When visiting my phenology blog spot it had changed quite a bit since my last visit. First of all, Burlington was experiencing its first snowfall of the year. Therefore, when walking to my phenology spot I had to be careful to not slip and fall on the mud and ice. When I reached the spot, I realized the footbridge had been moved to a different area. This is because of how high the water level had become in the brook. To know that my phenology spot had been moved around almost made me feel sad. I always sat on the footbridge and took my field notes there.
Once I reached my spot I realized how many changes had actually occurred. The ground was covered in white, powdery snow. The ground was extremely muddy and the bank of the brook was more eroded than before. However, the brook had become more narrow. I can now stand in an area where there was once water. When searching for wildlife I realized there was no sign of the minnows in the brook as well as the water striders that were once there before. There was also no sign of birds which is because they migrate during this time which is discussed in the book Naturally Curious. Almost all of the vegetation had turned brown and the trees have now officially lost their leaves.
Being from New York, I never realized how quickly the seasons changed in Burlington. The seasons changed slowly at home, fall lasted until November, winter lasted until March, and spring began in April. To know that there may still be snow on the ground in April is a scary thought. I’ve realized how I created a sense of place at my phenology spot. It almost feels like the spot from home, where I would go to enjoy nature. I understand the history behind Centennial Woods, but as change occurs, I feel as if I’m learning more and more about my spot. In terms of Vermont as a whole, as the seasons change I’m experiencing how the environment changes and how organisms adapt to this change. To know that one day we may have a whole where people are unable to enjoy nature’s gifts is frightening. I would be devastated to find that Vermont changed due to climate change or deforestation. As I spend more time here in Vermont, I feel as if this place is becoming my home.
When visiting my phenology site at Centennial Woods this week, my site has changed a lot since my last visit. Pretty much all of the trees have lost their leaves except for the pines. The leaf litter on the ground has changed from bright colors of red and yellow to brown. Most of the grass has turned brown in color and the soil was quite muddy and mushy. The bank of the brook looked more eroded since my last visit probably from the rain. I visited my site on 10/30/19 before the huge rain storm last night. The water level of the brook had increased since my last visit but after last night the brook must be overwhelmed by water. During my visit I photographed six organisms that inhabit my phenology site. When I watch the water I can see the slight shimmer in the sunlight and then it suddenly vanishes. This is because of the small minnows swimming in the brook under the eroded bank. The surface of the water is sometimes disturbed by a water strider (Gerridae) making its way to its next destination. At my last visit there were much more water striders compared to now. This may be because of the temperature change from the last visit. The ground cover around the brook is mostly ferns and few areas of grass because of the colder temperature. Over looking the brook is a tall red oak tree. This tree has now lost almost all of its leaves but is still hanging on to the last couple of days of fall. The white pine trees tower over this small red oak. The pines have most of their needles at the top of the tree. The most notable difference between my past visit to now is the tree that hangs over the brook. The Eastern black walnut tree has now lost all of its leaves. All of these organisms represent the change from peak fall to the slow ending of fall. Most of the trees no longer have leaves and the organisms left in Centennial near my spot show the transition of getting ready for winter. I created a map of my site included below. I tried to represent how close my site is to human activity. Surrounding my site there are apartments as well as buildings owned by UVM. My site is located right after the footbridge that goes over the brook. I created the map before going to my site which caused me to miss many small details. Once I returned to my phenology site I included small details so you can better understand my spot in terms of Centennial Woods as a whole.
Below there are pictures of the organisms I encountered as well as my map and field notes.