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Phenology Assignment

blog #3

Posted: November 12th, 2019 by Caitlyn Reid

On todays trundle to the bunker, much had changed yet again. The view had completely renovated itself once more, this time with a thick blanket of snow coating everything in sight. There was around 1 ft. of snow in the deepest spots and every branch seemed to be hanging onto whatever inches it could. The temperature today was around 23 degrees (F) and made it hard to write with brittle fingers. The wind blew intermittently, each time whisking away some flurries and sending snowballs down from the swaying treetops. The few trees still with their leaves are just barley holding on, and almost all of the ground brush has been completely covered by snow. The snow, although new to this year is not new to this forest. Throughout the centuries this land has been snowed on countless times. Being located in Vermont, snow is a welcomed and regular guest to centennial woods and to the bunker.  Behind me I notice a fallen log resting upon the back of the bunker. The log was here before but today it made me wonder what this spot looked like before it had fallen. And then I started to think about not just that tree, but also all of the trees in the surrounding area. How many have fallen and rotted away? How many saplings have persevered and grown into sturdy trunks that did not exist in the decades before this moment right now? These grounds have changed endlessly throughout time, and likely at one point this forest was partially clear cut just like much more of Vermont had been. To sit in this spot, the sense of Vermont is overwhelming, especially in the nippy weather. The combination of the snowy cold, the abundance of maple trees, and changing leaf colors make it clear that this spot is located in the northeast at least. The other Vermont native trees and species give clue that this spot is located in Vermont

Blog #2

Posted: November 1st, 2019 by Caitlyn Reid

On todays walk to the bunker, I was shocked by how different the landscape looked from the last time I was there. A good 90% of the trees had lost their leaves and you could see deep into the forest in ways you could not before. A few trees did still have their leaves, but those that did had leaves of mostly yellow or fading greens, most of the reds and oranges have disappeared at this point. The trees looked barren and were fun to watch all sway together in the strong breeze. While on the path to the bunker I stopped at the edge of the riverbank, as I had come to the point where the bridge would normally be. However, the bridge had been swept a good 50 feet down stream and left me having to rock hop my way across the river. Both the higher water levels in the river and the dampness of the decaying ground around me reminded me that we had recently experienced some torrential down pours. The day was cooler today as well (46 degrees F). The burdock plant that I spoke of in my previous blog, had since been decimated, I suspect it was trampled, as the remainders of the plant were flatly squished into the ground. The six species that I identified include those that follow: brambles, a skinny plant with broad green leaves that grow in triplets. One of the brambles I saw had turned a beautiful vibrant peachy orange color. Wood ferns, scattered all along the forest floor, especially on the hill up to the bunker. Asters and Allies, a plant with skinny leaves and small fuzzy white flowers. Two types of moss, which I believe were Entodon, and Silvery Bryum, they grew side by side along the stone of the bunker. And fly honeysuckle, which was one of the few plants around me that had remained mostly green.

Mapping my location before going really made me realize how terrible I am with directions. I remembered the river being windy so I tried to represent that, however I noticed once I got there how off my perception of the river was.

Introduction to my Place!

Posted: October 10th, 2019 by Caitlyn Reid

10/20/19 visit: The place I decided to choose for this project is one of my favorite spots in Centennial woods. A brisk (57 degree F) walk into the woods, on the path past the brook and up the hill, is an old cement bunker, spray painted and crumbling slightly. Weeds have made their way into the cracks of the cement structure, suggesting it has been sitting in its secluded spot in the woods for some time now. On top of the bunker, surrounded by various thriving plant life, looking out into the jumble of tall, slender trees that weave together to make up the forest, critters scurry nearby; squirrels, chasing one another up and down the trunks of trees behind me. Since my spot is located on a hill above the brook, my view spans in all directions. When I first started coming to my spot, the greenery was lush and vibrant. Yet, as the fall approaches and the forest prepares itself for winter, the greens turned to reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. Leaf litter has begun to pile up at my feet, and the broad-leafed burdock plant that sits in front of me has started to wither. The large prickly burs from the burdock plant have attacked my knit sweater and made a new home for themselves there. Daddy long legs seem to appear and disappear spontaneously beside me. A sizable beetle, about an inch and a half long, has made its way to me, its back a dark shimmering blue, iridescent in the light. The wind is crisp and clean, a key characteristic of autumn’s presence. With every gust of wind, the leaves rustle and a few flutter to the ground, filling the sky for some brief seconds. Yet, as the leaves seem to fall endlessly, the trees steadily stay bushy and full of bright colors. The chitter of animals as they roam about comes in and out of earshot, creating a sense of company even as I sit alone in this spot. Occasionally a hiker will pass with a friend or their dog, but otherwise, this is a solitary experience, with nothing but my thoughts and the gifts this spot has to offer.

A view of the trees starting to change color.

Burdock plant.

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