Closing Thoughts- Tucker Diveley

•May 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

(Above-from left to right):

  • A chimney from an old 1900s employee’s living quarters to Oakledge Farm
  • A showing view of the still bare trees and green coming in
  • Leafless oaks not yet blocking the view of the lake
  • just a budding Red Maple

Phenological Changes:

The last time my plot was covered in a late spring snow and upon my return I find a 72 degree day with sunshine and greenery. Trees are budding and everything just looks sharper in the afternoon sun. The Eastern Whites and Cedar still make up most of the green in the overstory, and the moss and blooming buckthorne  provide the green in the understory. A red catches my eye and to my left is a red maple blooming, the leaves look more like flowers than leaves. Now my senses change and I hear the rusting of animals and chirping of birds, 2 blue-chested warblers fly over head. The scene is completely changed and certainly not as foreboding as winter and even the shagbark hickory and oak trees look more relaxed in the spring breeze.

After the final melt of the snow, the understory came to life with green erupting from the dead leaves. Soon there were ferns and moss all around and it seems to cover everything. All the fallen trees and rocks have some sort of moss or lichen  and this accounts for much of the ground cover green. Chipmunks and Grey squirrels  can be heard and seen searching the ground for nuts and seeds. A chipmunk stops to sniff the air next to the buckthorne, its as if he is alerted to my presence up on the rocks above, a second later he scampers off into the leaves. Nearby I catch sight of a chickadee in on a log, he hops down and starts searching for seeds. Compared to my phenology site back home it is less green here in Vermont, in Virginia it is late spring and every tree shows its lovely fauna and leaves.

Over the year that I have been keeping track of the changing of the seasons here at oakledge park has exposed my to how this natural area interacts with culture. Specifically in my plot several chimneys are still left standing from the living quarters of people who used to live on the farm. What leads me to deducts this is the chimney are spread apart enough not to be a part of a larger kitchen, but they look appropriate for house chimneys. Coming forward in time a ways oakledge is now a thriving and robust park. A hub for recreation ranging from tennis courts to mountain bike trails. A place to bring your family and friends for a cookout and unwind and lay in a hammock. I would consider myself apart of that culture of relaxation. This area has existed to serve the community from its humble beginnings as a farm growing food to a park known for its engaging recreation. I to have benefited from its service as as part of its landscape. Up on my ledge I can see a landscape change and its as if I’m invisible. The rock gives me a great over look but also the ground below remains untouched  by my foot. I am listening and for once I can hear what is happening around me. It definitely felt strange and foreign when I first came here, I was a disturbance, but when I found my silence I could feel the area accept my periodic intrusions. I remember a visit where I remained still for minutes at a time and in this span of silence I felt apart of the landscape, a casual observer. Oakledge is a rich place of history and recreation and I am glad I could be apart of that timeline.

Landscape Ecology- Tucker Diveley

•April 16, 2018 • Leave a Comment

  (snow covered ground)

(hand drawn Sugar Maple)









(snow covered- no showing of wildflowers)

(Sugar Maple bud- Below)








Landscape Ecology

This was not an ideal weekend to go visit my phenology spot due to the inclement weather that struck Burlington. The snow has covered any signs of amphibians and sent the amphibians who made those signs back into hiding. But not all signs of life were covered in snow because the air was littered with American Woodcocks looking for tasty earthworms to eat and the occasional grey squirrel milling around in the cool air looking for food. Many of the tree species have started budding including: Maple, both sugar and red, red oak, and common/glossy buckthorne. Most of the ground cover today was a heavy thick icy snow melt that did not allow for any wild flowers to poke through.

