Blog entry 3/14
It was slightly warm this morning. I decided to take my coat off. I had heard many sparrows flying through the green plants. I walked down the hill, at the base, on the muddy path. Then I walked to my spot, the red oak leaves crinkled as my sneakers moved. I brought my art supplies. I was determined to find birds with different calls. I brought my binoculars this time. I wanted to improve my ability to recognize birds from their sound. I found there were a lot of Tufted titmouse and Blue Jays near the back area where the wall is with woody plants. I also found American robins flying to trees further from my spot. I now know the call of the robin. I noticed the robin had different variations of calls. Their songs are quite beautiful. I saw one hopping along the ground, most likely picking for berries. I’m going to research the behavior of these birds I’ve found. I saw three house sparrows were chasing each other, being playful, and flew to one of the pines. I found a great composition for either a painting or oil pastel art piece I could do. I’m going to miss this peaceful spot. On the way back, when I was on the top sidewalk in Riverside I noticed ravens at the top of the trees.
Blog entry 3/11
I enjoyed my walk along Riverside. I usually only go to one spot, by my favorite tree. I noticed there was a fence was added around the tree. The tree also got a plaque a couple years ago. I used to climb that tree, the Witches elm. It is diseased. I noticed that a lot of the trees down riverside have a disease. As an environmentalist I’m concerned but as an artist I admire the unique beauty and character the trees have. I decided to keep walking left. I was drawn to the three pines. I initially saw a difference between the pines here compared to in Vermont. Vermont forests would have tall Eastern white pines where you would have to break your neck trying to find the canopy. The three pines I found were small. I could easily see the canopy. I sat down to write poetic thoughts that I’d pondered. A squirrel galloped along the few patches of snow. All the snow had melted, except on the hills. The squirrel shook its head in the leaves, scavenging for nuts. It would tend to go climb down the tree, get its food and climb back on the same branch and eat. At first I couldn’t hear any birds, I could only hear loud road sounds. Then after wandering around, I was attuned to their sounds. I followed the sounds with my eyes. Some birds flew into the pines. I found an American Robin that flew into a crabapple tree. When I went downhill I saw a hawk glide in the air. I also spent time identifying buds. There was a Hawthorn and Bitternut hickory. In the back, behind the path there was bamboo and there was grass as well as plants like Leopard. There were a lot of small shrubby woody plants. There were also mature, tall oaks. I wasn’t used to seeing the oaks taller than the pines. On the ground there were a lot of leaves scattered, mostly oak. At the top of the hill from my spot the ground was firm. Down the hill there was a lot of mud, probably from the melted snow. I’m wondering what the reason is that there is still snow on the top of the hill and not anywhere else.
Riverside, NYC Spot
I have found a spot in NYC, riverside, around 112th street. I was drawn by the three pines. It reminded me of Vermont, where I’d see pines everywhere. In Riverside there are mostly deciduous trees and shrubby plants. My spot is on a hill right near the edge of the wall. The highway is down below on the other side of the wall. I’m at the part of the hill near where I would go sledding every year and at the bottom of the hill, there is a bike path where I’d go biking in the Summer. To get to my area, you would could go down the entrance on 116th and go left to take a scenic walk on that path. You would follow that path until you see three pine trees on the right. I added images from my spot on the New York City pictures/videos page.
Blog entry 3/8
Although its warmer, winter is still very much alive! The first thing I noticed that was different was that there were more human prints as well as dog prints. As its warmer and the sun is shining, it’s the perfect time for a hike! Due to all the human prints, it was difficult to track animals. There weren’t tracks to see. I found more deer scat. Some of the deep prints in the snow may have been that of deer. I went beyond my spot out in the open. I could hear a lot of ravens and the sound of creaking branches. The snow went up to my knees. I could hear the soft sounds of the moving water. It was peaceful.
I was walking along the stream. There is a relationship between hydrology and substrate. It depends on the characteristics of the soil, whether it would absorb much water. Some of these characteristics include texture and structure. Coarse texture soil would absorb water more easily than fine textured soils. I haven’t checked the soil in a while, but I remember the soil in my spot having a coarse texture. It’s difficult to notice any change in the water table due to ice.
Trotting through snow reaching my knees
In the open where trees bend round
Sunlight blows its light over air
I circle round the long field
Attuned to sounds I hear
The black widow croaks
Giving voice to quiet wind
Soaring above trees with its
Natural Area Wetland, Woodland, Wildland
After looking at the list of natural communities, my spot appears to be either a Hemlock-Northern Hardwood Forest or a Laurentian-Acadian Pine-Hemlock-Hardwood Forest. There are a lot of pines and hemlocks. There are also mixed deciduous trees that are usually in these forests, including sugar maple and yellow birch. When I searched pictures of these two forests, it looked like a variation of my area. It may be closer to
Laurentian-Acadian Pine-Hemlock-Hardwood Forest since the forest is dominated by pines. The substrate on my spot is mostly saturated, well drained/sandy soil, mostly by the stream. This makes sense because there’s a stream. Hemlock-Northern Hardwood forests usually have well drained soils. Hardwood forests tend to have well drained sandy soils.
Laurentian-Acadian Pine-Hemlock-Hardwood Forest usually has acidic soil, which is why there would be a lot of Eastern White Pines.
Use of Biofinder
I decided to find my spot on Biofinder. I couldn’t see much, but I did notice that the road next to Centennial is labeled as a highest priority wildlife crossing. Centennial Woods has a great amount of biodiversity/ wildlife.
Prancing, trotting, through
Thick sparkled powder
Meanders around pines
Down across frozen waters
Two holes in her stride
Moving in brisk winter
Fleeting tracks left behind