I heard some birds in Centennial today. The American Robin call and a song, but mostly calls. I saw a male Northern Cardinal fly over the path near me. I found a barberry bush that I did not find last week with buds and dried up berries. I found a tree that an animal must have eaten some of the bark. I also found a birds nest and around that area is where I heard the robin and cardinal and I think it might be a robin’s nest.
Nature and culture is intertwined at my place. There are a few examples of what I saw today that answer that question. There were little kids from the pre school in the woods, so Centennial is used for educational purposes. There were also a few people birding while I was trying to see the American Robin. The woods can be a good source for specifically trying to find wildlife like birds. It can also be used for recreation since I’ve seen people hiking or walking their dogs as well, while enjoying the nature.
I feel like I have partially been apart of my place for several reasons. I started going to Centennial as my phenology spot second semester, so I do not have as close of a connection compared to people who have been there or their spots all year. I have also only been in a small section of Centennial and don’t feel like I’m part of the place in any other parts of the woods, since I have only been in one area for the phenology blog.
I did not find any wildflowers in the leaf litter, but I did find some weeds scattered throughout. Some trees that have begun to flower are Northern Red Oak, American Basswood, and Black Cherry. The buds for Black Cherry and American Basswood were high up in the canopy. I also did a drawing of the Northern Red Oak bark along with its buds.
I traveled to a golf course in Braintree, MA for my new phenology site over spring break. I saw lots of Eastern White Pines, some paper birches and many different kinds of maple and oak trees throughout the landscape. My phenology site in Centennial had very little pine trees in my specific area (even though they are more in other parts). There was a lake and my phenology site at the beginning of Centennial does not have any water source. While looking around I did find some animal tracks that could potentially be red fox tracks and maybe mice tracks. I have yet to find those tracks in Burlington, but both species could be in Centennial Woods. I have found lots of deer tracks in the woods, which I did not find even though some roam the area. Along the way I did find some goats which I would not find in Burlington. Some bird species I saw flying overhead were geese. I have not been to Centennial Woods yet where I could find bird species, even though they are out there.
Using Wetland, Woodland, Wildland, I believe my phenology site is a Northern Hardwood Forest. There are many deciduous trees like striped maple, boxelder, and ash at my site. I also believed it because there’s a hill and deep slope. Northern Hardwood Forests can have a downslope of soil altered by roads and I saw a few slopes from that. There has not been many phenological changes since my first visit. There is still snow, the trees are bare, and a tree still hovers over the path. I did notice that more trees fell over and were uprooted than I noticed beforehand. I also noticed more animal tracks that were different like dogs, maybe a cat, and one I’m not sure about. I saw tons of deer tracks before and I did not see any this time I visited. With recent precipitation, part of my phenology spot was very icy under the layer of snow. There was a lot of ice on the hill leading into the path.
I was able to find whitetail deer tracks, cottontail rabbit tracks, and dog tracks at my new phenology site at Centennial Woods. Some deciduous tree species at my specific site were Ash, Boxelder, Basswood, and Eastern White Pine. I took a picture of a boxelder bud and twig that the tree was right next to the trail.
Today Oakledge park is made up of beaches, picnic areas, tennis courts, parking lots and has a lot of human history. The first settlement of the land was by Abram Brinsmaid in 1793. Napoleon B. Proctor was a lake ship captain who owned part of the northern side. This was originally called Proctor Farm and he eventually sold the property to Dr. William Seward Webb in 1881. The cove was used for yachts, a place for his family to stay, and a summer cottage which was named Oakledge. Before buying land at Shelburne point, he constructed more on the land like stables and barns. Fredrica Webb Jones, Dr. Webb’s daughter, inherited the summer cottage and she later sold it to men who built summer cottages. Allen S. Beach, a hotel manager, had to manage the cottage as a summer resort known as Oakledge Manor. The Cliffside Country Club was bought for $230,000 by the Burlington Park Department in 1971. Oakledge Manor was burned to the ground in a controlled fire and a grant from the city which was used to build what is known as Oakledge Park today.
