Saying a (Temporary) Goodbye to Centennial Woods

     I made the familiar trek up Carrigan Drive, passing Rowell and Stafford and the water tower, and down behind Centennial Court to Centennial Woods. I figured that Centennial Woods and I would have to postpone any contact for another month until sometime in late January, so a trip to say a proper goodbye to my phenology spot was in order. The excitement of my trip was somewhat hindered by the loud shrill of a helicopter on a nearby landing pad for whatever reason, but as I wandered further along the trail, the noise disappeared and I was instead greeted by the small sounds of nature- the smush of the wet leaves underfoot, creaking of trees swaying above me, and light tingles of wind rustling my hair. Along the path there were many trees fallen and strewn to the side of the trail; at first, I thought maybe a large windstorm had occurred while I was away on Thanksgiving break, but then noticed the fine cuts at the bases of the fallen trunks. Someone had come through, cutting what looked like to be healthy pine trees and what not. I guess I will see in the Spring how this change will affect my route. So I continued on, stopping to look around and take photos every so often, and noticing the emptiness of my surroundings. Some green remained, but only in bits and pieces, and the landscape was dominated by shades of grey, brown, and even more grey and brown. The maples and oaks and beeches were bare, allowing much more visibility of the forest from the trail than in September or October.

Some woodpecker snags possibly

Signs of disturbance

A bright violet vine I saw a few times

   

 

     The emptiness became even more evident when I came to my phenology spot. The area that I was most familiar with when it was still lit with bright fall colors was now bare, grey, and different. Well, the large gnarly maple tree, brush, and pines were there, but the livelihood that drew me to the spot in the first place was not there. Winter is really not my season, or at least because there is no fluffy white snow coating everything yet. I left my phenology spot contemplating the emptiness and quiet that occurred without me and also wondering what the protocol is for defending oneself against bobcats (future reference: they rarely attack humans, but walk away slowly and deliberately and make noises if necessary).

 

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