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!!