Over spring break, I decided to trek to one the the beaches in my hometown of Darien, CT, along the coast of Long Island Sound. I ventured out just as the sun had begun to set, and walked around up and down the shoreline for a while. I saw some seagull tracks, which I found interesting as March seemed a bit early for the seagulls to be coming back up north. In terms of weather, it was definitely more windy, and as for tree species, it differed greatly from the hardwood trees of Burlington: the beach was mostly grasses closest to the sand, and small bushes on the outside of it, on the edge of the natural community. Long Island Sound and most of the CT shoreline has been industrialized, however, certain areas have been preserved as wetland communities and for recreation. Industrialization along the water has contributed to a large pollution and water quality problem in the sound, which many people are still working on solving today.
This site is definitely very close to a lot of development on Redstone campus, so it is hard to say which natural community it fits best in. However, based on the placement of the area on a hill, with a lot of exposed rock within the soil, the landscape position indicates that this area might also be exposed to wind. The thinner soil layer has the ability to grow eastern white pines, which dominate the small grove, and contribute to the acidity of the soil. However, with the species and soil present, I think this area falls into the Northern Hardwood forest category. The eastern white pine, and the animal species such as squirrels and chipmunks that frequent the area, along with the other trees that occupy surrounding areas, indicate that this small community falls into that larger category, from Wetland, Woodland, Wildland.