The over all landscape of Oakledge Park is a edge habitat with the cool waters of Lake Champlain crashing against the shore. An interesting difference between this habitat than the more extreme top of the mountain edge habitat; is even though it has the same acidic well drained soils moss, lichen, and ferns grown in this edge. I think this is because the water up on the mountain comes mostly in the form of snow while this edge has more rain and can support a wetter habitat. It still lies on Munkton Quartzite and Iberville Shale which rises quickly from the water’s edge. Even though it seems like a rough habitat there is a good combination of hardwoods like: Pine, Oak, and Cedar which like the more acidic and well drained soils, mixed with a good understory of small Sugar Maples and Buckthorne. The more water dependent plants like lichen, moss, and ferns clutch to every rocky surface and even the chimney’s of old houses that local bird species now occupy. I only wish the ground was not covered in a thick layer of melting snow because I believe it robbed me of the potential my phenology spot could have been showing with some wild flowers and signs of amphibians.

Phenological site (Spring Break)

•March 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Not very far from my Thanksgiving break’s phenological site, this place was introduced when the neighborhood next to mine started to grow in the early 2000’s. The Thanksgiving location that I used last was the forested area owned by our neighborhood. While this area is not much different there is more signs of recreation and structure in this area. Kayak racks built 10 years ago still stand along with another boat ramp and there are signs of campfires as well. This area although not expressed by the picture above is working its way into Spring there were several Robins and a few Blue Birds chirping in nearby trees. There was a brief flash of red as a Red Cardinal flew through the trees and this really solidified that spring was on its way. The conditions of the hardwoods in out area were on the verge of blossoming and buds were noticeable. The ground was littered with gumballs from the Gum Trees and there were a few Hickory and Magnolia Trees that gave the forest an extra blast of green color. 

Natural Communities- Tucker Diveley

•March 5, 2018 • Leave a Comment

The combination of all factors in a natural community including organisms, physical characteristics (soil, water and climate), and the effect on the environment. Traits that are key when determining the natural community are species composition, vegetation structure, and environmental conditions in which they exist. These often repeat with enough similarity across the landscape so that it can recognized and classified as different natural community types. My land plot from the help of Wetland, Woodland, and Wildland I was able to determine it is a limestone bluff cedar-pine forest. Looking first at the plant life there is quite a few Northern White Cedars that clump together ever 10 meters or so, along with other species common in this community are red oak, sugar maple, basswood, and Eastern White Pine. The under story is harder to identify due to my limited knowledge on this type of plant id, however there is several buckthorns present and are common to limestone bluff cedar pine forests. The geological makeup of the park certainly contains an abundance of limestone and munkton quartzite where I usually sit to take notes in this area. The munkton quartzite is slightly furth inland than the limestone which is right against the waterfront.

The phenological changes that I noticed this week were expansive. First, there was significantly less snow than 2 weeks ago, probably about 5in less. In those 2 weeks we has a very warm couple of days where the frozen ground thawed and melted all of the snow. Yesterday there was another snow storm that put about 4in on the ground and melted to about 1in today. The absence of the frozen ground all the melting snow can drain through the soil and leaves well drained soil and a wet landscape. The moss, ferns, and lichen are loving this wet weather and can be seen through patches in the melting snow. One significant change was the absence of ice on the lake. There was absolutely none and the sound of water hitting the cliffs along the shore was deafening. This cold spell would mean great sap collecting for large enough sugar maples in warmer weather and I can even see some red maple buds that look good and are enjoying this slightly warmer weather. Cedars and pines have not changed and the ground is still covered in pine cones, but the oaks and basswoods are still devoid of leaves (still too early in the season). No wildlife in the area that I saw and the bird calls that I normally hear were drowned out by the raging water against the rocks. Concluding that Spring is on the way with warmer weather, soil drainage, no ice, and less snow that stays around. There seems to be a less bleak aurora surrounding Oakledge.

My biofinder portion of the blog led me to find that oakledge park has 3 main areas of interest. The yellow area show rare plant and animal species, the yellow is plant and orange would be animal if there was any. The blue obviously is the lake community which takes up the majority of the landscape and gives the green area its purpose, riperian zone. This zone is the area that separates the mainland from water communities and has tall trees with deep roots that help prevent floods.

