Before Spring Break Photos!

Spring Break In Hawii!​


Over spring break, I packed up my things and flew to Hawaii. As one can imagine the vegetation and species were incredibly different than what I had experienced in my phenology spot in Centennial Woods. I visited an area called the Twin waterfalls. These were two waterfalls side by side. The plants in the understory and overstory were entirely different from the one in Vermont. For one thing, the leaves and stems were much thicker than an oak or maple tree. Some of the branches curved in circles and multiple directions. Vines connected from tree to tree. Many palm trees scattered the area as well as bamboo trees. The bamboo trees were skinny and close together, and their texture was rough and hard. As one looked up the tree, the size of the bottom of the bamboo tree remained the same size as the top. This was something that I had never seen before in an older tree.

The forest was in full motion. Some plants that I was able to identify were a ginger flower, a Purple heliconia, Star ginger, African tulip, Spider plant, Monstera, Laua fern, Red ti, Painted Eucalyptus tree, Banyon tree, and more.  Many of the leaves on the understory plants were much bigger than in Vermont. One had one large vein going down the leaf and a sharp straight edge. Another was green and glossy. One leaf resembled a beech except it was bigger, glossier, and thicker. One plant had red leaves pointing out of the stem called a Red Ti. The leaves were large and had one big point. They were dark red with alternating branches. 

The sounds of birds pierced through the air. I was able to spot some birds as well on my trip that looked like they could be a ʻApapane and a Paroaria coronata. I was able to see many small footprints on the forest floor that I assumed were from birds. This is because, through my stay at the waterfall, many birds were walking in the understory. In addition to the falls, I was able to go to a bird sanctuary on a hike down the coast. Though I did not see any of the birds that were displayed on the signs it was fascinating to know that they rested there. It told me that the ‘Ua’u kani sea bird was nesting in this area. The sign also told me to watch out for tunnel nesting in this area.


The history of Centennial woods and Twin falls has some similarities. Centennial woods was once used for pastures, and Twin falls were once used for raising cattle. The owner of Twin falls sold it to his grandson and his wife a long time ago. When the husband tragically died the wife sold the land, resulting in what it is used for today. Now it is a farm that is very sustainable. They plant different crops for many uses and care for the land by removing invasive species. The land formed from volcanoes erupting hundreds of times until the Hawaiian islands formed above the water. This makes the volcanic rock in the area have very district and different shapes. Burlington formed from the retreating of glaciers. The history of both spots are very different, yet they each are vital and complex ecosystems on earth.

Work cited

The History of the ʻĀina (Land). (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.twinfallsmaui.net/the-history-of-the-aina-land/

Spring Break Spot Photos!

Before Spring Break Visit!

            As I walked into my phenology spot the air was brisk and dry. The snow was hard, and it looked frozen and condensed. It was a sunny day, letting the sunshine through the leafless branches. As I looked around, I could Identify many Eastern white pine trees. They dominated the area. Oak trees, maples, and some beech trees were also sprinkled through the Eastern white pine trees. I categorized my area as a Northern Hardwood forest. This is because it contained all of the trees species I was able to identify. 

            As I continued walking through my area, I noticed many fresh tracks of animals. One looked as if it could be a striped skunk and another, a snowshoe hare.  I assumed one track was a white-tailed deer, and another I guessed was a porcupine. It was difficult for me to determine what these animals were, yet I assumed that they were small animals because of the size of their footprints. 

            The stream in my sight was half frozen, yet the water under it was still moving. There was still a thick sheet of snow in the area, and many fallen trees and snags were spotted. I could hear birds which made me assume that the forest was getting ready for spring to come. More footprints were identified than usual, helping to confirm the idea that animals were getting ready for spring to arrive.

            When I first visited my sight at the beginning of the year, the forest was in full growth. The trees were packed with leaves, ready to turn colors for the fall. The sounds of birds chirping were constant, and the understory was packed with many different species. You could identify the trees comfortably. Though I was not able to identify animal footprints in the fall, I knew that they were their flourishing. Animals were not in hibernation and insects were everywhere. Plants were flourishing in the understory, and the forest was in constant flow. Woodpeckers were commonly heard, and the movement of water could be detected in the air. The sounds of the leaves moving through the wind were common. The soil was moist and nutritious in most areas, and there were less fallen trees. I assumed that the soil was well drained because Eastern white pines do best in this environment. There was so much life going on in the forest. The hydrology in the area was good because of the high amount of water flowing through my space. Nutrition seemed to equally flow through the forest as trees continued to grow. Because of the history of Centennial Woods in terms of the deforestation that occurred for pastures, the trees that are growing today are relatively new. Each year they continue to grow. This would not be possible without the hydrology and the substrate chemistry in the area. 

