Trip 1: An Introduction

The journey to my spot in Centennial Woods starts either from Central Dining Hall or from WDW on Redstone campus. For this trip, I started from Redstone, working my way to my site via athletic campus and weaving through L and L down main street and into the Centennial area. I took the back entrance into the woods through the parking lot and up the short hill to the path. I then take a right and follow the path, then taking a left until I reach this opening. This is the first really dark feeling area in the woods. There is an abrupt change from birch and maple trees to pines at this stand. This is part of the reason I choose it. The darkness and abrupt change intrigues me to watch through the seasons. I was excited after first picking the spot a couple of weeks ago to come back and see the foliage working its way into peak season. I am excited to see how snow looks, how chartreuse green of new tree buds look from the shaded area of pines.  

My site in Centennial Woods is vastly defined by northern white pines. Looking up, one sees majority pines with (right now in foliage season) a smattering of colorful leaves mixed in. The main reason I choose this spot because of one particular tree. The first time I visited I spent a long time just leaning up against this tree and connecting with it. It sounds silly, but I really do have a connection with this tree. It has a feeling about it that just resonates for me in a bazar grounding way. Coming back to it felt like coming home and seeing an old friend. This tree is the perspective that I look at my location through. I stand next to it, lean up against it or walk around it to understand my place. This tree serves as a grounding place for me at this pine stand.  As I stand there, I work to fully absorb the nature of this place. How it is changing, what has changed, what hasn’t. That’s part of the reason I love pines, they tend to be as seasonal constant, they are resilient and have a strong nature. I’m excited to see the light change, how much there is, how little. I feel a deep connection with this area and am extremely excited to have an excuse to come back again and again.  

Field Notes:

  • leaf laden ground, pine and variety of others including maple and birch
  • foliage season
  • northern white pines
  • major shift to pines
  • slightly compact ground, not as compact as path leading in
  • on the top of a ridge, downhill on either side and moving forward on the path