Wildlife Tracking Phenology Blog- Tucker Diveley

•February 6, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Animal Tracks

White-Tailed Deer (below)

Cottontail Rabbit

Mouse (below)

Shrew (below)

Grey Squirrel (below)

Grey Squirrel (below)

Winter Deciduous Trees

Shagbark Hickory                                                                                            Red Maple (below)


Northern White Cedar (left)

Eastern White Pine (below)

 Black Maple Group twig

Phenological Changes:

It has been over a month since my last visit and during that time I was down in Virginia on a winter landscape much different than Vermont. Once back at my plot at Oakledge the abundance of snow was the first difference. It covered everything from the paths in the woods to some of the trees themselves. The snow is a blanket since all the trees have lost their leaves, the maple and oak are but mere skeletons of their former selves, and only few leaves remain on some lucky Beeches. The Conifers are going strong and still abundant with needles, but the pine cones litter the ground. Since the recent snow the animal tracks are abundant and easy to follow (see above). I am up on my usual outcrop of Monkton Quartzite and the lake is easily visible through the leafless trees. No much ice coverage but there are chunks floating around the bay that I can see. There is also shelter for many critters in this outcrop. Some of the smaller rodent tracks lead into the many of the holes made by the rock. I might be standing on someone’s home right now! I look around the woods and see another home for 3 birds in a snag to my right, hopefully they are staying warm this winter.







Human History at Oakledge

•December 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Image result for picnic break barriers oakledge park

(UVM Special Collections Burlington Reference File: Oakledge Manor).

(UVM Microfilm collection of periodicals from 1978-1991)


Human History:

The history of Oakledge park has not only brought the city of Burlington a place to engage the water of the mighty Lake Champlain. But also is a place where history itself had some changes throughout the 20th century. What was once home to Dr. William Seward Webb where he constructed a large summer cottage is now a tourist attraction but the ruins are still present in the back reaches of the forest near the waters edge. Focusing on more recent events of the 20th century from 1980s to 2000s. Using a microfilm machine we were able to discover articles that give a hint as to the development and progression of the park and city through this time period. 1987 there was a picnic held in the now park to acknowledge diversity. To these locals it did not seem like such a big deal. 10 year old DeBose said “It is a picnic like any other”.  In reality it was a much bigger deal than young Miss DeBose has previously thought because this was the 1st multicultural picnic organized in Burlington. 40 people attended, organized by Shirley Boyd Hill, there were balloon making for the children and good conversations by all parents present. “The syncopated rhythms and sweet harmonies will resonate though Oakledge park this Saturday” (1987 Burlington Free Press Microfilm). Bobby Hackney was the director of the festival and 10 bands were lined up to play. It was a chance to bring an outside culture to promote peace and love. Although in last year’s festival there was some unruly behavior at battery park. The city refuses to co-sponsor this year but was given use of the park. Holding at Oakledge rather than Battery back might reduce some of the problems that a more residential park brought last year.

Improvements to the park have also been done to the park to benefit the patrons of Oakledge. In 1991 a 250,000 dollar renovation was approved for a new bathhouse, lifeguard office,and concession area. There was need for the new bathhouse that was not closer to the beach front property just purchased and a lifeguard house for better safety management of this new property. What was once a 7.8 acre strip of land is now shaping into a great place of history and modern advancement combined.


Thanksgiving Post- Tucker Diveley

•November 27, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Aldo Leopold:

The walk down to where the water meets the land, relieves any tension I have from the day leading up to this adventure. It is a walk of transitions from paved to dirt to unmarked and it represents to me the disconnect perfectly. The paved road has a stress on my body and there is no give but the emotions felt as the feet move to a dirt path and a overhang of oaks as a descend towards the river is calming and happy. Happy to be out in the now, on the path towards tranquility. The Cametas Creek runs calmly by as pass over it and the hill to my left is empty of leaves but the forest is still alive as i see the fleeting image of a deer run though the brush. Pass a small pool where frogs gather in the spring to lay eggs. Even away from the neighborhood there is still civilization as I cross the train tracks that lead down to the water’s edge and the dock that supports so much happiness in the warmer months of the year. It is only visited now by those who wander into its calming embrace as the dock has been battered but has not fallen. It is where I come to rest take notes and breath in what is in essence, peace.

