Final Entry: Human History

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 in Connecticut

My place (Google)  https://www.google.com/maps/place/Lantern+Hill/@41.4600976,-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 LeopoldBoth 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.  

 

 

 

Fourth Visit

-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.

Haiku

Leaves changing color

Truly a sight to behold

Watch them fall, winter

Haiku 

Time flows quickly, fast

The forest is not the same

Cold weather, dead trees

Third Visit

-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.

Second Visit

My Area

-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

Phenology Assignment

Centennial Woods Phenology

Burlington, VT 05401

Latitude 44.4758      Longitude -73.1872

My place is in a open rocky area with a small stream splitting it down the middle. It is surrounded on all sides by thick forests. There are wooded slopes on either side of the stream, their branches still covered in green and yellow leaves.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Centennial+Woods+Natural+Area/@44.4781444,-73.1865137,16.44z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4cca7a4064285555:0xa16586518a8db548!8m2!3d44.47781!4d-73.1845861