Winter Twigs

Using the Winter Twig Identification sheet, I was able to identify two trees on my phenology site. The first tree I identified was a Green Ash. I could tell this was a Green Ash because the bud the tree had opposite branching, rough, dry buds, and bundle scars forming a crescent on the twigs. The second tree I identified was a Red Maple. I observed that the tree had opposite branching, and smooth, red buds.

Green Ash twig
Red Maple twig
sketch of Green Ash twig

Wildlife Activity

I spotted these tracks in the snow on my phenology site. The animal appears to be a bounder, which I could tell by observing that the hind feet land directly behind the front feet. It is very hard to see the number of toes, although I would guess that there are five toes. The size of the tracks was around 1.5-2 inches, but it was hard to due recent warm weather and melt. However, because of my site’s proximity to water, I could make an educated guess that the animal that left these tracks is a mink. Minks are in the weasel family, distinguishable by their number of toes, slightly larger tracks, and claws. They are semiaquatic, and eat many aquatic species. The third picture shows the mink tracks leading down onto the frozen river, as it was likely hunting for food.

 

Plant Identifications

I was able to identify two plants on my site: the wild honeysuckle and the silky dogwood.

I identified the wild honeysuckle by its berries and the unique shape it grows in. The berries are a bright orange or red color. The plant is a woody plant, but it is a special kind of shape called a liana, which is a woody plant with a vine-like growth form.

I identified the silky dogwood by the dark red color of the stems and the opposite leaves. They are also known for growing in wetlands.

silky dogwood
wild honeysuckle
wild honeysuckle
silky dogwood

 

Comparison Phenology Site

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My comparison phenology site is on Narrow River in Narragansett, Rhode Island. This site is similar to my site at the Salmon Hole because they are both riparian areas on rivers in New England. They both have many trees and plants.Both sites have grasses that are typical of wetlands. However, there are a few differences. One difference is that the Winooski River empties into Lake Champlain, and Narrow River empties into Narragansett Bay, which is the ocean. Another difference is that my site at the Salmon Hole is mostly composed of rock outcroppings, whereas this site only has some small rocks. Narrow River also does not have as many species of fish or the quantity of fish that the Winooski River has at the Salmon Hole. The site on Narrow River also has much less industrial development around it impacting the land compared to the Salmon Hole.

Salmon Hole, an original poem by Leah Gardiner

The Salmon Hole

Down on the river

Not far from the road

An old factory across the way.

 

I walk along

The grass sways

The river runs

But I can still hear the cars nearby.

 

I see birds in the sky

And footprints in the sand.

I even see a fish

But I also see litter.

 

A natural area

Very relaxing

Trees, water, life

But the impact of humans evident.