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Phenology project

High Rocks in Doylestown PA

Posted: March 18th, 2019 by carockwe

Over winter break I had many opportunities to immerse myself in different natural spots. It was so hard to choose just one place to focus on because every area is equally beautiful and unique. On Monday, I went to this park called High Rocks in a town about twenty minutes away from where I live. A friend and I went hiking and then had a picnic on top of a cliff that overlooked a rushing river. This area was similar to my spot since there were many trees and other small woody plants along trails. There is also some hills and a source of water in both sites. However, at high rocks the mountain was much higher and there were many more rocks and cliffs that were about 70 feet high. The river was also much larger and flowed faster than the creek in Centennial woods. The river in PA was larger and faster that normal due to the recent rain and melted snow that occurred in the area. We got to observe some white water kayakers because of this! Also, regarding the woody plants that I observed, I noticed that these trees were mainly hardwood. There were very few coniferous trees in the woods compared to my area in Burlington. This is because of the warmer weather and generally lower elevation in Pennsylvania. I did not observe any wildlife tracks sadly, due to the melted snow and freshly swampy trails. However, while sitting on the cliff we got quite a treat! A few hawks showed interest in us and our food. It started with 3 or 4 that were fairly far away, but then they called their friends! About 7 or 8 beautiful hawks began swooping extremely close to us and landed on the cliffs right next to our picnic. I am not sure exactly what type of hawk we saw, but I can guess that they were either red shouldered or sharp shinned hawks. Either way they were so majestic to watch and I feel so lucky to be able to observe these creatures in my home towns!!

Natural Communities

Posted: March 7th, 2019 by carockwe

After spending a good amount of time at Centennial woods, I have been able to develop a wonderful relationship with my spot and the natural communities that lie within. A natural community is a collection of plants and animals across a landscape used to categorize similar environmental conditions. I would definitely classify my spot as a Northern Hardwood forest. The region of this natural community extends over much of Vermont. Also, since these woods are not very high in elevation, it fits the categorization. There are many hardwood trees that extend over the Centennial woods such as, sugar maples, yellow birches, and the american beech. My centralized spot within the woods is near a small creek. When I went in February the running water in the creek was very small due to the ice and snow that covered it. As it gets warmer and all the winter precipitation melts, the creek slowing starts to expand and run faster. Also, surrounding substrate will become soggier as the precipitation trickles down into the soil.

Winter Phenology

Posted: February 4th, 2019 by carockwe

I chose to stay at my same spot in Centennial woods from last semester so I am able to continue to build a relationship with that area and the plants and animals that reside there. There has been quite a few changes to my spot since my last visit. I am able to see much father due to most of the trees losing their leaves for the winter season. Also, there is snow all around so the trails were slightly harder to follow and find again. My spot is right by the creek, which is much smaller than it was a few months ago. There is snow and ice where there used to be a little beach area, and most of the wid

er areas are frozen to a small stream. Although different, this site is just as beautiful as I remember.

It is unfortunate that it rained because most of the tracks were either gone or very hard to identify. I found some faint tracks deep in the woods, but they were very covered up. My best guess is either a dog or deer because I could tell that this animal was a diagonal walker based on direct register. Towards the front of the woods I found some fresh domestic dog tracks. This is my best guess because of the curved in nails, the fact that I


saw a few dog walkers, and the scat I found right behind it. 

The trees were a little bit harder to identify now since they only have buds, but the identification guide helped a lot! I was able to identify a few Norway maple trees based on the opposite branching and the buds were green and red. I found some buds that belong to the American beech tree as well. I remembered the red scales that we found on lab last week, so these trees stuck out to me. Sadly, the other deciduous trees around looked either dead or I could not find any buds on them. In addition to these great finds, I came across a tree by the water that had grown some mushrooms on the bark! I believe this is a new addition to my site and I can’twait to visit again!

