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Phenology of Tree Patch Near the Living and Learning Community and Main Street

Phenology of Site 11/12/19 – Sense of Place

Posted: November 14th, 2019 by jboerger

            Snow! The pictures of my site at the moment are a bit outdated given that my site is currently blanketed in ~6 inches of the white wonder. However, snow is still visible on the fringes of the site, and this brings me to why I love Vermont and why this site gives me a sense of place. Winter has always been my favorite season and brings me back to fond memories as a child skiing and sledding around my hometown. Even though I am now at UVM, the snow gives me a sense of comfort and makes me feel right at home. 

            My site is only a small patch of pines, but it is representative of a much broader area that is bearing down and getting ready for the long winter months ahead. I remember back at home prepping for winter by stacking endless amounts of wood in the shed at my house, and then being paid to do the same at my neighbor’s house. The work was arduous at times, but every time I needed motivation, I would look up to Mount Mansfield off in the distance and let the excitement for the upcoming ski season power me through my chores. The fact that Mount Mansfield is also visible in the distance brings me back to those times and gives me the same giddy anticipation I had as a kid.

            Looking back through the lens of history, I realize how different feelings towards winter must have been in the times before modern innovations and infrastructure. The buildings encompassing my site look warm and cozy, but the trees are open look barren and completely exposed to the blistering elements. For the Abenaki people that roamed this land far before me the first snow would represents months of preparation and anxiety. There is a certain beauty in this early time when people lived entirely of the land, but I also feel lucky to live in the time that I do and have the luxury of modern amenities.

Phenology and Changes in the Characteristics of my Chosen Site, 10/31/19

Posted: November 4th, 2019 by jboerger

My chosen phenology site has changed marginally over the course of the past couple of weeks. The most notable change being that the red maples have lost all of their leaves, and the grasses in the area have lost some their vitality and green hue. The red maples help define the site because of their importance to the state of Vermont and the foliage industry, as well as their resiliency faced with urban pressures. The eastern white pines give the site its character; their height gives nature a sense of equality amongst the tall buildings in the area. The Kentucky bluegrass lining the mulched eastern white pine vegetation gives the site curb appeal, and also serves as an important permeable surface for rainwater that would otherwise be thwarted entry into the ground by impermeable roofs, pavement, and asphalt. The eastern gray squirrels and common gulls found bustling around my site represented the only animal activity in the area. Both were attracted to the site by its vegetation. 

            By mapping my site I felt that I gained a better understanding of how my place operates, and how each organism interacts with each other. I also was drawn to the lack of diversity in my site. In the roughly 100 square foot plot, there was only three types of plant species, and two animal species occupying the area. This is shocking considering that 100 square foot plots in other more natural and robust spots in Vermont could contain more than four times that number. It was also obvious that all of the organisms in my site were chosen to be there either because of their aesthetic appeal or heartiness. The topography was little to consider given that it was flat and contained little diversity between the mulch and Kentucky bluegrass. It was obvious that the vegetation in the area had to deal with high amounts of water in times of rainfall given its position amongst many impervious surfaces. 

Currently no phone or way to take pictures, so all pictures detailing my site will be uploaded at a later date.

Hello world!

Posted: October 10th, 2019 by jboerger

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