Visit 3: Sense of Place

This visit to my site was a very interesting one as snow has covered the general Burlington area! The tone of my place has totally shifted with the snow. It is light everywhere; the snow is doing a good job at reflecting the small amounts of daylight we are still receiving. Leaves are still falling from the few trees that have hung onto them. I noticed some white oaks with many of their yellow leaves still attached. But the pines are just as I left them, green, pointy and stable.  

I choose this location because I knew that these pines would remain a representation of stability and predictability as the rest of the forest changed with the seasons. It’s also why I choose my place surrounding a tree, to increase my feeling of stability surrounding my phenology site. Within this sense of stability, I did notice a change in how I related to my place. It wasn’t as dark as it was when I first stumbled upon it. The whole area is now illuminated by snow. It feels happier and more joyful walking in with the light reflecting throughout the trees and vegetation that is still present.  

This site and its placement in centennial are just an easily assessable example of the New England forests in winter, which aside from skiing I have experienced very little of. It all feels new to me even if it’s not a new phenomenon. Centennial used to be pasture land, then was miscellaneously used land for a while after it was bought by UVM. Now it is being revitalized and preserved as forest. It is used for recreation as a park and for education by UVM. It is increasingly become more and more a forest and park as time goes on. The more space that centennial is given, the more it returns to the forest it once was.  

Field notes:  

  • Snow cover  
  • White oaks still have leaf’s  
  • Pines still look same  
  • Vegetation almost totally covered  
  • Quiet  

Naturally curious  


  • Preparing for winter (building nests, food storage, denning, going dormant, migrating) 


  • Final things before winter/starting prep (molting, final eggs hatching, hibernation, migrating, etc)  


  • Summer birds start migration  
  • Flowering and fruiting  

visit #2

Pine trees really define this spot. The other organisms found here supplement the pines. The birch tree was particularly prominent at this moment as it was very yellow. The ferns on the floor of the forest were the only stand out vegetation at that level of the forest. Red maple was also stand out because of its coloration and its bright red leaves. These organisms seem to be stand outs because its fall and foliage was in its last prime days.  

The foliage was at a different stage than it was before. There were more leaves on the ground and less on the trees. The color is starting to dissipate from the forest as the leaves are falling as winter approaches. The pines look very similar if not the same. The pine needles are starting to become one of the only green vegetative organisms left in this area.  

The soil right now is wet due to recent rain fall. My place has mostly dropped pine needle covering, but right now there is also a lot of maple and birch leaves covering the ground as well. This means that there is more water retention/absorption happening in addition to soil. 

It made me think about my place in a much more detailed way. Before making my map, I thought about my space through a much more areal lens. I now have a better understanding of where “my tree” stands interns of the whole pine stand. I have a photographic memory, so I remember places in a very special way. Until I get the image of a map in my mind, I have a really hard time understanding how a spot like this play into the bigger layout of a park or forest. After making this map, I feel more grounded in my place and have a better understanding of its composition.  

Field Notes:

  • more leafs on ground
  • less noise
  • wet ground