The sun warms my back as I breathe in the cool crisp air of the coming winter. The sounds of jets and planes fill the air from the nearby airport as I finally make it to the clearing where my phenology spot is housed. I notice a soft ominous wind that gently shakes the trees. The sounds of planes stop and the voices of the forest come alive. I can hear the brook further down the trail flowing vigorously from the rainfall earlier in the weekend. The songs of chickadees calling to each other and voices of crows echo through the woods. I look up and see the needles of the Eastern White pines, and the beautiful golden leaves of a Green Ash and Norway maple. The ferns at my feet still glisten with their green leaves holding on to the last warm days of the season before the first snowfall.
The air smells of mud and the cold, as if the atmosphere was teasing me of the ended summer and the closing winter. Almost stumbling over a rock I notice a dug whole between the roots of one of the pines. It seems that some animal, possibly a chipmunk or a rabbit, had made its den for the winter. The chipmunk storing its food, or the rabbit finding a place to keep warm as it coat changes from summer brown to winter white. As I make my way back on to the trail I notice another yellow tag, like the mentioned before on the Green Ash, this time on a smaller understory tree. This new tag along with the old one have made me wonder what certain humans have in store for my phenology spot.