Human History & a Goodbye For Now

Posted in Uncategorized on December 7, 2017 by kmclare1

Greetings!

This will be my last posting and visit to Centennial for some time! As I reached my spot for the last time of 2017, I couldn’t help but notice how quiet and empty it was. Usually there’s other people passing through the area, but this time it was empty. I suspect that less people are wanting to make a trek out to Centennial in these colder temps. I noticed that the stream seems to be rushing faster, perhaps due to recent precipitation. I’ve noticed less sounds of wildlife, only a bird or two chirping every now and then. The leaves littering the ground have gone soggy or very crushed, significantly more decayed than my last visit. I’m unsure whether I will stick with this spot next semester, though I have grown to love it and the changes I’ve observed.

Walking around Centennial, it’s hard to picture it looking any other way. However, our beloved forest was not always covered in trees, ferns and mossy logs. In the 1800’s, present-day Centennial was used as farmland. Trails were traded with rolling hills and pastures, animals (particularly cows) grazing on cleared land. It wasn’t until the 70’s when UVM gained ownership of the land, protecting and preserving it from development and motor vehicles. Since then, the land has been used by hikers and explorers, providing 70 acres of trails. Within Centennial, there are many individual ecosystems that are rich with biodiversity. A stream runs throughout, sitting at the bottom of hilly land. These hills were most likely great for animals in pasture, accompanied by the flat fields in Centennial where streams run through which was ideal for grazing. There are also many birches in the woods which are a sign of disturbance. The landscape of Centennial has changed tremendously over a relatively short period of time, though indicators of it’s past state are noticeable.

Also, here is a neat nest I found near my site!

(photo taken by myself)

Catch you on the flipside.

 

Sources:

“History- Centennial Woods Natural Area” (March 7, 2016). UVM Research Guides. http://researchguides.uvm.edu/c.php?g=290508&p=1935271

November Phenology Update

Posted in Uncategorized on November 28, 2017 by kmclare1

It’s good to be home! During a relaxing break I visited one of my favorite places back in New Hampshire. Here is a specific link to it to check it out! Below are some pictures for reference as well as some writing that I experimented styles with.

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=1oTP41npVrBTSf_Z_Tr_UQuOZgmxp5wVE&ll=42.96906242747346%2C-70.9536875&z=17

 

(Photos taken by myself)

Wright style

Upon returning home to New Hampshire for Thanksgiving break, I selected the quiet and quaint woods behind my home. As I entered the forested scape, the crunch of leaves sounded beneath my feet and a loud snap! of a fallen branch alerted any wildlife of my approach. I ventured further, taking in the fresh smell of the air and the feeling that snow would fall upon this area soon enough. Reaching one of my favorite trees, I took in how silent and calm the space was. The starkness of how empty the woods were truly struck me as I observed the barren trees in the mostly cleared landscape. Seeing the forest so cleared brought me sorrow despite the solitude and peace. As I take in these varying feelings a bird calls out. Another caws seconds later, and a third lets out a rhythmic hoot. I wonder, are these birds communicating? They are of different species with distinctly different calls. I ponder what species they were, in this season of increasingly frigid temperatures. I stay where I am and hear the three calls again and again, spaced out evenly. I gaze up to the treetops for nests and see none, though the forest is extensive and stretches beyond where I can travel.

Leopold style

Keeping a keen eye is crucial when comparing places. Despite the two locations having distinct differences, a closer look is needed to find the smaller variances. Both locations have a pronounced human impact, though it is more apparent at my place at home. Much of the vegetation and trees are cleared to make paths for two-leggeds and their four-legged companions to roam throughout the land. There is ample space from trunk to trunk, granting an open area. This can be contrasted with my place in Centennial woods, which holds much more defined, strict trails. In Centennial, there is no doubt for a hiker as to what is trail and what is not. In the place near my home, there was also much less of a variety of tree species and size. One can assume that much of the larger, denser trees were removed as most of the trees in this space are thinner, possibly for timber. As Centennial holds more trees, there is significantly more branches and fallen trees on the forest floor. This could be caused by human or natural influences. As for wildlife, I have noticed the distinct difference of the absence of birds in Centennial and the presence of birds at my home place. Centennial is located extremely close to roads, housing developments and other forms of human interaction and urbanization. The area near my home is more rural and near denser forests, giving a more habitable place for birds.

