Since my last visit my spot has changed considerably. Warmer temperatures have thawed out the ground and melted leftover snow. Small flowers are beginning to bloom around the stream. I am hearing considerably more bird calls in my area.
Nature and culture intertwine in an interesting way in my place. The land use of Centennial has changed throughout the years, as has the relationship between humans and the landscape. It used to be used for farming, meaning the relationship was exploitative in nature. Even though signs of agricultural use are still present, Centennial is now a thriving hub of activity for the natural world. This shows our relationship with nature, and how it has changed over the years.
I do consider myself a part of my place. With every visit to my spot I became more and more familiar with the landscape and ecology, and I feel eventually I was welcomed into the natural world. What felt so foreign to me at the beginning of the first semester has now become very comfortable.
It seems like the continuing winter weather has really affected the ecology of my place. Upon my visit I did not notice any signs of amphibians in or around my place. Additionally I didn’t notice any flowers, either poking through leaf litter or on the trees around my area.
The closest edge is about 10 feet to the right from the rock in the center of my spot. In other directions it is about 15-20 feet away. This edge effect definitely creates opportunities for avian species, as they may utilize this small clearing to catch prey as well as watch for predators. Also my spot is home to a small stream, meaning many different animals utilize it for water and resources found along its banks.
Over spring break I visited my girlfriends house in Maryland. It was an awesome experience. She showed me her favorite spot near the C&O canal near the Potomac river. It’s right near her house and is an awesome spot for a nice walk. In 1828 John Adams started construction of the canal, progress was slow at first. It was finally completed in 1850 costing a total of 11 million dollars. During my visit I spotted a hawk flying along the open banks of the canal. I wasn’t able to get a very good look at the underside of its wings, but I guess it was a red tailed hawk. There are medium-large sized trees bordering the edge of the canal, as well as small shrubbery at the ground level.
-I would classify the natural community of my place as a mixture between woodland and wetland. The area surrounding the stream is mainly composed of pine trees and low lying shrubs, aligning with the woodland schema. The stream that runs through my area feeds into collective pools which in the summer undoubtedly sustain grasses and other wetland vegetation.
-Since my last visit much of the snow in my area has melted. In addition the ice that covered much of the stream was melted, showing how the spring temperatures have affected the area. Using the biofinder I determined that my place is in an area of high biodiversity, this being apparent through the dark grey coloration.
For the Spring Semester I decided to return to my spot from the first half of the year. My area was covered in several inches of snow. I didn’t find any animal tracks, but the area was covered in the human shoe prints. The small stream running through my area was still exposed in several areas, with small openings in the snow and ice. The visibility in the area has increased heavily, as underbrush and foliage present in the fall is absent. All trees in the area except the pines are completely devoid of leaves.
Researching the History of Centennial woods has given me a lot of insight into the history of my place. I’ve learned that the University of Vermont acquired parts of Centennial woods over of several decades. This began with the Baxter purchase in 1891, and ended with the final acquisition from Unsworth in 1968.
Since it’s purchase Centennial woods has been used as a natural laboratory to study ecology and natural processes, and has been a great resource for Uvm students.
Learning some of the history of Centennial woods has made me appreciate my place even more. I’ve come to understand that I represent the next generation of students who are able to directly benefit from what the woods have to offer. I also represent the future generation of people entrusted with protecting important sites like Centennial. This Phenology assignment has helped me foster a sense of place within the woods, and with Vermont as a whole.
