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Phenology in Centennial Woods

Human Land-Use History In Centennial Woods

Posted: December 5th, 2017 by hace

The past use of an area can explain a lot about the current state of the land. In my spot, as in most of Centennial Woods, there is little to no old growth forest. The Centennial Woods field guide speaks of barbed wire throughout the forest. Both these factors point to the land formerly being pasture and agricultural land. There is little information available regarding this part of Centennial’s land use history, but in 1974 Centennial Woods Natural Area was purchased by the University of Vermont along with several other land parcels to be set aside as natural areas. The following map is from 1993, after the purchase, and shows Centennial Woods Natural Area as it was at that time:

Centennial Woods Natural Area. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, 1993.
http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/Centennial_Woods_Survey_1993.jpg (accessed December 02, 2014)

The Changing Landscapes of Centennial Woods Natural Area: A Field Guide [PDF]. University of Vermont Natural Areas. University of Vermont Environmental Program, http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/Changing_Landscapes_Centennial_Woods002.pdf.

Maryland Spot

Posted: November 27th, 2017 by hace

My new spot is in the Gunpowder Falls State Park in Parkton, Maryland where I used to run for track and cross country in high school.

This is the location of the spot:


Here are some pictures from my spot:

As I sit here, the forest around is mostly quiet. Winter is starting to settle in and there is not as much life as there was earlier in the year. There are, however, birds chirping overhead as they make their way south for the winter. The leaves have mostly fallen from the trees and cover the forest floor almost entirely. It is a very familiar place. I have spent nearly every day after school for four years running in these woods. I know almost every root in these woods. I can faintly hear the flowing water of the river down the massive hill. I feel like I am on top of the world here—every path around me leads down a massive hill into the valley below. A rustling occasionally comes from the leaves a little ways away. At one point, I see a deer as it curiously ventures closer to the trail away from the shelter of the trees. A squirrel follows not close behind, searching for food to store for the winter. It is warmer than it has been in the past—fifty degrees in late November. The sun isn’t very bright, however, and does not reflect much of the fallen leaves, and the whole forest is somewhat dark. There are multiple trees which have fallen down since I have last been here, indicating a storm. A few branches have fallen into the trail where they had not been before. There are a few subtle changes to the forest, but overall it is overwhelmingly similar to what I am familiar with from when I ran here almost every day.

There are a few differences in the composition of the forest here as compared to my Burlington spot. There are no paper birch here in Maryland, whereas in the Burlington spot paper birch is a much more abundant species. The temperature difference is also noticeable, as are the effects on the forest. It is much warmer in Maryland, about twenty degrees on this specific day. There is no snow here as there was on the ground when I left my Burlington spot. Some of the trees have held onto their leaves and there is a little bit more green remaining in this spot. There is also more wildlife that I have observed in this new spot. I had seen few animals so far in my Burlington spot, but found multiple animals in the new spot. This is likely due to the Burlington spot being in a more well traveled area closer to human civilization, and the Maryland spot being much farther into the woods where less people frequently go. There was also a definite difference in the general ecosystems of the area due to the spot in Maryland being by a larger body of water, the Gunpowder River. While the Burlington spot is relatively close to the water in the stream nearby, it is a much smaller portion of the landscape there. I heard more birds in the Maryland area than I did in the Burlington area—this might because Maryland is farther south through which more birds are migrating during this time of the year.

Event Map and Photos

Posted: November 6th, 2017 by hace

Since last visiting my site, many more of the leaves had either turned color or fallen. There were also multiple trees down in the surrounding area from the recent wind storm. I visited my site as the sun was setting and a rainstorm was blowing in, as you can see in these pictures:

I also created an event map as I walked through my site, detailing some of the things I noticed as the storm blew in:

KIC Document 0001 (2)

Map of Site

Posted: October 23rd, 2017 by hace

KIC Document 0001

Included above is a map of my site. There haven’t been many significant changes in vegetation since my last visit, aside from the trees losing some of their leaves. Because it’s been warmer than usual, most of the plants are still alive and have not shed many leaves. While in the spot, I heard a Pileated Woodpecker in one of the trees. This is the first evidence I’ve seen of any wildlife using my site as a habitat.

Welcome to my spot!

Posted: October 6th, 2017 by hace

The spot that I chose is located in Centennial Woods near the entrance, along the first bridge you come to on the path. It is at this location:


I chose this spot because since being at UVM, I’ve spent a lot of time running in these woods, which remind me of the woods I ran in back home. This spot in particular is the first place you come to that I think feels removed from the rest of the campus and city, and I feel very calm and peaceful here.

There isn’t too much ground cover here right now– probably partly because of the bridge that takes up a lot of the ground space. There are however some ferns and moss, and some longer grasses as well.

The most common woody species appears to be Norway Maple. However, these species are also found at the spot:

White Oak
Eastern White Pine
American Beech

Here’s some pictures of the spot as of right now. Not many of the leaves have changed since the weather’s been warm, but hopefully they will soon!


Hello world!

Posted: October 4th, 2017 by hace

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