March is here, Spring is not…

On my most recent visit to Centennial Woods, I had the opportunity to observe the environment in a state of especial allure. The trees were hit with just the right amount of wind to allow a few flakes of snow to drift gracefully to the ground.


That aside, I did identify my site as a Oak-Pine-Northern Hardwood Forest. The high concentration of White Pines was evidence of this. Within this category, the natural community of my site is White Pine-Red Oak-Black Oak forest. The typical characteristics of this type of natural community are coarse-textured soils, primarily White Pine along with Red and Black Oak co-domination, while Beech and Hemlock are also common. Heath shrubs are usually in the understory. The substrate is, “Soils that are mostly derived from lake or marine sediments, either clay or sand. Bedrock exposures may be found scattered within these areas.” (Wetlands, Wild lands, Woodlands pg. 154) Many of these characteristics correlated to features I observed at my site. There are mostly White Pines with a few Red Oaks interspersed, and I noticed some Beech and Hemlocks on my traveling to and from the site. The soil is course due to fallen pine needles and cones, as well as decomposing trees. The substrate matches as well, as there is a stream close by and therefore bedrock sediments and sandy clay soils.

In terms of phenological changes, the site looked relatively the same as last time I visited. One major difference was the stream had melted further, allowing water to flow and making the surrounding soil moist. I also noticed that pine needles were peppering the white ground.

Through using Bio Finder, I noticed that my site was right on the edge of the community/species highest priority. Because the center of this area was near the center of the Centennial, I inferred that the majority of the species live inside the confines of the two streams, using them for water access, and habituating the areas that were the farthest from infrastructure such as roads. There was also a high priority of landscape ecology around my site. I think this is because of the fact that Burlington is mostly an urban area, and this one of the few forested locations.