Twig Sketch

Changes in my spot after break

Deciduous trees spotted:

Beech

Norway maple

Red oak

White oak

When visiting my site I was in astonishment. In just 2 months my sights phenology had changed dramatically. There was no understory insight. Most of it had died or the snow was covering it. I could not see any water in the stream, but I could faintly hear it. From a hole in the snow I could see that the water was still moving in the stream even with the snow above it. There were more fallen trees on the ground and the ones that were standing were leafless. I could identify a Red oak, White oak, Beech, Norway maple and Eastern white pine tree. As I looked around, I found an animal footprint. The snow was deep, and the footprints were covered in a thin layer of snow, so I could not make out what the animals were. One print looked like a diagonal walker. I assumed it could be a dear. Another track I found was a pacer and I assumed it was a raccoon. Even though I could not clearly see the footprint, the size of the print, and the distance apart from each track helped me make these assumptions.

 

 

A winter stop in my spot!

A Winter Visit!!

My spot today was lightly covered in snow. The trees around me were thin and bare, letting the sunlight penetrate to the forest floor. Almost all of the understory species had disappeared. The sound of the stream was still prevalent. I found some holes in trees that looked as an animal or bird was nesting in it to get away from the cold weather. Many more trees had fallen down, covering the pond and my walkway to my spot. I found mushrooms on trees as well that looked frozen in place.

My spot in Centennial woods has gone through many changes over time. In the 1800’s major deforestation was happening in Vermont. In centennial woods large amounts of trees were cut down for a pasture. This is seen in the succession of the area. Though there has been much time for the trees to recover they are still young and thin. This is seen in my spot in Centennial Woods. The pine trees are thinner than if one were to go to an old forest.

Today the land is used for recreational activities for the Students at the University of Vermont. The area was bought by the school and is used for labs, hikes, classes and more. Runoff is prevalent in the land as seen by the field. It is said to come from the Harris Millis dining hall.

Though I have not seen any wildlife in the area I know that it is there. Woodpeckers are common in these woods such as the Pileated Woodpecker, and the Downy Woodpecker. Many other birds are common in the area and hawks have been spotted as well. Racoon and White-tailed deer are also common though they have not been spotted by me.

 

 

 

Work Cited

Centennial Woods Natural Area Check List. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2018, from https://www.inaturalist.org/check_lists/57424-Centennial-Woods-Natural-Area-Check-List

New Spot In Boston

 

Google Map:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/42°16’36.3%22N+71°08’32.9%22W/@42.2767539,-71.1446609,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m9!1m2!10m1!1e2!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d42.2767456!4d-71.1424844

Leopold – description of my new spot 

The cool wind is brushing my face and shifting and turning the leaves that lay beneath my feet. The overstory is quite abundant, tall trees stand as maples, oaks, and Norway spruces. The Spruces tower above me and at my feet cones rest. The understory is quite bare the leaves of red, and sugar maples cover the ground as well as red and white oak leaves. There colors spread the floor as a collage, telling the story of the seasons. Winter is coming. The leaves shedding the trees predict the upcoming winter. I see no animals and hear no distant birds showing their presents in the forest. There are no traces of any animals present, making the sounds of the forest only consist of the wind. It brushes through the trees singing the sound of the weather. The city that I stand in is Boston, resulting in me being able to see the street. I hear the sound of the automobiles rushing by polluting the sounds of the forest. The terrain is slanted pointing up the hill to the water tower that rests on the top. The forest is so spread out causing me to believe there is logging done in these parts of the woods. The trees are old and wise, they are thick and mighty. The light penetrates through the trees giving me a small sensation of warmth that heats my body as I stand on this chilly day.

 

Holland – Comparison of spots

The phenology of the two landscapes are quite different. When visiting the two sites in the early afternoon the light does not penetrate through the forest in the same way. The trees in Centennial woods are thicker, meaning less light reaches the forests floor in my spot. The natural world is always changing as I see in these two spots as the winter approaches.  In the area in Boston the trees are at a slant, yet in my spot in Burlington, the land is flat but the sides around me have an uphill slope. The trees in these areas are, for the most part, similar. In Boston, the forest covers itself with Norway’s spruces, oaks, and maples. In centennial woods, the maple trees are very present as well, when shedding their leaves, it is seen, that the ground is covered in all different colors, as the woods in Boston display too. The understory is much more abundant in Centennial woods followed by an increasingly large amount of Eastern white pines then in the new spot. The spot in Centennial woods has a larger number of snags and fallen trees, and the new spot has only a couple trees resting on the ground. In both spots no animals have been spotted as many are getting ready for hibernation or have already begun. Because the area is more secluded in Centennial woods I would anticipate more animal activity throughout the year. The natural area in each place will undertake incredible change with this upcoming winter, many trees will continue to lose their leaves, animals will go into hibernation, and new species will become present in the land.

 

 

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