History Behind Centennial Woods

Posted: December 6th, 2018 by carockwe

As we see today, Centennial woods is used for numerous things whether its hiking, studying, and can be utilized as a classroom sometimes. It is a wonderful forest on campus that has a wide array of plants and animals. However, it was not always used for the same purposes by humans as time moved forward. The sandy soil takes us back about 10,000 years ago to when this area was a sandy shoreline of Champlain Sea. The delta the deposited this sand then became the Winooski river where the Abenaki tribe would inhabit. Pre-european settlement, it can be assumed that this tribe lived somewhere in or near the Centennial woods area and used this land to hunt and gather. Next, evidence shows that this land was bought and owned by C. Baxter Est., and H. Stevens, Hickok Est. These men most likely teared down the forest to use the land for agriculture, like most Vermont forests during this time. This can be explained by some barbed wire and stone walls found on the premises. The different tree growths also support this theory due to their age. Although we may think that this area is old, it is not considered an old growth forest at all. Compared to how long trees live without being cut down or getting a disease, the trees that are in Centennial woods are very young. The forest started to grow back int the late 1860s after farms were no longer being used and maintained. This area was then officially designated a UVM natural area in 1974 and has been much more respected every since! Every being on this earth goes through a journey during its existence. This is the story of Centennial woods’ journey. I am glad it is at a healthy place now in its adventure and I hope people continue to guide it into an amazing future.

Baederwood Park

Posted: November 26th, 2018 by carockwe

While at home during break I got to spend some time relaxing and enjoying what I love about where I live. Baederwood park is a quaint area about a mile away from my house. Since I live in very developed suburbs right outside of Philadelphia, it can be difficult sometimes to find a decent stretch of peaceful woods to be able to go to with easy access and close by. There is a small playground at the bottom of the hill after you pull into the parking lot that my dad used to take me to when I was younger. There is a small clearing after the opening with the playground that has a pond that ducks usually enjoy, however there were non at this visit. After the pond, lies a shallow stream with a little bridge over it. After crossing the bridge, there are a few trails that wind around the woods that can be used for running or walking. These trails however lead to either the street, people’s backyards, or my old high school.  Although small, this park is great place to go for a walk or run and be able to escape the hustle of the day for a few quiet moments.

There are many similarities and differences between my phenology site at Cenntenial woods and the site I visited at home, Baederwood park. The main difference that can be noticed is the size and the amount of man made areas between the two. Since baederwood park is located in a more developed area it is much smaller, and more spaced out. There is also a few more man made items throughout the park as well, such as play grounds, trails, and bridges. Cenntenial woods has trails and bridges as well, but theirs are made of wood, where as the bridge in baederwood is made of cement and bricks. The trails in cenntenial woods also tend to follow the path of nature, unlike the trails in baederwood that follow a more forced path based on human needs. These places also differ in the emotional aspect of my life as well. I have a much deeper connection with the park at my home because I have developed a sense of place there throughout my life. From going there as a child with my family, to spending time there after school as a teenager, there is more meaning behind the smaller park. However, hopefully during my four years at UVM I will be able to visit Cenntenial woods just as much and create new meaningful connections with that place during this new chapter in my life.

Home Phenology Spot

Posted: November 26th, 2018 by carockwe


Event Map with a Tasteful of Haiku

Posted: November 5th, 2018 by carockwe

~A Phenology Haiku~

Many leaves fallen

River is flowing faster

Animals rustle

Bird’s Eye View

Posted: October 22nd, 2018 by carockwe

This map is drawn based from flying above and looking down into my spot. Since my previous visit I have noticed more leaves on the ground since it is fall, nearing winter. However most of my site is evergreens so their needles remain unchanged. There is also plenty of evidence that wildlife has a habitat here. Since there is a stream running through it, animals must come here for water, and there must be plenty of aquatic wildlife in the stream as well. There is also evidence of some scat nearby. I am not exactly sure what animal but that shows that something lives close to the site, if not in it.

Hello world!

Posted: October 1st, 2018 by carockwe

Welcome to UVM Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

My map

Posted: October 1st, 2018 by carockwe


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