Archive for March, 2017

Hi, guys! Hope everyone has had a good “spring” break, quotations of spring because of you know the blizzard that just happened. A good two feet of snow, a broken snowblower and a lot of shoveling has put a slight damper on my hiking this time around. So I didn’t venture out as far from home as last time I visited a different site. This time I just took as walk down to the marsh (Laurel Marsh) that is a little ways down the road from me to see how it was fairing with all the snow. The marsh is now part of the local land trust and is connected to a man-made lake across the street. (For a brief overview of the land history of the area my post from 11/23/16 has the info) A home to many beavers over the years construction in the area recently has made the marsh seem smaller and out of place. The crisp day showed the marsh-edged with cattails and unfortunately a few phragmites. The phragmites has the local land trust debating on the best methods of removal, so far most of them have been leaning toward using black tarps in order to stop the sun from reaching them. Any plants that may have been getting a start on spring are buried under the snow. However, the pussy willow is starting to bud as well as a few other trees.  The red-tailed hawks have started to return, normally there is a nesting pair in the area. I have seen a red-tail about four times in the area this week but I think that it is just two of them.  They bring with them debates on how it’s nice to have a nest in the area, while some birders dislike them due to their habits of snacking on songbirds. After my stop at the marsh, we continued our walk and came to the natural area I was at last time, however, the abundant amount of snow but the brakes on and instead of plowing through we admitted defeat and returned home.

All photo rights belong to Brenna Christensen 2017

The beginnings of the Pussy Willows buds!

The frozen bit of water is a deep pool before the vegetative plants of the area really kick in.

View of Laurel Marsh from road

Trail head for the marsh.

The massive amounts of snow that got in the way from the blizzard.


“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
― Pablo Neruda

Walking into my site you can see the human impacts on the land in the weird variety of trees with the oldest dominant species being white pine while slowly fading back into a hardwood deciduous forest. With the hemlocks that spring up in the understory as the only other conifers in the area, I would classify my site as a Hemlock-Hardwood Northern forest. The matrix of this forest type being later successional hemlocks with, the early successional species being oaks. Off of these main species, white pine that is found in the forest would match this type as well as the splattering of beech and birch found around the site. Since the last time I visited the snow has melted down to a few patches that are found here or there throughout the site as well as the emergence of come brighter mosses that are abundant in the area. The low levels of fog are beginning to feel like spring is approaching however it is New England and rapid swings in weather are probably due to happen. Looking over the area in biofinder (a site that lets you look for certain qualities in the land around Vermont) showed that it was home to a few rare animal species, a class two wetland and a rare terrestrial community. While it is hard to tell exactly what that means as it does not list the exact type of animal (except that it was class S2B, see for a list of species classification) and it does not list the exact type of community either. While these are improvements that can be made on biofinder it is clear that there are some things in Centennial Woods that are worth protecting.

All photo rights to Brenna Christensen 2017

Key: Light Orange = Rare Animal, Light Yellow = Class 2 Wetlands, Green = Rare Plant Community, Red = Wildlife Corridor

Waiting for spring!

Hemlock in the foreground, with oaks in the general area


















I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.

     -Anne Lamott


Thompson, Elizabeth Hathaway., and Eric R. Sorenson. Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont. Montpelier: Vermont Dept. of Fish and Wildlife and the Nature Conservancy, 2005. Print.

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