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.