Phenology of Site 11/12/19 – Sense of Place

            Snow! The pictures of my site at the moment are a bit outdated given that my site is currently blanketed in ~6 inches of the white wonder. However, snow is still visible on the fringes of the site, and this brings me to why I love Vermont and why this site gives me a sense of place. Winter has always been my favorite season and brings me back to fond memories as a child skiing and sledding around my hometown. Even though I am now at UVM, the snow gives me a sense of comfort and makes me feel right at home. 

            My site is only a small patch of pines, but it is representative of a much broader area that is bearing down and getting ready for the long winter months ahead. I remember back at home prepping for winter by stacking endless amounts of wood in the shed at my house, and then being paid to do the same at my neighbor’s house. The work was arduous at times, but every time I needed motivation, I would look up to Mount Mansfield off in the distance and let the excitement for the upcoming ski season power me through my chores. The fact that Mount Mansfield is also visible in the distance brings me back to those times and gives me the same giddy anticipation I had as a kid.

            Looking back through the lens of history, I realize how different feelings towards winter must have been in the times before modern innovations and infrastructure. The buildings encompassing my site look warm and cozy, but the trees are open look barren and completely exposed to the blistering elements. For the Abenaki people that roamed this land far before me the first snow would represents months of preparation and anxiety. There is a certain beauty in this early time when people lived entirely of the land, but I also feel lucky to live in the time that I do and have the luxury of modern amenities.

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