Thanksgiving Phonology Location: My Backyard and Beyond


Description as Leopold:

I am thankful to have had this single acre of land to explore throughout my youth. It was shared between my brother and I, and all of our friends throughout our school years. It wasn’t always fenced off from the acres and acres of farm land and forest that lays adjacent to my house. In years past my family and I would always do a survey of the land throughout each season, which ended with us running up the most picturesque hill that overlooked my entire town. During our winter hike we’d be sure to grab a sled for the hill. This land we used to explore was fenced off from us when an apple grower came in and bought it. Only a fence hop away, our favorite seasonal walk is still accessible to us, though it has lost that element of wildness, that it may never get back now that is has been touched by civilization.┬áBirches, oaks, maples, and pines surround my backyard, and give me a sense of familiarity wherever I encounter them. Pileated woodpeckers, morning doves, chickadees, and the Autumn crow have greeted me with the songs each morning for the past 15 years in this home, and will forever be the sound of home wherever I hear their call.

Comparison as wright:

The Intervale is a piece of land entirely dependent on humans. From the crop fields, to the incinerator, to the planes flying constantly above, humans are constantly present. In fact, my backyard and beyond doesn’t differ to much from the Intervale. Over time famers have come in and done different things with the land, first making it a corn field, then soy, and then an apple orchard. Automobiles can constantly be heard from within the neighborhood as well as from the busy Route 9 that runs on the other side of the field, opposite my backyard. Perhaps I’m drawn to these types of places, those that have a distinct mix of human and wild. The rushing waters of the Winooski river flow though my spot at the Intervale, but no bodies of water can be found in my backyard. This simple difference creates different land use intentions for each location, and attracts different wildlife too. Silver maples can be found at the intervale, but none in my backyard. Oaks and pines can be found in backyard, but not at the Intervale. Both are equally affected by the coming of winter, as leaves have fallen already, birds have flown south, and crop fields are mostly left alone for the coming months to allow the land to replenish itself.