Date: May 1, 2019
Weather: Cloudy, Cool, and Damp
Temp: 43 F
Not much time has passed since my last visit to my phenology site; one noticeable change is more groundcover coming to life. The number of green patches of young grass has increased since my last visit. In addition, there are more buds in view on the trees.
My phonology observation location sits right in the historical and cultural heart of present day Winooski. It is an interesting location, right in the downtown on the banks of the Winooski River. Today, there are trails that people access to walk their dogs or go for a quick run. In the past this site was a center of industry, supporting the lumber and later textile industries. Prior to that, this site was vital to the lives of the Abenaki people who were the original people of the land. Winooski, means onion in their native language, named for the wild onions that grew along the banks. Nature and culture are always integrated and the Winooski River has always drawn humans and natural world together. In the past, as a source for food and to power industry; and today as a spot to enjoy the beauty of the natural environment.
I feel that I am connected to my place. I know this place, its landmarks and rhythms. The “island” and the hanging limb, the worn path, the beaver and other animal sign helped to connect me to this place. Getting off the the trail to access the river bank is where I feel most connected. During the fall my connection to this place strengthened as I sat below the vibrant vegetation creating a canopy of protection. The tree cover protected the spot from the walking trial. The quietness of my winter visits brought surprises and a trip to the island that I will always remember.
When I was looking for a spot in the fall I searched for a spot where I knew I could find connection. Off campus and near water were key criteria. Back in high school I also kept a Phenology Blog for a class and my site looked out on a swamp behind my house. During that same semester, once a week, we would sit at out at our Ndakinna spot in the woods to reflect. This spot was located on a small brook. There is something about water that helps me form deep connections to the landscape. I think it is due to the moving water and the observable changes that happen due to storms and the volume of water moving through an area.