It was a cold, cloudy day in Massachusetts where the seasons had transitioned into winter. Autumn has come and gone, where many white oak leaves have turned brown and fallen onto the ground. Since New England has no pattern of weather, the leaves were damp from the recent rain. These leaves along with ivy overtook the area making the grass hardly visible. The ivy wraps around the trees infesting the area. The very tall, distinct eastern white pines still had many green pine needles on the branches of the trees. Looking between the white oak leaves, there were of their acorn tops in between the blanket of leaves. Many squirrels who live in this area feast on the acorn leaves dropped from the trees. Looking deeper into the blanket of leaves, some orange pine needle leaves have blended in, as the white oak and eastern white pine trees are next to each other. A small, japanese maple is alone, but are together with the white oaks losing its leaves. The red leaves surround the trees, while stacking on top of the white oak leaves which lost the leaves before them. Many branches are being wrapped around one another giving an ominous look without the beautiful, red leaves.
Deep into Oakledge Park can remove you from the many people in the surrounding area. The only thing you will be able to hear is the ocean waves crashing and the dogs barking. There is similar seclusion where I live. My backyard at home is an oasis for many bird species, foxes, deer, turkeys that pass along, but there are always the neighborhood dogs barking all day long. The sound of the rouen ducks can be heard when you get too close to them along the beach at Oakledge. Many chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, and crows can be heard throughout the day back at home. Oakledge definitely has more wind when being compared. The wind from the ocean blows the trees and invasive species back and forth all day long. The tall eastern white pines can get lots of wind in the canopy at home, but not having the impact of ocean waves affecting them. Similarities between the two sites consisted of the orange eastern white pine needles flooding the path. The leaves from trees may have ranged from northern white cedar to white oak being entwined with the pine needles, but the leaves always take over wherever I am standing. One distinguished tree species that my yard had the privilege of having was the Japanese maple, which I have yet to see in Vermont.
I think my phenology spot at home is special, because I have a real appreciation of the tree species and animals that are around my home.
There have been changes to my phenology site since my last visit. There was a lot of fog, clouds and wind, whereas and last visit I only saw fog. The algae on the beach looked black instead of a dark green color. There was white foam that next to the algae as well. On the beginning of the trail, there were pine needles on the side and no orange Northern White Cedar leaves. Later on the trail I only saw a small patch of the Northern White Cedar Leaves. Last time those leaves and some pine needles dominated the path, so you could not see the ground. Recently at Oakledge there was rain, so a puddle formed on the path. There was no rain last visit. The invasive species Barberry, Honeysuckle and Buckthorn had half of their leaves fall off and last time I saw all of the leaves on the branches. For wildlife, I only saw people walking their dogs and a gray dog ran past me chasing after something.
Since my last visit, there has been changes with my phenology site. I noticed all of the Northern White Cedar leaves turned orange and fell to the ground. Before they were just starting to turn orange and still had green leaves on the branches. Those leaves were all over the path and overruled the pine needles that were previously and still are on the ground. There was less algae on the beach and in the algae pond on the rocks. Most of the trees were bare, whereas last time the trees had their leaves. I did not see any signs of wildlife, since the next day I went it was very cold and windy compared to the first time I visited.
Today was the first day I was able to go check out my phenology spot. I got to Oakledge by taking a car while family was visiting, but in the future I will have to take the city bus. I decided to choose Oakledge for this project, because I was able to go for a few hours during weventure for one of the trips. I really enjoyed the area and I wanted to go somewhere I knew I would like visiting, even if it seemed out of the way. This spot also had a beach, which reminded me of the beaches from home. This area of Oakledge beach had a mix of vegetation, rocks and animals. The beach had algae and had a male and female Rouen ducks in the water. To the right there was lots of different layers of rocks where you could see the different horizons. There were some plants growing in between the rocks and one part had an algae pond. At the top of the rocks you could see a path where all of the different vegetation is. There was lots of common native trees and invasive species along a dirt path with rocks. I was able to see a lot of Northern Red Oaks, Northern White Cedar, Eastern White Pine, Eastern Hemlock and invasive species like Barberry, Buckhorn, and Honeysuckle.