My place (Google) https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lantern+Hillemail@example.com,-71.953273,2854m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e5df83b8624cfb:0xb8b84d73c6d13ea3!8m2!3d41.4600985!4d-71.9445182
My New Place in the Style of Mabel Wright– The hike up to the top of Lantern Hill was steep and rocky, laden with meddling roots and mossy slopes. The climb was slow and I often I had to drop to all fours just to maintain my balance. The path was surrounded by tall ominous looking trees whose once green leaves had turned a dull brown, making the landscape seem barren and desolate. As I continued the climb I noticed more and more rock being exposed, changing the landscape from a desolate woodland to a craggy rock outcropping. The first thing I noticed when reaching the the top of the hill was the wind. It was wild and loud and seemed to have no direction, gusts blowing this way and that. For the first time in awhile I felt truly isolated from the world, the wind blocking out any noise from the road. I found my place not at the summit of Lantern Hill, but on a small flat outcropping that overlooked a large pond bordered by large trees. Here I truly felt the anger of the wind as it nipped at my exposed neck and fingers, sending cold shivers down my spine. At first the strength of the wind frightened and intimidated me, as I struggled to maintain balance as gust after gust of wind hit me from different directions. I gritted my teeth and dug my heels in in an attempt to defend myself from mother nature. As I spent more time on this outcropping the wind seemed to calm down a bit, surrounding me with silence. Engulfed in silence I was truly able to appreciate the woodlands surrounding the hill which seemed to stretch onward indefinitely. I felt as though the wind and I had come to an understanding of sorts, this was when I knew I had found my place. My place is surrounded by rolling hills covered in dark barren looking trees that I found to be beautiful, although not in a conventional sense. I felt nature reaching out to me, trying to show me in real time the natural transition of the landscape from fall to winter.
Comparison of my places in the style of Aldo Leopold– Both my place in Centennial Woods and my place on Lantern Hill have helped me understand how humans and other animals share the natural world. Both locations are close in proximity to civilization, yet seem so isolated from it. Lantern Hill is much rockier than Centennial woods, and also much higher in elevation. I observed much more bird activity at my spot on Lantern Hill, including two turkey vultures hopping from the cliff face and soaring into the air. The wide open environment of the hill and cliff face provides birds of prey the vision they need in order to hunt, as well as a safe location amongst the rocks to build nests. I also saw several pairs of hikers with climbing gear coming down the trail as I ascended, most likely indicating that Lantern Hill is used recreationally as a place to climb. I found it refreshing how both the birds and the climbers seem to both enjoy the elevation of the hill. The woods of Centennial are much more dense than that of Lantern Hill, once again due to the difference in elevation and rock formations. My spot in Centennial is along a stream, which changes the ecosystem immensely. There is much more foliage along the stream in Centennial than there is around my spot on the cliff face. This additional foliage helps support different kinds of animals, many of which would not be able to sustain themselves on Lantern Hill.
-Once again I’ve taken I have noticed more and more leaves changing color.The bright green leaves that were present just months earlier have now turned shades of red and orangeIt seems like Autumn has really taken hold of Centennial, and my spot.
-The stream is even more congested with pine needles than before, forcing the water of the stream to deviate from its natural path.
Leaves changing color
Truly a sight to behold
Watch them fall, winter
Time flows quickly, fast
The forest is not the same
Cold weather, dead trees
-The leaves on the foliage near my spot have started to turn a golden yellow, indicating seasonal changes are beginning to really take effect. Yellow pine needles cover the ground of the forest and have started to collect in the steam, slowing the flow of the water creating small pools of nearly stagnant water. I’m interested to see how the backed up stream will affect surrounding areas and potentially create new habitats seasonal habitats.
-I seemed to hear more noise from the road, most likely due to the loss of pine needles and other leaves. This makes the human activity around centennial much more obvious to human visitors in the woods, making the experience less dominated by nature and more of a combination of the natural world and surrounding infrastructure. The forest is slowly becoming more bare, and quickly becoming less green.
-This time when I visited my spot I couldn’t find any signs of animal activity. The forest seemed almost dormant of animal life.
-My place is in a wooded area with a clearing. In the center of the clearing is a large rock, and adjacent to that is a small stream. You can find in Centennial Woods by following the path until taking the first right, and continuing to follow this smaller windy path to the stream. I chose this location because it interested me. The area is densely forested on the edges of the stream with smaller vegetation sprawling the ground. The trees on the edge of the stream are dominated by Eastern white pine, which are beginning to deposit their needles in the stream and surrounding landscape. Other species in the area include Norway Maple, Boxelder, and a variety of shrubbery.
-I spotted some deer droppings to the right of the stream, indicating there was some deer activity recently. Insect activity seemed pretty low, most likely due to dropping temperatures.
75 Bilodeau Ct, Burlington, VT 05401, USA
Latitude: 44.477814 Longitude: -73.184588