A. According to Wetlands, Woodlands, and Wildlands, my area is a woodland area in the Champlain Valley. A woodland area is a forested area that provides habitat for numerous species of plants and animals alike. The soils of the Champlain Valley are usually either clay or sandy-soiled and the region doesn’t get as much precipitation as the rest of the state, which is why it is a great habitat for a wide variety of different animals and plant species. Despite the deforestation of this area, which led to changes in this natural community, we still see lots of species that are typically native to this area such as silver maple, red maple, white oak, beech, and hemlock. All of these tree species and more are present in my area of Centennial Woods. I think that this area can be best expressed as a “Silver Maple-Ostrich Fern Forest” which is listed as one of the common natural communities in this area of Vermont. Because of the abundance of Silver Maples in this area, I would definitely classify it as a Silver Maple forest because of, despite the many different kinds of trees in this area, including a lot of pines.
A woodland area is also a diverse community for animals, and I have seen evidence of many different species at my sight . While I was at my spot, I noticed a trail of red fox tracks on the frozen part of the stream that runs through my spot, in addition to the hare and deer tracks that I saw last time I visited. I also heard a lot of bird calls, whereas last time, it was very silent at my spot.
B. I think that my spot was much more lively this time because it is now March and is becoming spring soon, and the birds are aware of this. Last time I visited, it was very cold and there were not animals around or birds out at all but this time I could hear the calls of several warblers, I believe. This is one phenological change that I noticed at my spot this weekend and I know that as the snow coverage continues to grow thinner, there will be a lot of significant changes to this landscape. In addition, I noticed that the small stream running through the area was frozen solid last time, however, now the ice is very thin and it is beginning to thaw in many areas. With the amount of precipitation and snow melt, there will probably be a lot of sediment runoff as we enter more into spring and the outside world begins to thaw. Because I did not visit this spot in the fall, I am not sure now it changed when Winter began, however, I am eager to see how this woodland area will evolve as it begins to warm up.