Mary Holland:

Winter in Richmond, Virginia has been much more gradual than the winter up here in Vermont. It seemed that the leaves were compacted more which would lead me to believe it had been a slow falling of leaves which would allow for that compaction. In Vermont it was very warm before it got very cold and the leaves did not have time to compact as much as they did in Virginia. The amount of variation on tree species is drastic but there is some similar species of trees and animals. The Northern Red Oak has lost all its leaves and the cold air tells the under story creatures to hide and prepare for hibernation. Squirrels were not around in Virginia due to this gradual cold spell. 4 weeks ago Vermont was warm and inviting and squirrels were still spotted and the majority of the leaves were present. Then that next 2 weeks passed and the cold took most of those leaves on the trees quickly. Safety and infrequency of visitation to this area in Virginia allows for there to be more wildlife such as the white-tailed deer looking for the last bit of food before the bitter cold sets in. Vermont the bitter cold has already set in and deer will not be looking for berries or grasses that have otherwise died in Vermont.

The World as Events Blog Post- Tucker Diveley

•November 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment


There have been drastic botanical changes since my last visit and in that time the temperature has dropped. This  led to those more drastic changes, all it takes is a little cold to kill the trees from last visit. The maples have all gone and lost their leaves, they were the first to go. The Red Oaks have still not dies but it will not be much longer there is a great deal of yellow in the canopy and the ground around the trees is much more littered with oak leaves. Since this is happening it is easier to see the waterfront from where is sit to examine the landscape on this outcrop of Monkton Quartzite. 30% of the area is still green because of the evergreens and is a reminder there will be something to report in the winter months as I continue this blog. The moss and ferns are still green as well and I am not sure when they are suppose to die if at all?



Never lost but always increasing

trees growing and always releasing

new leaves always breezing.

The value of nature never ceasing.

Whether it be always green or somewhere in between

nature is a currency of this world, everyone knows what it means

because it has what most people seek


Phenology Map- Tucker Diveley

•October 23, 2017 • Leave a Comment

MAP                                                       Red Maple (almost no leaves)

Since the last time I visited my Phenology site at Oakledge park the leaf ground cover has increases by at least 25%. It is getting into fall and the leave are changing. I would have expected it to be slightly further along but since all the warm weather it is not a changed as some. The saplings on the other hand are almost devoid of leaves just like that red maple up there (top right) between 90-100% devoid of leaves. All the evergreens are still green but there seems to be an increase in pine cones on the ground. The red oaks have stated to turn red and 20% of their leaves have started to turn while 80% is still green, the white oaks are a vibrant yellow orange. The most common plant in the area is the buckthorne and that tree has all but been killed by the cold, few leaves remain. There have been several animal sightings such as 1 squirrel, 1 chipmunk, and several bird species.

Introduction- Oakledge Park

•October 2, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I chose to go to Oakledge park. It was fairly far away from campus and it seemed like a place with diverse plant and terrain types. My location is 100 feet from the water with rocky cliffs leading down to it. The diversity of the place drew me to it and the distance from campus so it might not be a popular spot where there are many other students there. To get there first you need to drive or walk (super far to walk so I recommend driving) to Oakledge Park. Head to the further bathrooms past the entrance and tennis courts. Walk down the Island line trail and take the left trail when it splits and go around the bend to a trail that leads into the forest. Walk 100 paces into the forest along the trail  and go off trail on the right about 20 paces, you have arrived. There you will see poison ivy littering the floor and the over story coverage is about 45% and under story about 70%. Dead leaves and branches cover the ground. There are several woody tree species in the area such as Common Buckthorne, Northern Red Oak, White Oak, Red Maple, and Norway Spruce. There were several tree species I could not identify but I will able to soon.

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