There is certainly a big addition to my most recent phenology visit… SNOW! Where I am from in Pennsylvania, we wouldn’t be seeing snow for at least a month or more at this point. Even in just my little time in Vermont, I am really able to feel the ferocity and intensity of the seasons. The colors of the leaves are the most vibrant that I have ever laid eyes on. It blows my mind how nature can manufacture colors that are the that bright. In a few weeks time I was then able to experience the shift into the deep dark cold. Days visibly got shorter and the sun was down at 4:30, and I know fair well that it will only set sooner and sooner. In my phenology site, things are reacting to this change. The birds were bustling around previously and now they lay dormant. I heard very little and saw no evidence of the wood thrush or blue jay flying up above. Winter is most definitely here.
With this assignment I was able to more fully appreciate and understand the concept of sense of place. I didn’t necessarily feel a deep connection to my place in Simpson Woods, but I was able to appreciate my true place in the White Mountains. While learning about sense of place I was able to envision my home this summer and relive all of the moments spent near the alpine lake and the many precious flora that also share this space. The mountains where I lived and worked have such a rich history, the Appalachian trail cuts straight through the mountains in which I consider to be my home. The Crawford path (a section of the AT) is the oldest footpaths in America and just celebrated its 200th birthday. This place is not the one assigned to me for this blog yet, my experiences with learning what sense of place is in terms of my Simpson Woods location allow me to more deeply appreciate the other places that I value.
The area that is present day Simpson woods was most likely farmland for a majority of the 1700’s it then could have been developed on from the 1800’s to 1900’s. The university eventually purchased the land that is now the stadium and part of the gym. However, a large portion of what now is Redstone was donated by a family to the university. Before any of this, the Abenaki inhabited this area and cultivated and cared for their area before any European settlers. This similar history is what ties a lot of the New England region together. All of this land was previously treated similarly, and resources were cultivated based upon what the region provided. However, through time, through policy and other mechanisms, land use across state and county lines has begun to differ.