1:40 pm, 20 degrees Fahrenheit
Today, the centennial woods was all full of snow! The brook spot seems to be doing well though; much of the vegetation described in the last post is still existent. The low growing plants are still getting more and more brown, as they have been over the seasons. At this point there’s next to no green left, the only green left is on the plant identified before as Allegheny Blackberry. All the grass I talked about earlier is now under a couple inches of snow, so it will probably die pretty quickly.
Two side notes regarding vegetation: first, the plant I identified as Chinese Crab Apple probably isn’t that. Having taken a more in-depth look at the book Naturally Curious, I found the red-cherried plant is probably Highbush Cranberry. Second, I had not accounted the moss or lichen growing on the trees on the sugar maples in the area.
Regarding organisms other than plant life, the fish were no longer in sight. I had, in past posts, failed to account for what could be thriving at my spot besides fish. Many insects start their larval stages in bodies of water, so I should have been more aware of that in my previous visits. Naturally Curious touches on a dragonfly called the Common Green Darner, which I may have expected to see earlier in the year because dragonflies lay their eggs in bodies of water. It would also explain the presence of fish, if there was an insect trying to use the brook to lay eggs.
The brook is important to centennial, because it provides a water source for plants to grow, and provides a habitat for a more diverse community within the woods. We’ve seen this with the presence of grass which likes high amounts of water, and fish, and the possible breeding grounds for certain insects. A more diverse living community is usually good for an all around balance of the area.
The plants, insects, and fish which live in the spot now have adapted over time to thrive as best they can given Vermont’s conditions. For example, Highbush Cranberry keeps it’s berries through the winter so that birds can get to them when they come back for the warmer seasons, and for an emergency food resource during winter (Holland). When the warmer season comes back, these same plants and other organisms will probably be there.