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Tim Coggins Phenology Blog

Final Blog

Posted: May 6th, 2018 by tcoggins

This is the last phenology blog of the year, a bittersweet moment. The Salmon Hole has finally really gotten into the spring vibe. I was there just the other night and I saw a beaver. Well, I heard it first and I couldn’t make out what was happening, but then I heard the unmistakable slap of its tail on the waters surface.

Nature and humans interact in this place like no other. At the Salmon Hole you can find run off coming from up the hill as well as see the huge man made waterfall. At the same time, you can also see evidence of wildlife thriving and salmon spawning. This place allows for humans to make the most of their environment and the natural world thrive in a diverse ecosystem.

I definitely feel as though I am part of the Salmon Hole. Everyday I wake up and I look out to the Winooski from my dorm on Trinity Campus. I have spent so much time studying and interacting with this place that it has become like my second backyard. I am going to miss visiting it this summer, but I’m interested to see how its changed come September.

Spring has not sprung.

Posted: April 16th, 2018 by tcoggins

The April freezing rains have not been kind to Burlington. I explored the Salmon Hole along with Winooski River extensively over the weekend and I could barely find any signs of spring, or greenery for that matter. I could not find any amphibious indications, but my friend swears she saw a fish jump. There weren’t any trees blooming and everything seemed muddy and grey. However, I did hear quite a few birds, but they turned out just to be gulls until I saw some geese (the only sign of spring I found).

The salmon hole is unique in its very close proximity to urban centers. The river is substantially lower than the road and settlements, therefore all the pollutants run down into the watershed. The Salmon Hole isn’t a particularly large space, nor is the trail surrounding it. They both butt up to the street, so there isn’t much room for forested wildlife, maybe the occasional deer, but mostly small game.

Pictures Taken Thursday:

Pictures Taken Saturday:

Personal Sketch:



Posted: March 19th, 2018 by tcoggins


*link to my spot above, its the same place i went during thanksgiving*

I returned to my home of Norwell, MA for spring break. My town is located on the “South Shore” of Massachusetts. While I was home we were hit by a third Nor’easter in 10 days. This left ridiculous damage to the entire region and the ecosystem around it. A majority of the town was without electricity for several days, mostly due to falling trees from 90 mile per hour winds.

The stream and pond within the area was flowing like I had never seen it before, especially a few days later when all the ice was begining to melt and shift. There seemed to be more trees down on the ground than standing, the wildlife around was nearly nonexistent aside from a few geese in the nearby field. Its safe to say spring has not sprung in southern Ma yet.

Some pictures of my dog hurdling fallen trees on the boardwalk path adjacent to the spot.


Natural Community of The Salmon Hole

Posted: March 5th, 2018 by tcoggins

The Salmon Hole, located on the Winooski River, makes it a unique natural community. Simply put, the natural community is a wetland due to its location within the Winooski Watershed. Farther inland along the river things become more interesting in the town of Richmond where the natural community is classified as a Silver Maple Ostrich Fern Floodplain Forest.  This type of community is rare in this part of the country because of the deforestation that has happened in the 19th century.

The Salmon Hole has changed a lot in the past month. The ice has retreated and the river is swelling. The animal tracks are a lot harder to identify at this time, even if it is probably just a dog print. The ground is softer and muddier as the temperatures become more hospitable. It almost seems like the first inklings of spring are right around the corner. I am interested to see how it looks in April once the famous Vermont “mud season” is in full force.


Change of Scenery

Posted: February 5th, 2018 by tcoggins

New Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/YHzQG8mEEcs

I’ve decided to change the location of my phenology site. I moved from Centennial Woods to the Salmon Hole on the Winooski River. I think this new location is easier to access (its a quick cut through the woods from trinity campus and across the street) and has a water component which I’m very excited to explore.

There were a variety of trees along the banks of the river that we have discussed throughout the year. Some are pictured below:






Personal Sketch:

Personal Pictures of Wildlife Activity/Scenery:

There were a few deer tracks along with some fox indications, but mostly only dog tracks.

Final Blog

Posted: December 9th, 2017 by tcoggins

The season and semester has come and gone and Centennial Woods has changed drastically with it. I feel like a lot of this blog has been about the now, about how we interact with our environment within a specific location in the immediate moment. But what about the history of a place? Isn’t that just as important?

Many people are unaware that Centennial Woods, before it was a thick forest full of Vermont’s keystone species, was once a clear pasture. there are records from UVM dating the gaining of the Centennial Woods land back to around 1890. Throughout the years more and more land was purchased and added to the nature reserve, all the way to the 1990s. This clearing indicates that this land was once used for the dairy industry. A fact that is none too shocking given Vermont’s land use history as a whole.

This assignment has allowed me to venture into some of Burlington’s great ecological locations. This may be my final blog for this semester, but I am excited to see what January has in store for this location. 

Thanksgiving Spot

Posted: November 27th, 2017 by tcoggins


*Above is the google docs link to my site*

Margaret’s Brook is a hidden gem amongst the highly developed suburban cul-de-sac. At this point in late November, the stream is beginning to swell and freeze with the late fall precipitation. The leaves which create the canopy, covering the little stream from the road and surrounding houses are mostly gone. The wind can more easily cut through the are and there are visibly more down limbs. The soil gets harder, the tracks left by animals are harder to decipher, along with more exposed tree roots. There are several old abandoned structures on the property. Some of which include an old foundation that was probably built in the early 1800s. The area was once a thriving apple orchard as well that really hit its stride in the mid 1950s. Not much remains of the areas decorated past. In 1997, the town of Norwell purchased the land and the first “cluster-zoned housing development was built.” The builders were required to build a path adjacent to this area that couldn’t be disturbed. This path is now the Margaret’s Brook Trail and Stream, providing a unique natural habitat so close to the suburban development project.

I like to wake up early on Sunday mornings. I feel like it makes the day more productive and the school week appear more manageable. I like to quickly get up and take my dog for a walk down to Margaret’s Brook, its only a ten minute walk (or five minute skateboard ride) from my house. We get there with only a few retired people walking along the paved walkway the town recently installed.I wave and smile a good-morning at them, but then my dog and I enter into the woods. There are no paved walkways in there, only the roots visible from years of treading. By this point my dog is off his leash and running through the thicket towards the water (or mud depending on the time of year and the rainfall). I arrive at the bench just at the clearing of the water and trail. here is usually a stick within arm’s reach and I begin to throw it into the water for my dog. I’ll wait until my dog gets tired, but until then I just sit and listen to the wind through the thick conifers and beech trees or the feeling of a frosty branch snapping beneath my boots. I enjoy the juxtaposition of this place. I am spitting distance from these expensive (but oh so tacky) mansions, locally known as “the reserve”, but of course, nobody from there really uses this area.

*Some videos throughout the years*




Event Map

Posted: November 6th, 2017 by tcoggins

My event map and some picture from the last few weeks.

Personal Map

Posted: October 23rd, 2017 by tcoggins

Here is my areal view of my phenology lab.

Hello world!

Posted: October 1st, 2017 by tcoggins

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