Phenology Post #5

Over the time I’ve observed my phenology site, I’ve noticed many different species and drawn conclusions from these species about my phenology site. A conclusion I’ve made about the land use history is explained below. I think that the land was likely used for farming– likely dairy farming, but only the flat areas of land as it’s hard to raise cattle and grow crops on slopey and hilly land.



There is a layer of thick clouds above me, and I feel a sense of cloudiness in my chest as this place is nothing like the nature I know and love. There is a downhill slope of mud and sludge, likely from the recent snowfall. There is a big pile at the low point of this space that consists of foul-scented plastic. Above me there is an overstory of Sugar maples and White Oaks. Behind me is a line of houses, I wonder, how could anyone live here? I tread up the hill from the sludgy area below me, from underneath the sugar maples. I smell gasoline, and there are people in these giant metal capsules attaching tubes to them. I wonder, what has happened to nature? What happened to the beauty that once was? I see a potted plant with a plant that looks like cabbage. There is a small clearing near the entrance of the location, with a sign titling it “Exxon,” with some more of these cabbage-looking plants. There is also a sign indicating the presence of the nearby Hudson River watershed, in the midst of so much pollution. How do current humans justify their interactions with nature that cause so much pollution to such a vital source of life? I wonder, what is the purpose of this space and this cluster of plants? Why are people so concentrated on this slab of concrete in these metal capsules? The space is obviously altered by humans, for humans. This is what we have come to. We have deteriorated our earth to a point that is almost un-recognizeable. This is nothing like the nature I know.



The wind is blowing hard. This is not like the space in Centennial woods, with a soft stream flowing, Instead, the only water source is a puddle of sludge at the bottom of this small hill lined with White Oak and Sugar Maples. This space is hilly, like Centennial woods, until you get up to the top and see the flat slab of concrete and the small potted plants lining the space. At Centennial Woods, there is no concrete. It is simply a steep slope with ferns, sugar maples, pine trees, that ends at a rocky creek. he leaves here have shriveled on their stems, whereas at Centennial Woods they fall gracefully to the fertile ground. The trees frost over in the dead of winter and the creatures in the woods hide away in their homes, the fish lay underneath the ice. Here, there is no wildlife save some squirrels. The stench of gasoline is enough to drive any wildlife away, and I am surprised at the number of humans who frequent this concrete slab of a place. The potted plants are almost a disguise to mask the ways that this space has transformed over time from natural to completely industrialized.

Phenology Blog Post #3

Above: Map of different observations at my place.

Today, on November 5th at 3:40 pm, I visited my site. It was partially cloudy and 47ºF. Compared to my last visit, the stream flow was much, much faster. It was also much muddier tter, possibly due to all the rain this past weekend. The trees all had less leaves. The maples and pine trees were still thriving, but less than last visit. Some of the paper birches were peeling, and I found some scraps of bark on the ground. Northern Red Oaks were pretty much leafless and their leaves scattered the ground. There were many Trembling Aspen leaves on the ground with small green patches, likely because that is where the tree branches began to absorb the nutrients from the leaves from before they fell off. Moss on rocks was also a bit less prevalent.

Above: Birch bark found on ground

Phenology Place Post #2

Today, on October 22, I visited my site again. I arrived at 5:17 pm and the sky was entirely covered with clouds and there was a light drizzle. was surprised to see how the stream height has lowered since my last visit. Rocks were very visible under the stream. Though it didn’t become slower, it certainly became drier. The polluted yellowish puddle was almost completely dry with the exception of a small puddle a quarter of the size it was last time. The foliage has changed from green to almost 100% orange, yellow and red.  Many of the trees have little to no leaves on them anymore, so it was harder to see the clearing that goes to my site. There’s a soft bed of pine needles and leaf-litter on the ground. However, some pine trees are still thriving and very full and green. Some sugar maples were just hanging on. Ferns were thriving and abundant. I heard some noises indicative of life while observing my area, including crickets and certain birds. I heard a bird making a high pitched “caa!” sound repeatedly in the distance. I heard loud chirping crickets. I also saw the white, possibly calcified exoskeleton of an insect that looked like a beetle. I poked it with a stick and it turned to dust. Another sign of life was tiny bites taken out of the leaf of some shrubs that looked like it could have been from an animal.

Phenology Blog Post #1

October 8, 2018

My area is located in the southwest area of Centennial Woods, next to Centennial Brook. Today, it was about 5:30 pm when I visited my location and it was 57 degrees Farenheit with a decent amount of cloud-cover. To get there, I went through the main entrance and straight down the trail. There was an opening to the right and a beaten down path. Upon walking down it, I came to a clearing at a rather tranquil section of Centennial Brook. The tranquility of the space and the open brook was what compelled me to choose this location, along with a large rock perfect for sitting and observing. The opening was full of Sugar Maples, American Elm, and Eastern White Pines, with most of their needles and pine cones covering the ground beneath them. The pine cones on the ground appeared to be coated in a sort of sediment or mud, especially as I got closer to the brook. The ground was scattered with rocks beneath and emerging out of the mud. Moss was growing on these rocks. There were also several Sugar Maples with leaves changing color, and some gray blotches on the leaves. Many dead and dying trees were covering the ground, notably some paper birch. A lot of vegetation was covering the ground along with the dead trees. Some of the species I noticed were buckthorn, interrupted fern and oriental bittersweet. The brook was flowing slowly, and to the right of a large rock perfect for sitting and observing, I noticed a puddle of water with a cloudy brown-orange haze and some plastic. This indicated pollution. I then noticed that on the opposite side of the brook, there was an area of high elevation. I wonder if pollutants runoff into the brook, causing pollution.




Above: My phenology place

Above: Eroded soil across the brook

Above: Puddle with mysterious orange clouds

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