11/6 Phenology Update

Posted in Uncategorized on November 6, 2017 by kmclare1

Greetings! I am back to report on some significant changes in my phenology place.

(Map of my place, drawn by me)

In my spot, many changes have occurred. Since my last visit, several trees have fallen due to winds from a recent storm. They are mostly thinner trees and they are strewn about with broken branches all about. Some of the branches have clean cuts, meaning someone chopped them off a potentially larger log. Nearly all the leaves are gone from trees and are floating in the river or covering the ground. The river increased in width as a new path of water has formed, which is very interesting to compare with my spot when I first got there. It’s amazing how much can change from only a few weeks and a storm! Many smaller branches were found around my place in addition to pinecones and an abundance of ferns, which are still going strong in the increasingly colder temps. I’ve even noticed a pattern of more ferns the colder the temperature gets. The large rock on the bank of the stream is covered with pine needles that were shaken off their trees. I also notice a lot of dismembered pinecones which shows that squirrels were feasting while perched on the boulder.

Poem:

Trees strewn across the sloping ground

mark a time of change, growth and decay

Squirrels chase one another through the landscape

their scurrying near silent on the damp ground

The constant, gentle flow of the stream

carries brown and yellow leaves to new places

Even the defiant pine trees have lost some needles

Deep green sprinkles scattered across logs and rocks

Trees have wished their final goodbyes to their foliage

The fauna forage for the coming months

The cold stream bubbling and churning against smooth stones

This is a time of change

10/23 Update

Posted in Uncategorized on October 23, 2017 by kmclare1

(Topographical map of my place by me)

Since my last post, my phenology place has changed quite a bit, mostly in the vegetation! The deciduous trees have lost the majority of their leaves and the forest floor and stream are covered in them. In fact, there’s such a large volume of leaves in the stream that it has altered the path of the stream in some places. The path is a little hard to distinguish with so many pinecones and leaves covering it, so watch your step! My place has changed a lot even in 20 days, though it makes sense as temperatures are steadily dropping and daylight is decreasing. Fall processes are becoming more and more pronounced. Ferns and woody groundcover have remained present and almost seem like they’ve increased in population. They are a stark green against the leaves and ground. I wonder how long they will stay for.

As for wildlife, I’ve heard a lot of birds chirping from up above. I think I hear chickadees and a woodpecker, though it doesn’t quite sound like the pileated. I’ve also heard a lot of squirrels chasing each other and darting from tree to tree. I’ve noticed piles of pinecone scales, indicating squirrels have been nibbling on them. One chipmunk has been spotted a little bit outside of my spot, but it quickly darted off in the opposite direction. I wish I could witness more wildlife, but I know every step I take alerts the forest life that I am present.

Until next time!

10/2 Update

Posted in Uncategorized on October 2, 2017 by kmclare1

Hello all! For my phenology project, I chose a spot in Centennial right at a stream. I chose here because it has lots of vegetation, several distinct tree species and a scenic stream. To get there, head to Centennial Woods and walk until you reach the white pine stand. From there, take a right onto a distinct path headed downhill. Once you see a stream and reach the bottom, you’ve reached my spot! My spot is at the bottom of a hill, meaning that much of the ground and vegetation has been eroded due to rainwater flowing down. There is primarily elderberry as groundcover, though there is some sensitive fern as well. The tree species in my spot are green ash, basswood and a young red maple. You can tell there has been a human impact as there is a distinct trail leading down that is littered with cans and juice pouches.

Here is a link to my spot on Google maps: https://www.google.com/maps/place/44%C2%B028’31.9%22N+73%C2%B011’13.8%22W/@44.47554,-73.1893577,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d44.47554!4d-73.187169

Here are two pictures of my place, taken by myself.

Until next time, changes await!

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