Middleton MA Phenology Spot


Coordinates: 42.61416, -71.00492

Here is a place of great cultural and natural significance, a yard whose perimeter has stayed constant for centuries. This traditional maintenance has allowed for the development of needed old-growth forest, and created a defined line of which hardwood oak forest surrounds grass pasture. The forest has marked age from its developed under story which is full of aged and dying humus and organic compound. The tree composition is almost entirely made up of Pine, Hemlock, White Oak, and Northern Red Oak. Because of this large quantity of Oak, the ground is littered in the fall colors of orange leaf matter which envelop some remnant of pine needles. There was clearly a recent storm, as some small saplings were able to make their way upwards towards the sky because of the death of their mother trees. Large trunks litter the ground, some sporting burn marks which could indicate a strike of lightning. While in the timespan of a human generation the forest looks stagnant, and of no overall consciousness, it grows further into the yard every decade, and perhaps the future owners of this land will allow this progression of pioneer trees such as paper birchs into the land, and the reforestation so common of this age in abandoned farming fields will take place once again.

The glaring difference between the place of phenology in Burlington VT and in Middleton MA is in the forest composition and surrounding grassy area, maintained by human force. In Vermont, the tree composition is mostly spruce and other connifers such as douglas firs. Here, it leans towards hard woods as mentioned previously. This is because the forest is in an area of reduced interaction with humans, which is separated from the area which is occupied by humans. In opposition to this, the spot from Vermont is part of a park system frequented by human travelers, not allowing for natural development. In addition, clearings and trail systems are put in place in the spot from Burlington, directly impacting the area, whereas here, the natural area is removed from any interference.  Besides these major differences, there is also more under story composition in the form of bushes and decaying organic matter. In addition, there is active wildlife and birdcalls can be heard with much more frequency than in my burlington environment.

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