Phenology Assignment:McKenzie Park

A UVM blog

April 16, 2018
by pheaton
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Spring Update

Recent snow has covered the ground in my phenology blog site. I could not find any signs of amphibian activity. Some patches in the snow did show that wildflowers are beginning to come up. These flowers have not flowered yet, they are just stalks and leaves poking through the snow. Some Beech trees and Basswood trees buds have began to flower. The nearest edge is between the Winooski river’s edge and the forest area. The edge effect here is seen where wild flowers bloom closer to the river and on the border of the treelike. Besides certain species of birds I don’t feel that my place provides habitat for forest interior species. The wooded area of my place is rather small and is bordered by. river and a recreational field. These are not optimal conditions for species that would thrive in a forested area.

March 20, 2018
by pheaton
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Burnt forest.

Mouse tunnel discovered in a snowpack test.

Top of Fox Peak.

Pine Marten tracks?

Trekking through burnt forest.

Trek into the yurt.

March 20, 2018
by pheaton
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Spring Break Phenology

This spring break I went backcountry skiing in the Sawtooth mountains of Idaho. This mountain range is and Idaho section of the Rocky Mountains. I stayed in a yurt deep in the mountains, not anywhere near any other form of human activity. Although being winter in the mountains, and animal activity was very limited to the human eye. Most of the week involved heavy snow with decreased visibility and the chance to witness any form of local animal life. The vastness of the area also contributed to the ability to see any wildlife. Rather disappointingly, the other bird activity I witnessed was a few crows. A few signs of mice, and pine Martens were seen as well. The main forested area we skied throughout the week had been burnt down by a wild fire in 2014. A variety of conifer trees covered the area such as Douglas fir, white bark pine, ponderosa pine, Engelmann spruce, and lodgepole pine. Sadly, most of these trees were only ash remains of a very destructive wild fire.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Ketchum,+ID/@43.8687885,-115.1025808,9.65z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x54a982a92d1e866d:0x4464d56f1c84f5c2!8m2!3d43.6807402!4d-114.3636619

This google maps link displays the town of Ketchum, the closest town to where I was staying in the Sawtooth National forest. Ketchum was about a 30 minute drive from the main road near the National forest.

March 5, 2018
by pheaton
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Natural Community Classification

  • I would classify the natural community of my place to be a forested wetland. The Winooski river runs adjacent to McKenzie Park which provides the soil in the surrounding area with plenty of water. The plant communities in McKenzie park is what led me to conclude on this classification. The majority of the vegetation in the area is adapt to live in moist, clay soils. Trees like sugar maples, beeches, and boxelder are abundant here.
  • No phenological changes since last visit (2/5/18).
  • On BioFinder I found that McKenzie Park is a Class 2 Wetland, and the Winooski river is home to rare and uncommon animal species.

February 5, 2018
by pheaton
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Much has happened since my last visit to my phenology site back in early December. Being mid-winter in Vermont, now all vegetation has died and gone dormant. Buds can be seen on the trees and all ground vegetation is covered in a layer of snow. The snow provides an insight on what creates are still out despite the brisk conditions. Tracks of fox, squirrel, mice, deer, rabbits, coyote, and more can still be seen. The skies look rather empty as many birds have long left the cold Vermont winter. Only year round birds such as crow, and Canada geese can be seen. The Winooski river has frozen over making easy access for non-swimming animals to cross the river.

February 5, 2018
by pheaton
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Wildlife Tracks 2/5/18

Fresh overnight snow provided great tracking conditions. On my site I saw signs of human recreational activity (snowshoes, XC skis, dogs), fox, squirrel, mice, and possibly a beaver.  Fox   Squirrel

 Mouse  Beaver? (Next to river) Recreational

December 8, 2017
by pheaton
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12/7/17 Pictures

My last visit to my Phenology place was an interesting one. Along side the Winooski River, right before my spot I came upon multiple trees that had been cut down by beavers. The chewing marks formed in the arrow-like shape guaranteed this assumption. I found it interesting because these marks look less than a week old. Im assuming this beaver was either adding trees to his/her dam before winter settles in or the trees were brought inside the dam for a winter stash of food. All vegetation in my spot has died and turned into a yellowish-brown color. My spot looked ready for a coat of snow at any time now!

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