Earth Week Phenology Prompt

It’s Earth Week!

In order of this week dedicated to appreciating this one-of-a-kind precious planet we call home, I visited my phenology spot to note any phenological change since my last visit many weeks ago.

Enjoying the nice weather at Salmon Hole

While there were not any visible spring wildflowers poking up through the leaf litter, there were plenty of green patches of vegetation emerging from the thick o horizon that littered the forest floor.

Vegetation running up a hill at Salmon Hole
Vegetation emerging from the leaf litter

Mud season is upon us, which also ushers in new species of wildlife. While I was at Salmon Hole, I spotted a few American Robin, 1 Turkey Vulture, and 2 Cooper’s Hawk individuals circling above the forest. Using the muddy substrate, I was able to detect Raccoon tracks.

A Cooper’s hawk circles above.
A Turkey Vulture spreads its wings.

Here is an original sketch of the Turkey Vulture that I spotted:

My hand-drawn masterpiece.
A Raccoon leaves tracks after it scampers over a muddy section by the Winooski River.

Trees such as White Oak and Paper Birch have begun to flower; paper birch mores than any other observable deciduous tree species.

As spring moves in and the landscape is ripe with phenological change, evidence of flooding among the riparian areas of the Winooski River is very apparent. This is most likely due to all of the snowmelt occurring at the peaks of the surrounding mountains. The water is taking its way down the slope of the mountain and pouring into rivers and waterways. Several trees that typically stand feet from the river have their trunks submerged.

The deluge has led to raging rapids at the mouth of the river. It makes for a nice photo-op and a rush of adrenaline!

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