My place now has some yellow and white flowers blooming and the trees are staring to turn green. The brook is full and flowing, it really feels like summer. The ground is very muddy from eh thunderstorm and the ferns are happy. Nature and culture intertwine at my place because it is right off the walking path. Part of American culture is recreating and this path in Centennial Woods is a great place for Vermonter’s to recreate by walking, running, bringing their dog, biking, or even hammocking! As I sit here many people pass by and we exchange a hello or a how are you as we are surrounded by birds chirping and plants growing. A squirrel even hopped by. I consider myself to be apart of my place because I feel calm and content in it. When I sit by the brook I feel blissful and at peace.
There are no signs of amphibians in or around my place. It snowed last night so the ground is covered in about two or three inches of icy snow. There are a few purple flowers poking up, resiliently through the snow. A sugar maple sapling has some buds on it. The nearest edge is a forest clearing at the walking trail near my site. The edge effect there is the juxtaposition of the natural habitat and community of wildlife meshing with the recreating humans and pets that traverse through the area. I do not think my place provides habitat for any forest interior species because the forest at my spot is not very mature or diverse.
When I was in Western Massachusetts I chose to compare my site to Wahconah Falls State Park. Wahconah Falls State Park is 48 acres of land in Dalton, Massachusetts. It is managed by the department of Conservation and Recreation. I did not see nay birds when I visited, but I did notice squirrels and chipmunks. The trees were majority evergreen and birch due to it being located in the Berkshires. The trees at my phenology spot are more varied and it has more types that are not evergreen because it is at a lower elevation. Additionally, the body of water at Wahconah Falls State Park is much larger than the body of water at my phenology spot. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Wahconah+Falls+State+Parkemail@example.com,-73.1170403,16.99z/data=!4m12!1m6!3m5!1s0x89e74a5c296b2411:0xc8038f648d54e2b3!2sWahconah+Falls+State+Park!8m2!3d42.4887363!4d-73.1159222!3m4!1s0x89e74a5c296b2411:0xc8038f648d54e2b3!8m2!3d42.4887363!4d-73.1159222
I would classify my site as either Northern Hardwood Forest because I have seen Yellow Birch, Sugar Maple, Basswood, squirrels, chipmunks, and frogs there. Additionally, it could be a White Pine-Northern Hardwood Forest because of the old, dominant Eastern White Pines present.
All of the snow from my last visit melted. Due to the melting, the water level was higher and there was some trash in the creek (see second photo). The dirt was extremely muddy and the leaves that had been covered by snow and ice now floated around.
From using BioFinder I discovered that my phenology spot is on conservation land and that it is home to many communities and species.
While searching my phenology spot for twigs I happened upon a Norway Maple twig, a Red Maple twig, a Sugar Maple and a Box Elder twig. The Red Maple and Box Elder twigs are pictured below. Since it snowed all night last night and into the morning there were no tracks to be found except for a few human and dog tracks.
My phenology spot looked significantly different then when I last visited it. The creek was mostly frozen over, bordered by ice and snow. The ground was covered completely in ice and snow and there were now leaves to be found. It was a windy day and the snow was blowing in the wind, making it looks like glitter had been thrown into the air.
While sitting on the bridge, I tried to imagine Centennial Woods looked like before it was Centennial Woods, before the University of Vermont owned it, and before people went there for exercise. It used to be owned by C. Baxter Est., H. Stevens, and Hickok Est. They used it for agricultural purposes; a dairy farm. You can see small tittynopes of that in stone walls scattered around, barbed wire, and old trees.
Over break, I went to Jenness State Beach in Rye, New Hampshire. I visited the beach three times. It is a short drive, ten minutes, from my house in Exeter, New Hampshire. The beach is a beautiful stretch of flat sand, rocks, and blue water lined with beach homes. The beach was windy and about 40 degrees, perfect walking weather. I have been spending a lot of time at beaches my whole life so I feel very grounded whenever I visit the beach. The immense power of the ocean always leaves me in awe. I have respect for the ocean that I have for no other element. While there are not any trees on the beach like there are at my spot in Centennial Woods, there is wildlife present. There are flies, birds, sand crabs, dogs, seaweed, algae, kelp, shrubs, and other sea creatures. Jennies State Beach has a captivating sky at all times of day as seen in my photos. The clouds change quickly and the sunsets are full of vivid colors that wash the sky. The bodies of water at my spots differ greatly. While the creek at Centennial Woods is a quiet bubble of water moving slowly through the woods, the ocean at Jenness has waves that crash loudly and move quickly over the sand and the tide moves throughout the day.
Since my last visit, the canopy cover has lessened significantly, many trees have fallen, the creek is fuller, and the ground muddier. Today the sky was a grey white, fully covered in clouds, the wind was howling, and the creek rippling.
The leaves have become various shades of yellow, red, and peach instead of green. The ground is now more hydrated and is covered in a light layer of crunchy leaves. The floodplain is muddier and the creek deeper. I heard leaves rustling and birds chirping and saw chipmunks, squirrels, and some raccoon prints.