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Max Hooper's Phenology Blog – Centennial Woods

Human History of Centennial Woods

Posted: December 6th, 2017 by mdhooper

To the somewhat trained eye, it is obvious when visiting my phenology spot that it is not part of an old growth forest. This is because the trees are fairly young and many of the species present there, such as red maple, are species with fairly short lifetimes. Due to the young age of the woods, it can be inferred that there was human activity in the area in the last century or so that prevented the growth of large trees and created the fields in the area.

Courtesy of UVM Special Collections
This map shows the city of Burlington in 1890, and who owned specific plots of land. According to the map, Centennial Woods was owned by the Ainsworth family, Hickok Est., H. Stevens, and C. Baxter Est.. However, the map does not reveal what they used their land for. Although I did not find out how these people used the land, it would be logical to assume that tracts of land that large were either parts of country estates or used for agriculture. Another clue to how the land was used is the barbed wire that can be found through out the area. This is according to the Centennial Woods field guide since I did not find any in my area. The field guide says that the barbed wire can be found with trees growing through it, which explains why it wasn’t taken and used somewhere else. This suggests that the land was formerly a pasture for animal agriculture, which was most likely sheep and/or cows.
Another indicator of the land having been previously cleared is the presence of white pine. This indicates where the forest is still in the early-ish stages of it’s re-development. This is because white pine is an early successional species that often grows in pastures once they have become inactive. Using this knowledge, I am assuming that my spot in Centennial Woods used to be mostly agriculture.


Hopkins, G. M. Map of the city of Burlington, Vermont: from official records, private plans and actual surveys. Philadelphia, Pa.: G.M. Hopkins, 1890.

http://cdi.uvm.edu/collections/item/Burlington_Hopkins_1890 (accessed December 02, 2017)

The Changing Landscapes of Centennial Woods Natural Area: A Field Guide [PDF]. University of Vermont Natural Areas. University of Vermont Environmental Program, http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmsc/Centennial%20Woods/Changing_Landscapes_Centennial_Woods002.pdf.

Thanksgiving Phenology

Posted: November 29th, 2017 by mdhooper

Google Map Location. https://www.google.com/maps/place/42°48’04.1%22N+73°54’22.5%22W/@42.801146,-73.9084448,652m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d42.8011458!4d-73.9062528

Leopold Style: This location is in Schenectady, New York’s Central Park. This location is on the northern end of the park about halfway through the disc golf course. Because of this locations close proximity to the disc golf course, many people use the area. This has resulted in there being very little ground cover plant life. Instead, the area is covered in pine needles from the large pine trees in the area. People for the most part respect the area because it is a big part of many disc golfers lives since it is by far the best course in the area. This is good because while human impact in the area is obvious due to the high volume of human use, the area is clean and pleasant to be in and enjoy. On this particular day that I went to the spot, I was with my friends from home who I disc golf with during the warmer months. We had not played in the area in colder months before, and we noticed that the few deciduous trees in the area had lost their leaves and there was less human and animal activity visible due to the cold weather.

Wright Style: My new place at home is similar to my place in Burlington because they are both used heavily by humans for recreation. However, they are used for different purposes. My area in Burlington is a walking area and my new place is used as a disc golf course in the wooded area of a park in a more urban area than the Burlington location. Both locations feel like areas that are accessible to people who like to be out in nature close to home rather than far away. This is because they both have obvious signs of human impacts due to extensive trail networks going through areas with large trees and minimal ground cover plants and they are small areas that one would go to for only a few hours at most. Aesthetically, both areas also feel airy due to the spacing between the trees and the lack of a significant amount of understory plants. Both places have also been similarly changed since the last time I went to them by the change in season. This is because the trees with leaves in both places have lost their leaves and there has been a decrease in animal activity. However, the areas are different because the new place has primarily coniferous trees and the Burlington place has primarily deciduous trees.


Third Visit to My Place (Event Map, Picture Gallery, and Noted Changes)

Posted: November 5th, 2017 by mdhooper

Event Map

 If the event map is not legible, the events are as follows from the top left across to the top right, then to the bottom right, and finally right to left across the bottom, ending at the bottom left.

1)First, a bird that I was unable to identify saw me and flew off the ground, cheeping wildly.

2)Then, I heard birds cheeping back and forth, but was unable see them.

3)Then, one of the birds flew down and landed on a sapling and continued to cheep.

4)Then I heard a dog barking in the distance.

5)And then, a squirrel ran along a log and stared at me.

6)Finally, a rabbit leapt from behind a bush as I started to leave my spot.


Since my last visit, the trees have shed even more leaves as the fall season progressed. There also seemed to be more dead and down wood on the ground due to the wind and rain event the week before. However, many of the ground cover plants still had most of their leaves and the remaining leaves were still green. This makes sense since there has not been a hard frost yet this year. I did not notice any sign of new animals using the area, however I did observe birds and a squirrel gathering food.


Second Visit To My Place

Posted: October 22nd, 2017 by mdhooper

Since my last visit, more leaves have fallen off of the oak, maple, and beech trees as fall has progressed. The leaves that are still on the trees have mostly changed color and are now many shades of red and orange. The vegetation on the ground (particularly the ostrich ferns) has also started to die back until the spring.

The most significant evidence of wildlife using my phenology place as a habitat that I observed on this visit is a dead tree with many large holes in it that were made by woodpeckers. The attached picture is of this tree.

Phenology Place Map

Posted: October 22nd, 2017 by mdhooper

My Phenology Place

Posted: September 28th, 2017 by mdhooper

Introduction to my Phenology place

Posted: September 28th, 2017 by mdhooper

The Phenology place that I chose is the first trail junction in Centennial Woods that is reached when a hiker enters the woods at the trail head on Centennial Drive before the parking lot. I chose this spot because I would like my place to be near the campus so that I can visit it more often than I would be able to visit a place farther away. I also chose this spot because I would like to explore Centennial Woods more and this project will be a good reason to go there more often.

Vegetation and Common Woody Plants

Posted: September 27th, 2017 by mdhooper

In this area, Eastern Hemlock, American Beech, Sugar Maple, Red Oak, White Pine, Black Cherry, Paper Birch, Yellow Birch, and Striped Maple are the most common woody plants.

On the ground, Ostrich fern is the primary vegetation as it grows well in shade.


Google Map Location

Posted: September 27th, 2017 by mdhooper

WordPress did not let me embed the map, the link to the map is included at the bottom of the post, in addition to the image of the map.


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