My New Plot

Final Photo Gallery

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Last Visit of the Semester

A small snowstorm occurred several days prior to my last visit to Lone Rock Point. By the time I got there, the snow had just melted, leaving behind a very muddy, moist landscape. The biggest chance in the area that I noticed was the amount of moss that accumulated all over the trees and rocks found there. The moist conditions from the snow allowed the moss to thrive in my plot and all around it. At this point, all of the leaves have completely fallen off of the deciduous trees in the plot. The site is now much more barren than it used to be. The plot still remained fairly lifeless; a squirrel was spotted scurrying across the rocks. However, there were many chickadees surrounding the outskirts of the plot. They seemed to be calling to each other.

Lone Rock Point is surrounded by several human institutions, such as a church, a high school, and the Rock Point School. People from all of these places can always be seen impeding on Lone Rock’s nature, and this could definitely be a reason why some of the area lacks wildlife activity. However, these organizations are known to prevent any major human development in the area. The area of Rock Point bordering the lake is known to have been inhabited by the Abenaki Indians. The Abenaki were eventually removed from the land by early settlers, and the southern side was cleared for a better view of the lake. However, the more northern edge of the area was left untouched, and many Hemlock trees can still be found there. The hill here is known to residents as “Hemlock Hill”, and is in the general vicinity of my phenology plot.


Horseshoe Cove Map

Horseshoe Cove Photos

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Hometown Plot: Horseshoe Cove

My home phenology plot is located on Sandy Hook National Recreational Area in Monmouth County, New Jersey. My high school is located on Sandy Hook, and was my inspiration to major in Environmental Studies. The area I chose to study in particular is known as Horseshoe Cove, after the many horseshoe crabs that can be found there. The cove borders the Sandy Hook Bay, and the area I examined was a marshy area right next to the shore.

While both my Burlington plot and Horseshoe Cove border water, they have completely different ecological features. The marshy grasses of Horseshoe Cove facilitate many types of long grasses, while the bedrock of my Burlington plot is filled with many cedars and pines. Sandy Hook is also home to many tourists, and therefore experiences much more human interruption than my Burlington plot. Along with the many marsh grasses found at Horseshoe Cove, there are actually many tree species, consisting mostly of holly and cedar trees. Sandy Hook has one of the largest holly forests in the United States, and it is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.

Horseshoe Cove is home to many species, while my Burlington plot has very little life. As previously mentioned, Horseshoe Cove is known for its flourishing horseshoe crab population, and I found many horseshoe shells along the shore there. Osprey live and hunt in the marshes, and there is a man-made stand in the center of the marsh for the birds to nest in. Feathers along the shore suggested the presence of various other bird species as well, such as seagulls.

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On this week’s trip to my phenology spot, I could really see the effects the changing of the seasons had on my plot. The floor of the plot was completely covered in orange cedar pieces, leaves, and dried grass. The deciduous trees in the area were almost completely bare, and the cedars were a golden orange color. Unlike previous visits to my seemingly lifeless plot, I was able to hear a single bird calling out in the direction of the thicker forest.

My Event Map


Bird’s Eye Map


This week, the entire ground of my plot was covered in pieces of cedar. The many cedar trees found there were noticeably more bare than in my previous visits as well. The few deciduous trees found at the plot have almost completely shed their leaves; only a few were still hanging on. The various groups of ferns on the ground seemed to be unchanged, as well as the various pine trees. Overall, the plot seemed very quiet and undisturbed. There are no signs of any wildlife in the vicinity. The trees are all intact, and their bark seems to be healthy. Standing in the plot silently, not even a bird can be heard.


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