Last View

From the first week of May compared to the last week in April the environment at my phenology spot didn’t change much. I’m not showing any pictures in this blog, however leaving the link to my I-naturalist to see what I observed. The reason much didn’t change from last time is the temperature actually got colder, so no plant species could blooms. Due to the fact this is my last blog post I want to discuss the ways nature and culture intertwine at my place. Since the place I choice has agriculture around it and a retention pound human culture is closely mingled with my place. From my observations the land has been developed on before, however they let some of the land grow back. I also seen nature and culture mingle, since I watched the turkeys run across the cultivated land. Even though the culture is part of land I don’t feel that I am. I feel like an observer, my presence is there, but I never leave a trace.

The View of the retention pound
Observations with I-naturalist

Just Past Water St.

Google maps
If you look across The Inn On Shipyard, my spot is on the rocks by the water

At about 10 a.m. on march 17th, 2019 I walked down to the waterfront of Mattapoisett. My first impression was it reminded me of the waterfront of Burlington, however the Massachusetts’s Harbor is connected to the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Champlain is a lake. I chose this spot, since the ecological factors differs from the one in Burlington. At this spot everything seemed to revolve around the water. Real-estate prices increase as you get closer to the water so that effects animal/plant life due to the high concentration of people. There were only a couple of trees in my area, however I was having trouble identifying them. In the first picture of the trees i identifed a boxelder. The tree below the boxelder I wasn’t able to identify, yet there was four in a row. Both of the tree species located in my spot didn’t seem to be native. Compared to my spot in Burlington the plants have definitely had human alterations, yet there still is local/native plant and tree species. This underlines the impacts humans have on the ecological design of costal area. The animal species i witnessed while observing my surrounds was the classic Sea Gull. The best part of my time spent on the rocks was watching the Sea gulls interact with each other while floating on the water waiting for breakfast to swim by.

The view
Shrub species located between the rocks
Tree I was unable to identify
Sea Gulls and Rocks

Winter Snow Cover

 I slowly pick my head up from the snow covered ground and notice there is no pond weeds, or deciduous tree leaves in sight. Last time I came there were still a few stragglers holding on to  the twig, but now the twigs are bare and the buds are exposed (see photos from this date). With the snow present tracks are easier to see and it looks like wild turkeys have been enjoying the land! As I stood atop a small hill looking over the land, my friend and I noticed a group of wild turkeys trotting along the frozen ground. I hope next time we can get closer and maybe be able to distinguish what kind of turkeys they are.   

List of deciduous trees i could identify: Paper Birch, Beech, and Maple

Photo taken by Josh Cohen of turkeys strolling on the land
Photo taken by me of a beech twig
Photo taken by me of a Sugar Maple twig
Labeled twig of a paper birch


Standing outside I feel the wind blow on my cheek sending a quick shiver down my spine. I quietly walk down the steps of the porch and look to the right. I notice the rabbit sitting still by the tree and slowly approach. Not to close, but just the right amount to witness the movements of the creature, yet not scare it off. I look up from the creature and look around to see the wooden cage that surrounds my house. Within that cage lays Pine trees, grass and the stump of a fallen American Beech. There’s also a tree with a history that lives in the suburbs of the Graf’s backyard. This tree is where the rabbit hides when it senses danger approaching, it’s also the tree that was planted when I was brought home from Russia. The Lee-land Cyprus was planted on 11/04/2000 and has been growing ever since. It represents life in the most cheesy way possible. When the weather stirs and causes havoc sometimes things get knocked down. The Lee-land Cyprus has experienced this time and time again, however, we never stop putting it up and we will continue to watch it grow like all the people who have had a glimps of its life.

From Home to Shelburne

The place from Virginia to Shelburne has dramatic differences from the soil to the people. In Virginia the land is cultivated and industrialized to the max to utilize the space for human life. In Shelburne human life is a factor, however, I sense the land is valued almost as much as the human life. I have watched the Cyprus tree/ecosystem in my backyard change through out the seasons since I was one. As the seasons change from fall to the winter the grass starts wilt and the pine trees/Cyprus leaf structure maintains its integrity. At my phenology spot in Shelburne the change from fall to winter was dramatic. The atmosphere in Vermont is a lot colder than Virginia leading to a more dramatic change in the ecosystem. This drastic change is shown by the leaves changing colors quicker and the tree trucks becoming bare sooner. When I walk into my back yard I feel contained, but in Vermont I feel that there is a never-ending tree line that I can follow to the mountains. The people that live by my phenology spot back home are more money driven and the people who live by my phenology spot in Shelburne seem more in touch with the environment around them. This attitude towards life takes a toll on how the land is taken care of and maintain.

If Only the Bird Could Draw

Viewing my spot again I could tell fall took its toll. if you look around the pond ( the brown ) the trees  were slowly loosing their leaves. The primary type of tree species I notice were basswood and Black Locust. the multi-color is suppose to represent the leaves changing colors, in the soft wood forest that surrounds my phenology spot. While I was at my spot earlier today I noticed game tracks around the pond. The best thing was I saw a group of turkeys walking towards the woods past the gravel lot and over the darker green color ( suppose to represent a hill). It was nice to put a face to the tracks, but I also think theres more species in this ecosystem I haven’t observed.

Where and Why

Most people did their phenology project by the waterfront, but a friend and I decided to go somewhere different. We went on a walk down Speer Street and boom! we found a path that directed us to the perfect place. The little pond and purple flowers are what captured my view. It was aesthetically pleasing to look, so I knew it was the ideal spot to watch the seasons change throughout the semester. From the Paper Birch to the Evergreens and pond weeds, it caught my eyes attention and grasped my thoughts and wonders in its beauty.