Update 10/22

The vegetation at my site changed a surprising amount since my last visit. The most noticeable change was in the leaves of the Yellow Birch. Almost all of their leaves had turned yellow when I arrived. Due to the large amount of Yellow Birch on my site, this had quite a profound effect on the visual appearance of my site. The birch also had begun to shed their leaves, giving the organic horizon a much more yellow appearance, as opposed to the rusty brown hue it last had due to being composed mostly of White Pine and Eastern Hemlock needles. Speaking of the conifers on my site, they remained relatively unchanged since my last visit, as they do not lose their needles in the fall/winter. The few adult Red Maples on my site showed evidence of changing color (mostly yellow), but do not seem to be losing their leaves at the rate of the Yellow Birch just yet. Meanwhile, of the three fern species on my site, only Cinnamon fern seems to be turning yellow and dying. The other two species (Christmas fern and Eastern Hay-Scented fern) remain as green as ever. As Cinnamon fern is the most abundant of these three, the overall look of my site is very yellow at the moment. I managed to identify these ferns by finding a list of Vermont Fern species and looking at enough images of each on Google to narrow in on what ferns were on my site.  One other minor change that I noticed was in the singular Barberry on my site. When compared with when I first discovered it, it has very few berries left on it. In terms of animal activity, I was discouraged at first, having only spotted a chipmunk scurrying around the woody debris, and a lone chickadee in one of the adult Hemlocks. However, I picked a nice log and sat down to wait for a while. Eventually my patience was rewarded as I began to hear some loud bird calls. I had no idea what they were, but soon two beautiful Pileated Woodpeckers flew into my view and began pecking; one at a White Pine and the other at a Red Maple. The one on the Red Maple caught my interest as it kept putting its head into a large hole in the tree that looked like a nest, although I know it isn’t nesting season. They remained on my site for about ten minutes before flying up over the hill. Based on the hole in the Red Maple, I am sure I will be seeing these two Pileated Woodpeckers again. In the photo below, you can see the hole in the tree and just barely make out one of the woodpeckers to the right below it.   

Perry, Leonard. “Native Ferns.” PH for the Garden, pss.uvm.edu/ppp/articles/nativeferns.html.

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