaller, thinner. Suggesting that they are not as old as the great big maples in your home spot. Maybe this land was cleared before, allowing for rebirth and growth. Both these spots are hard to get to, they require work, yet are worth the wait. Your home spot is mostly sugar maples, and is covered in mushroom and lichen. The focal species at your Burlington spot is Buckthorn, and invasive. You’re not sure how it got there, and why it’s there. Perhaps as your relationship with you Burlington spot grows you’ll find answers to some of these questions.



Visit #3!!!!!

What’s New

Since my last visit there’s a couple changes I have noticed. The oil/pollutants that was gathering on the edge of the stream bed seems to have cleared up or washed away. There is still evidence of wildlife, some of the plants below the trees have been eaten away by either an insect or a small animal. I still haven’t actually seen any wildlife, but I know they must be there somewhere, I think me not seeing them might have something to do with me struggling to stay still and quite.The leaves are starting to fall of the trees and other small woody plants surrounding and inside my phenology site, showing that winter is on its way. The small brush plants and native grasses that were very tall and covering my phenology site at the beginning of this project are starting to die off for the winter.

Poem about my site!!

Where are the animals

They must be here

I see their markings

I sense they’re near


Yet I can’t find them

All I see

Are plants used as snacks

Below the trees


There’s a stream for drinking

Lots of habitat too

You must be here

Why can’t I see you

Event Map

Visit #2!!

Bird’s Eye View:

Picture Updates!!

Changes Since Previous Post:

Since my last visit to my site many of the trees surrounding the site have begun to change their colors.There was also evidence of pollution/oil in the creek (picture above). Evidence of leaves being eaten my some species of insect or small animal, no evidence of large animal species at phenology site.Overall, there has not been much obvious change in my site since I last visited, other than the weather has gotten colder. There is a rather large deficit in old growth trees present in my phenology site, which may help to account for the lack of wildlife, as many species thrive in old growth habitats.

About My Phenology Site!!

How to get there:

To get to my phenology site you first head into centennial woods, passing the sign that was so nicely labeled with “welcome NR1 students” during our centennial woods assignment at the beginning of the year. From there you head down the path until you have reached the first clearing, composed mostly of evergreens. From there you take the trail on the left and head down, going over a set of boards until you reach the second clearing. From there you head down the path on the board walkways until you reach a little creek, there, is my phenology site.

Why I chose it:

I chose this phenology site because I wanted one with a little creek or brook in it. I grew up exploring the creek behind my house, and have always found them fascinating. Honestly, I thought a spot that was just trees would be a little boring.


My phenology spot is full of abundant green vegetation, as it is very close to a water source. There are several of the trees species that we learned for our tree quiz, but also several new species that I am unfamiliar with, and i’m sure i’ll get to know them very well over the next few months. The majority of the area is covered with vegetation of many different species, and at a glance the biodiversity seems to be pretty high, anyway here is just a few of the species found there:

  • Norway Maple
  • Common Buckthorn
  • Poison Ivy (yikes)
  • Boxelder
  • Ferns (soon to be further identified)
  • Natives grasses

Link to my site! (I was unable to get a exact google maps location when I got there so use this in combination with my direction to find it),-73.1867748,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x4cca7a4064285555:0xa16586518a8db548!8m2!3d44.47781!4d-73.1845861